VIDEO: Florida Holocaust Museum Unveils New George Floyd Exhibit

38

A Holocaust museum in Florida has opened up a photographical exhibit dedicated to  George Floyd, an alleged fraudster and convicted felon who died in police custody earlier this year, receiving criticism and derision online as a result.

The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center in Orlando, Florida, is housing the exhibit, entitled “Uprooting Prejudice: Faces of Change,” which features 45 photos of different individuals reacting to the death of George Floyd. Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody in May this year, with his death sparking riots, looting, and civil unrest across the country.

Lisa Bachman, the assistant director of the Holocaust Center, said the exhibit was designed so that people could come and “look these individuals in the eye”:

So you come face to face with people, so you can really experience the feelings that they were feeling. You don’t just see this exhibit. You feel it. The expressions and thoughts of each person photographed tells a story that has a very universal message. It is one that can heal and bring us together. It shows us we are not alone in our thinking.

The photographs, which include an image of the father of Michael Brown Jr, who was shot while running towards a police officer in 2014, were all taken by John Noltner. “I hope that through these stories and these faces, you can understand the events of our day in a new way,” Noltner said.

I hope you can challenge some of your own preconceptions and I hope you can see the humanity of each and every person. When I photograph a person – no matter who they are – I strive to leave a simple message: I see you. I hear you. And you matter. When George Floyd was killed that happened 11.6 miles north of my house and I knew with the piece of my mind’s goal being to hear voices that aren’t always heard as well as they should be. I knew that I wanted to go to that site.

The reaction to the exhibit online was not positive, with many arguing that it “waters down the message” of the museum, “trivializes” the Holocaust, and puts the American police system on the same footing as the Nazi regime.

National File reported in September about “The Free State of George Floyd,” an “autonomous zone” set up around the site of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, which included a memorial for Floyd, and directions for cyclists to “prioritise space for BIPOC community members and visitors.”