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‘Confronting Hate Together’ Exhibit Causes Seattle Museum to Close Due to Israel Bashing Backlash

Confronting Hate Together

Confronting Hate Together organizers (Wing Luke Museum)

Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum was forced to close its doors after almost 30 of its staffers walked off the job to protest an exhibit they claim is too pro-Israel. The “Confronting Hate Together” explores the experiences of racism, antisemitism, and anti-Asian prejudice faced by Black, Jewish, and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.

Unfortunately, the museum employees seem to think that any show of support or sympathy for Israel is tantamount to being anti-Arab. The strikers said the exhibit is, in effect, a statement in support of Zionism which they condemn in its entirety. Interestingly, at this time any mention of the “Confronting Hate Together” exhibit has been removed from the Wing Luke Museum’s website. However, the digital exhibit can be accessed from other websites.

In their statement on why they chose to go on strike, the museum employees made no attempt to hide their ant-Israel sentiments.

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“Missing perspectives include those of Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslim communities who are also experiencing an increased amount of violence, scapegoating, and demonization as Zionist forces continue the genocide in Palestine,” they stated.

The strikers demanded that the museum remove any language from the exhibit they say “attempt[s] to frame Palestinian liberation and anti-Zionism as antisemitism.”

They have even opened a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to cover their lost wages during the strike.

We are prepared to risk our financial well-being for the sake of our cause — holding the Wing Luke Museum to its mission in being a place-based, community-centered storytelling institution that highlights voices from marginalized communities.

The Wing Luke Museum issued a statement on Facebook that seemed to express support for the strikers saying, “As an organization rooted in dialogue, we acknowledge and support the right of our staff to express their beliefs and personal truths and to this end, we are holding space for a careful and thoughtful process of listening with intent to hear multiple perspectives in pursuit of a mutual way forward,”

Steve McLean, director of communications for the museum, told The Seattle Times that it has been “working with our staff to address their calls to action” and that the “museum acted very quickly to engage the partner in question to revise some of the language.”

“Certainly adding voices that may even stand in contrast to some of the voices used in this exhibit, that would be something we are interested in pursuing,” McLean added. “McLean said that, “Certainly adding voices that may even stand in contrast to some of the voices used in this exhibit, that would be something we are interested in pursuing.”

The Wing Luke Museum is an art and history museum in Seattle, Washington, United States, which focuses on the culture, art and history of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. It is located in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. Established in 1967, the museum is a Smithsonian Institution affiliate and the only pan-Asian Pacific American community-based museum in the United States.

From the Exhibit:

The Confronting Hate Together exhibit explores the experiences of racism, antisemitism, and anti-Asian prejudice faced by Black, Jewish, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities in our region.

This digital exhibit builds upon the powerful physical exhibit at the Wing Luke Museum, delving deeper into the historical timelines and ongoing struggles of these communities. We will examine how these groups have confronted discrimination, built coalitions, and fought for justice throughout the years.

By exploring these stories, we hope to educate ourselves about the history of hate and its impact on different communities, recognize the ongoing challenges these communities face, and celebrate the acts of resistance and resilience by these groups. We hope to empower ourselves and our communities to work together for a more just and equitable future.

This is just the beginning of the important work we are doing and we are looking forward to all the meaningful conversations that this exhibit will inspire.



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