A black student at Sacramento State University staged a fake lynching of two white people as part of an art project exploring racism.
Earlier this month, students at the public university campus saw two white people hanging from a tree with nooses around their necks. They were actors who had been hired by Christina Edwards, an artist and senior at the college.
“The purpose of this performance was to bring to light social injustices and the issue of inequality that impacts me and my community as a whole,” said Edwards, who is black, in a statement to local news.
The fake lynching was intended as a provocative reminder of the racist conditions that black Americans dealt with prior to the codification of civil rights in the 1960s. By using white actors, Edwards meant to put a new twist on a painful memory.
But many on campus were offended by the project. Others who approved of it suggested that at a minimum, Edwards should have hosted the project inside a display at an art gallery.
University administrators told The Daily Caller that they were not happy.
“The University did not approve the display, and I want to assure everyone that I am working to address the multiple issues raised by this incident,” said University President Alexander Gonzalez in a statement.
Gonzalez has asked other administrators to review the art project and determine whether any campus rules were broken before he takes further action.
“I think that as members of a very diverse University community, it is our responsibility to always be mindful and respectful of cultural sensitivity in our pursuits and activities,” he said. “I invite all of you to be part of the constructive dialogue moving forward.”