Showing his support for the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, Banksy, the mysterious, U.K.-based street artist, took to Instagram on Saturday sharing a pertinent new painting.
Calling to a “faulty system” in which people of colour are being “failed,” Banksy’s latest art piece depicts a memorial site, where a framed photograph of a black, silhouetted figure sits beside some flowers and candles under the U.S. flag.
The painting shows that the largest candle — the only one still lit — has set the American flag alight.
While the anonymous artist typically remains silent upon sharing his art, he shared an accompanying statement expressing his belief that racial injustice is a “white problem” and that it’s the job of white people to “fix it.”
“At first I thought I should just shut up and listen to Black people about this issue. But why would I do that? It’s not their problem. It’s mine,” Banksy wrote in the final picture of the Instagram post.
The artist continued: “People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system. Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs.”
“The faulty system is making their life a misery,” he added. “But it’s not their job to fix it. They can’t, no one will let them in the apartment upstairs.”
Banksy concluded: “This is a white problem. And if white people don’t fix it, someone will have to come upstairs and kick the door in.”
Since Floyd’s death on May 25, anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests have been triggered not only in the U.S., but all across the globe.
Floyd, a Black man, was killed after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nine minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis. He was 46.
In response to Banksy’s call for white people to take action, Avengers and Spotlight star Mark Ruffalo took to the Instagram comment section in agreeance.
“Yep. It’s our problem,” wrote the 52-year-old, white actor. “We are the ones who hold the privilege and power.”
“Time to have the difficult conversation,” he concluded.
As of this writing, Banksy’s untitled piece has received more than 2.45 million likes on Instagram.
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