Clueless in Seattle: Museum Workers Shut Down Anti-Bigotry Exhibit Because It Criticizes Antisemitism

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

It will never get old pointing out how progressives, who claim to oppose bigotry, only apply this principle when it is politically expedient. In the episode of “Hypocritical Lefties of Seattle,” workers at the Wing Luke Museum walked off the job on Wednesday in protest of its “Confronting Hate Together” exhibit.


The exhibit, which was unveiled on the same day, highlighted various types of bigotry, including antisemitism, which seemed to rankle the feathers of some members of staff.

The workers, who form about half of the staff at the Wing Luke Museum, stormed off the job Wednesday, the day the exhibit opened, forcing the site to close and vowing to remain on strike until their demands are met.

In a post on Instagram, the workers explained their actions, claiming they are “consistently honored to steward the stories of our community members, many of whom have experienced the destructive harm of white supremacy, genocide, and violence that parallels the experience of Palestinians today.”

The post also explained that the group’s “solidarity with Palestine should be reflected in our AA/NHPI institutions” and that the exhibit “sets a dangerous precedent of platforming colonial, white supremacist perspectives and goes against the Museum’s mission as a community-based museum advancing racial and social equity.”

And which part of the display had these people so worked up? It was a panel from the Jewish Historical Society that says “Today, antisemitism is often disguised as anti-Zionism.”


In the Instagram post, the “collective” urged readers to email the museum to “emphasize the significant negative impact that platforming Zionist ideology has on our communities, and the Wing Luke Museum’s credibility as a museum representing marginalized communities.” 

The post features an infographic with a series of demands. First, they want the museum to “remove any language in any WLM publication and question any partnerships that attempt to frame Palestinian liberation and anti-Zionism as antisemitism.”

It also demands that the museum “acknowledge the limited perspective presented in this exhibition,” which could 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.”

The group also urges the museum to “Center voices and perspectives that align with the museum’s mission & values by platforming community stories within an anti-colonial, anti-white supremacist framework.”


What is interesting about the workers’ argument is that the display didn’t even say all criticism of Zionism constitutes anti-Jewish bigotry. Indeed, it is clear that many who trot out the “we don’t hate Jews, we hate Zionism” trope actually do hate Jews and Zionism. There should be nothing wrong with acknowledging that.

Yet, these same people will claim those who want to enforce immigration laws are all bigots who hate foreigners. It is the type of hypocrisy that we have come to expect from the crowd that pretends to fight bigotry.

What is even more sad is that there is a very real chance that the museum’s leadership will bow down and grant the demands of these crybullies, being that it is located in Seattle. But, I hope to be wrong about this.


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