To help pay his legal fees, George Zimmerman sold one of his original paintings on eBay for over $100 thousand. To help fund the Trayvon Martin Foundation Michael D’Antuono also offered one of his originals on eBay. But eBay removed D’Antuono’s listing the same day Zimmerman’s painting sold.
An email from eBay to D. Antuono claims that his painting, which is clearly critical of the KKK and racial violence, was violating eBay’s policies against promoting hatred, violence or intolerance.
D’Antuono says it just doesn’t make sense that Zimmerman was allowed to use eBay to capitalize on his “ill-gotten notoriety,” while he was denied a chance to raise funds for the foundation honoring Zimmerman’s victim. He says he doesn’t see how eBay could mistake his anti-racist message as one that glorifies a hate group.
Artists who use their media and talents to protest hatred and violence should be supported, not stifled.
Tell eBay anti-racist artwork is NOT hate speech!
We, the undersigned, urge eBay to stop banning anti-racist art work.
While it’s good to have policies against allowing auction items that promote or glorify hatred, violence and intolerance are good, eBay should learn the difference between promoting and criticizing.
Without courageous, creative activists like China’s Ai Weiwei, for example, the world would be kept in the dark about a lot of injustices that continue in that country. The same is true for America, past and present. Without the documentaries in the 1960s and harsh images exposing Klan activities, this hate group would likely still be ruling the South today. We need to be reminded of these images, but reminding and exposing is not the same as promoting their actions
Furthermore, it appears a double-standard to allow Zimmerman to capitalize on his “ill-gotten notoriety,” as D’Antuono describes it, while this artist is punished for sending a message that attacks racism, hatred and violence.
We request that eBay stop jumping to conclusions based solely on the image and instead take time to get the message being presented. Anti-racist art work is NOT hate speech, and eBay should not be suppressing these kinds of messages.
Thanks for your time.