The mystery of the missing Banksy

Here is some graffiti by the famous British graffiti artist Banksy.
It appeared in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, one week before a parliamentary By-election in which the UK Independence Party was expected to do well. (It did do well, gaining its first ever MP.)

Here is what happened. After receiving some complaints from the public that the mural was "offensive and racist," the council had it destroyed.

That may have been a financial mistake—Banksy paintings are worth a fortune. Be that as it may, the mystery is this:
How could anyone find the artwork offensive for being racist when it is so OBVIOUSLY a critique of people with racist attitudes?!
What happened?

I have no idea.

Perhaps some people genuinely did not understand the point of the picture and got precisely the wrong end of the stick. Perhaps they complained. I can imagine that.

But in that case, you'd imagine that the Council would simply explain the point. Then the offended anti-racists would appreciate that the artist was actually playing on the same team as them. All would be well. Why did that not happen? I have no idea.

Perhaps the council themselves did not understand the point of the artwork.
Hmmmm .... Nope. I find that impossible to believe.

How about this one? Perhaps people with strong anti-immigration attitudes saw the artwork, understood it perfectly, and found it offensive. (Maybe they took offense at the implication that wanting stronger immigration policy is necessarily racist, or maybe they were racists and did not like being mocked.) Perhaps, they reasoned that if they explained the real reason for their taking offense the council would not take them seriously. Thus, in order to get it removed, they pretended to find it offensive on the grounds of its being racist.

I have no idea. It would be interesting to know one day.


kerry said…
Mirrors are often found offensive.
I think your suggestion is right about it being down to mischevious anti-immigration people complaining on the pretence it was racist.

It reminds me of when that journalist pointed out to Godfrey Bloom at last year's UKIP conference the lack of black faces in their conference brochure, Bloom accused the journalist of being 'racist.'
T. N. said…
... and the "passion" play somewhere in England that was refused consent because someone didn't understand the religious meaning of the word ...
Robin Parry said…
Yes, in Oxford as I recall. It was simply nuts!

Popular Posts