Maitland, FL – A Holocaust museum in Florida opened an exhibit about the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in police custody that has sparked controversy internationally.
The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center in Maitland recently opened the exhibit titled “Uprooting Prejudice: Faces of Change” that features 45 pictures taken by Minneapolis photographer John Noltner of people reacting to the death of Floyd in the first days after it happened, the Washington Examiner reported.
Noltner explained to WKMG that he lives not far from where Floyd was killed as he was being arrested by police on May 25.
“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 photographer said.
“There was clearly pain and frustration and mourning happening, but it was a space that was open to anybody who wanted to show up and understand what was going on,” was how he described what he found in the space where Floyd died.
Lisa Bachman, assistant director of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center, said the exhibit had a “universal message,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“You don’t just see this exhibit. You feel it,” Bachman said in a press release. “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.”
One of the photographs and quotes featured in the exhibit is that of Michael Brown Sr., whose son’s death in Ferguson, Missouri after he attacked a police officer and was shot is credited with sparking the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We have produced this so that people can 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,” Bachman said.
Floyd’s death sparked riots across the United States that left some major cities in ruins after many nights of rioting and looting, the Washington Examiner reported.
The officers involved in Floyd’s arrest have been arrested and charged with murder or aiding and abetting murder.
“The world is complex,” Noltner explained his exhibit in a promotional video. “Historical wounds are deep. In all the heated rhetoric of the day, we forget to listen. I hope that through these stories and these faces, you can understand the events of our day in a new way.”
“I hope you can challenge some of your own preconceptions and I hope you can see the humanity of each and every person,” the photographer said. “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.”
But the exhibit has not been well received by many who felt the comparison between Floyd and the victims of the Holocaust was grossly inaccurate and sparked outrage internationally, Summit News reported.
“George Floyd is added to a Holocaust museum? That trivializes and distorts the Holocaust and its six million Jewish victims. And it grotesquely implies that American police are Nazis,” Canadian journalist Ezra Levant tweeted.
Unbelievable: the Holocaust Museum in Maitland, Florida has added a George Floyd section
To align Floyd’s tragic death with the massacre of 6million Jews is hugely insensitive
But it’s also political: it positions police as Nazis. Awful decision
— Martin Daubney (@MartinDaubney) November 22, 2020
“Unbelievable: the Holocaust Museum in Maitland, Florida has added a George Floyd section,” British journalist Martin Daubney tweeted. “To align Floyd’s tragic death with the massacre of 6million Jews is hugely insensitive But it’s also political: it positions police as Nazis. Awful decision.”
“Offensive,” @LetSleeping tweeted. “Comparing a ‘hooping’ ex-con resisting arrest to the deliberate murder in millions of innocent people due simply because of their religion? Ironically, maybe the most egregious example of cultural expropriation would be from the Left.”