Kentucky Will Remove Mural That Offended Many

June 8, 2020

The University of Kentucky will removed a mural that has been the subject of years of debate from Memorial Hall, where it has on display for decades. The mural depicts Kentucky's history, including black people -- possibly slaves -- planting tobacco. The president, Eli Capilouto, cited the killing of George Floyd to explain his decision.

"I can’t adequately articulate the horror and disturbing nature of those images to me. I don’t have words to capture the mix of emotions -- of anger and sadness, disbelief and nagging recognition that we have been here before -- that have gnawed at me for days," he said. "For eight minutes and 46 seconds, on a street in an American city in 2020, George Floyd was suffocated to death -- a knee at his neck, gasps escaping from his mouth, as he pleaded for his life and for his mother."

He continued, "Our efforts and solutions with the mural, for many of our students, have been a roadblock to reconciliation, rather than a path toward healing. That’s not a criticism. It is a statement of fact and, I hope, understanding. We need to move forward. We have a lot of discussion that needs to take place on our campus. And those discussions cannot obviate the necessity of thoughtful, but decisive, action on a number of fronts."

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