Images of Racial Reckoning in America

"The Back the Blue flag that has become highly visible this year has its origins in the white resistance to the 2014-16 Black Lives Matter movement and the slogan that resistance generated: “Blue Lives Matter.” It reproduces the US flag in black and white with one blue line across it. For its designer Andrew Jacob, the black space below the blue represents “criminals.” That is to say, it spatializes in visual form the “color line” between Black and white that W. E. B. Du Bois identified as the great American “problem” and claims that “blue” is what prevents chaos. Above the line is now the white-to-blue space. As a segregationist emblem, Back the Blue has become the flag of the imaginary neo-Confederacy, a gated community with aspirations to become a nation." Nick Mirzoeff

Cara Finnegan & Michael Shaw, Chatting the Pictures: Trump Mt. Rushmore; Gun Waving St. Louis Couple; Racist Protest Self Portrait, Reading the Pictures, July 12, 2022
Alena M. Buis, January 6, 2021, Jan. 7, 2021
Cara Finnegan, Capital Riot a Symbolic Participant in Trump White Supremacist Riot, Reading the Pictures, Jan. 10, 2021
Nick Mirzoeff, Watching Whiteness Shift to Blue Via National Aesthetics, HyperAllergic, Nov. 30, 2020
banner image: Sable Elyse Smith, “Landscape V” (2020) (image courtesy MoMA PS1; photo by Kris Graves)