Deitch’s Censorship Is Disrespectful to Veterans, Not Blu’s Mural

12.23.10 Bucky Turco

The fallout from Jeffrey Deich’s censorship of Blu’s mural still hasn’t settled and Brave New Films’ Robert Greenwald best explains why the MoCA director’s decision to buff the wall is more dishonorable to vets than the anti-war artwork.

Quick refresher. Here’s what Deitch offered as his weak defense for having the piece removed:

This is 100% about my effort to be a good, responsible, respectful neighbor in this historic community. Out of respect for someone who is suffering from lung cancer, you don’t sit in front of them and start chain smoking.

Greenwald notes the absurdity and counters with this:

This is a strange metaphor because it implies that the dissent conveyed through art is killing people, rather than the war. It implies that a strong public statement of the opposition to wars for profit hurts veterans. But, if Deitch stopped and thought about it, he’d realize that the mural wasn’t a cigarette smoked in the face of the lung cancer victim, but rather the surgeon general’s warning on the side of cigarette pack.

Much of the anti-war movement is led by veterans, who’ve seen firsthand that these wars aren’t making us safer and aren’t worth the cost. If Deitch talked to more veterans rather than making blanket assumptions about their viewpoints, he might be surprised to find that many, many veterans stridently oppose the wars being fought by the U.S. at present.

Also, the National Coalition Against Censorship called it censorship while the Wooster Collective has yet to take a stance despite making this promise to its readers last week:

A lot of people have asked us about our thoughts regarding Jeffrey Deitch removing Blu’s “Coffins and Dollar Bills” mural from the MOCA fascade. It’s been a crazy week, so we made some comments on Twitter. We hope to have something up on the site this weekend about it.

Despite several updates to the site since, there’s still nothing on MoCa, although, he did announce that Wooster will be incorporating Kickstarter into their stealthy marketing campaigns. UPDATE: Wooster issues the safest statement of support for Jeffrey Deitch ever conceived.