LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The University of Southern California has installed a mural on campus that some students say is offensive and racist.
The mural, which reads “DISMANTLE WHITENESS AND MISOGYNY ON THIS CAMPUS”, was commissioned by the USC Annenberg Institute for Diversity and Empowerment and put up on March 22 by art collective When Women Disrupt, according to the Daily Trojan.
While Annenberg Institute for Diversity and Empowerment faculty co-director Alison Trope had initially hoped for the piece to be installed along Watt Way, one of the most visited areas on campus, approval was denied and it ended up at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the Trojan reported.
Trope tweeted a photo of the work shortly after it was installed.
According to the When Women Disrupt website – which features work by artists Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Jessica Sabogal and Melinda James with messages such as “I Will Not Mourn The Decline Of Whiteness In My America” and “Our Nation Will Not Be Defined By Whiteness” – the group seeks to “travel from one city to the next, in republican areas, to force a new dialogue.”
“Using public art as our tool, we will disrupt white supremacy and the oppressive rhetoric that has been fueled by our current political climate”, a statement on the site reads.
“We understand that there may be those who disagree with the statement offered by the artists,” reads a statement released by USC Friday. “However, we firmly believe that the civil discourse and the free exchange of ideas around sensitive topics are critical to the resolution of differences and to addressing issues facing our community and society as a whole.”
Some took to social media to express their outrage over the mural.
It’s not clear how the long the installation is expected to remain displayed on campus.