HuffPo Writer: Painting Black People Now an Example of “White Privilege”

Huffington Post author Zeba Blay argued last week that, when white people paint black people, it is an example of “white privilege,” as whites are profiteering off of black pain.

The article, titled “When White People Profit Off Of Black Pain,” was inspired by a painting of Emmett Till by a woman, Dana Schutz, who Ms. Blay repeatedly pointed out is white.

“What exactly are the implications of white artists creating (and profiting) off of work that depicts black trauma and black pain?” the article begins.

White people are constantly looking to exploit black people, Ms. Blay argues, writing, “we see white artists and creators profit off of black trauma, black death, and black bodies time and time again. We see it in the endless loop of shaky iPhone videos and dashcam clips that replay the deaths of black people.”
And despite the fact that the painting of Emmett Till is not for sale, Blay asserts that it “will undoubtedly lead to some form of profit down the road. And this is beyond just profit. It’s about the currency of privilege.”

Ms. Blay asks, “Did Dana Shutz [sic] ever stop to think she was literally taking ownership of the young Emmet Till’s body for her own gain?”

Misspelling the artist’s name again, then spelling it correctly, Blay says, “Shutz’s [sic] painting, quite frankly, adds nothing to, past highlighting the aestheticization of black trauma for profit and for press… Schultz’s painting takes up space rather than creating it.”

The article concludes, “The only thing to take away from this controversy is this: listen to black people. Believe black people. Give black people the access and space and resources to elitist, mostly white institutions so that issues like these don’t even have the chance to arise.”


Founder and editor of the Social Memo

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  1. So will you as well forsake all those evil whitemans inventions you have woven your life around?
    Because a whiteman's profiteering, on you, that's racist and you will boycott all those racists advancements are just, well as racist as the inventors.