A Virginia public school district has given a student art award to a drawing portraying a hook-nosed Jewish person carrying a money bag and entitled “Jewish People.” The drawing was made as part of a student art class and won an award from Fairfax County Schools. It was on display at the Northern Virginia Community College’s Ernst Community Cultural Center, and celebrated at an awards ceremony.
The drawing portrays a hooked-nose man holding a money bag. The caption reads, “No Jew in the World Understands the Importance of Money.”
When a school official was confronted by a concerned member of the local Jewish community, the official responded by blaming President Trump. The school’s response said:
This work is not being displayed “ by me”. It was entered by the 17 yr old student and selected by a panel of judges consisting of professional artists, designers and curators. My student is using her freedom of artistic expression to respond to a president who calls Mexicans “rapists” African countries “ Shit Hole Countries” and White Supremacists, “Very Fine People”. She chose to create a portfolio of eight works which are ANTI stereotype. She focuses on Blacks, Whites, Italians, Pakistanis, Jews, Irish etc. Her intent is to point out implicit bias that exists and raises it to the surface in the form of racial ironies. She is pointing out how racism and ugliness is now NORMALIZED by our current president who intends to divide our nation for his own personal gain. Instead of jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst, take a breath. Instead of vilifying me and a 17 year old student, look at your president who is in “your own back yard.
The artist is a 12th-grade student at South County High School in Lorton, Virginia. The display shows that Fairfax County schools bestowed an award on the drawing.
“There is no place in Fairfax County schools for this type of anti-Semitic drawing,” said Michael Ginsberg, a member of the Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition. “Worse, the teacher involved allowed her obvious dislike of President Trump to justify anti-Semitic imagery. Artistic expression is one thing, but justifying inappropriate, anti-Semitic speech by blaming someone else is not a lesson Fairfax County schools should be teaching their students.”