ADC Statement on El Museo del Barrio’s Removal of Artwork Featuring the Palestinian Flag

Washington, D.C. | October 26, 2023 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is profoundly disturbed by the recent decision made by El Museo del Barrio to remove an artwork displaying the Palestinian flag from its exhibition. This move not only curtails freedom of expression but also underscores a troubling trend in the U.S. where voices advocating for Palestinian rights face increasing censorship.

The wave of attempts to stifle such voices is not isolated to the museum’s halls. We’ve witnessed students facing rescinded job offers, event cancellations, public talks about books being terminated, and editors being removed from their posts over simple tweets. Recent calls to dismantle campus chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine further magnify this alarming trend.

Drawing parallels to the McCarthy era’s restrictive practices, we see this as a crucial moment for our nation to introspect and uphold the democratic values we have championed for centuries. The museum, a respected institution known for its commitment to cultural diversity and artistic freedom, should reconsider its stance. 

To El Museo del Barrio and similar institutions: The art world should be a beacon of free expression, illuminating diverse perspectives even in turbulent times. To those pressured into silencing these voices, our message is clear: Our commitment to freedom of speech and advocacy for Palestinian rights will not be shaken.

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