An antisemitic street mural painted by Mear One in 2012 has been shared to the ‘Alaskans for Children’s Right to Breathe’ Facebook group; Alaska State Senator Lora Reinbold then shared the post to her own personal Facebook page.
‘Alaskans for Children’s Right to Breathe’ is a Facebook group soliciting political donations that would be used to file a lawsuit against the Anchorage School District over its universal mask policy. Many members of the group hail from other Facebook groups with members known to have made anti-Semitic comments — such as Save Anchorage.
The mural entitled “Freedom for Humanity” depicts suited men seated around a table, under an Eye of Providence, playing a Monopoly-like board game that rested on the backs of bent over naked figures, with a background of industry and protest.
The mural caused a furor when it was unveiled — being seen as antisemitic, and reflective of a stereotypical depiction of Jews with references to finance and the monetary and Masonic associations of the Eye of Providence.
In October 2012, religious and political leaders in London’s East End condemned the appearance of the street mural as “antisemitic.” Peter Golds, the Tory group leader at the time, said he was “horrified” at the mural and that the mural bore a similarity “to antisemitic propaganda in pre-war Germany.” Golds said in addition to the anti-Jewish overtones, “there is even the quasi Masonic and dollar bill aspect to encourage conspiracy theory.”
The mural appeared over Yom Kippur and the Jewish New Year, giving it added menace. Gold said the Mural and the timing of its appearance was “absolutely appalling” and called for the prosecution of the painter under ‘race hate’ legislation after receiving a flood of complaints from the public.
In 2018, writing for The Guardian — Michael Segalov said that there was more than a visual connection in the mural to antisemitism — that the messaging of the mural was full-blown Nazi too and that —
“In other contexts, Illuminati conspiracies are light-hearted and funny: it’s not antisemitic to joke that Kanye West and Taylor Swift are part of a secret, triangle-based plot to conquer the world. But the employment of an Eye of Providence symbol (often associated with the Illuminati and Freemasonry) in the offending mural is clearly antisemitic. Racist conspiracy theorists also long claimed that Jews are in control of the Freemason network – think the Rothschilds and George Soros. That is antisemitism too.”
The street mural was removed in 2012 because of numerous complaints made to a local council about its antisemitic content. The street mural exists only in digital format.
Earlier this year, Eagle River Assembly Person Allard came under fire for defending Nazi terminology that was seen on an Alaska vanity license plate. Allard’s comments made international headlines. Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy removed Allard from the Alaska Human Rights Commission in response to the outrage generated by Allard’s comments.
As administrator of ‘Alaskans for Children’s Right to Breathe,’ Allard has the ability to remove the graphic, which has generated controversy over the past several years. However, it’s not clear that the defender of Nazi terminology will do so. Since the mural was destroyed, one would think that it should likewise be removed from the Facebook group.
On August 15, another administrator of the group, Elizabeth Welsh, wrote that posts made to the group would be “limited” to “personal experience or questions” pertaining to the Anchorage School District lawsuit as well as “updates on fundraising and action.”
As is often the case in Facebook groups with only a few administrators and moderators, clearly, that has not happened.
The offensive mural shared to ‘Alaskans for Children’s Right to Breathe’ generated over 100 Facebook likes and a comment calling the mural “powerful.”