The purpose of this rally is to confront the state of mind that allows white supremacy to exist through racial profiling, state-sanctioned violence, and confederate monuments/symbols that glorify white supremacy. It will also serve as a remembrance event honoring the “Emmanuel Nine
“, the victims of the mass shooting that took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015.
Artist-organizer John Sims will direct a special presentation the world’s largest Afro-Confederate Flag on the steps of the State House. This artistic performance is part of his response to the highly-publicized detainment incident
that transpired several weeks ago.
“Although the Confederate flag has been removed from the State House, the mindset that it represents continues to live and thrive with no sense of accountability. We must confront and subvert this Confederate State of Mind that protects white supremacy and promotes black subjugation. If we are not safe in the church space, art space, or our bed space, where are we safe? ” Says 701 Whaley Artist-In-Residence, John Sims. Mr. Sims was racially profiled, accosted, and detained in his loft at the 701 Whaley artist-in-residency space on May 17th at 2:00am.
“As we reflect on the impact of the Emanuel Nine, current signs of the times dictate that we must take a closer look at the legal and social construct that justifies the dehumanization of Black lives in our state,” says Vince Matthews, Public Policy Director at the SC Progressive Network. “The unfortunate incident with John Sims highlights the depth of the constitutional inequity that maintains the carceral state of South Carolina.”
“We will continue to hold police accountable for the ongoing trauma that they cause in the black community. Artists and activists are going to rally to speak up the best way they know how, which is through their art and their voice. That was exactly what Mr. Sims was doing with his installation, Afrodixia: A Righteous Confiscation before he was assaulted,” says the National Action Network of Columbia President, Tiffany James.
The rally is a call to creatives, activists and artists to respond to Confederate State of Mind to speak out against social injustices, white supremacy and the police terrorism that many of us must endure. This rally is also an opportunity to exhibit creative resistance and righteous confiscation as a strategy for survival and transformation in the pursuit and demand for humanity, respect, and justice.