KTTH OPINION

Rantz: City of Tacoma art project will purposefully include racist quote

May 1, 2023, 8:30 AM | Updated: 9:40 am

Tacoma racist...

Spaceworks is a left-wing art initiative between the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber. It was hired to engage community members to create a streetscape around the Hilltop neighborhood around the Tacoma Link extension. (City of Tacoma/Spaceworks project)

(City of Tacoma/Spaceworks project)

The City of Tacoma is knowingly funding an art project featuring what’s described as a racist and divisive quote. The $12 million project is funded via a combination of state and local taxes.

Spaceworks is a left-wing art initiative between the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber. It was hired to engage community members to create a streetscape around the Hilltop neighborhood around the Tacoma Link extension. 

After speaking with nearly 400 locals “through deep, authentic, and unexpected creative interventions,” Spaceworks settled on a streetscape design incorporating a pan-African color palette and granite stone panels with inspirational quotes the organization proposed to the community.

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‘Racist’ quote will be featured in Tacoma art project

Most of the quotes selected are inoffensive. They include messages from Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Ossie Davis. 

But one of the selected quotes caught the attention of a Tacoma-based contractor who was reviewing the project, which is accepting Requests for Proposals. It comes from race-obsessed writer Mychal Denzel Smith. The contractor calls the quote “very racist towards whites.”

It reads: “The only limitations placed on blackness are those imposed by the white imagination.”

The contractor notes that this quote “continues the hate and blame in this country” against white people. She also said that, based on the content of the quote, the company she works for “decided not to bid this project as we don’t agree with the imposed racist themes of this project.”

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What’s the point of that quote?

The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH asked a City of Tacoma spokesperson about the appropriateness of the racist quote. It’s set to be displayed on the art project, as currently designed.

The spokesperson did not comment directly, explaining that it was the community-led process that made the selection. She also did not explain if there were standards or guidelines the project would have to abide by. It seems clear that the city is giving its tacit endorsement of the quote. So what’s the point of it? More racial division — all in the name of equity.

“White imagination,” whatever that is, holds no bearing on limitations a black person may put on himself or herself. Progressive activists like to pretend that a white supremacist culture holds the black community back. But it’s the progressive’s worldview trying to hold the black community back.

When you constantly tell a community — any community — that they’re always the victim, be it racism, sexism, homophobia, or anti-Semitism, they will view every obstacle or failure through that lens. Didn’t get a job? It’s because you’re black. Didn’t get that promotion? It’s because you’re a woman.

This quote isn’t meant to inspire black people to overcome some made-up white limitations on blackness. It’s meant to create even more unnecessary acrimony between whites and blacks. The City of Tacoma should strive to do better.

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Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: City of Tacoma art project will purposefully include racist quote