Main | Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Shepard Fairey On Rick Warren

Shepard Fairey, the creator of the Obama campaign's most iconic image also drew the cover of this week's TIME Magazine Person Of The Year issue. But Fairey has mixed feelings over the honor. From last Friday:
“Tomorrow my illustration for Time Magazine’s “Person of The Year” hits the newsstands. While I’m very honored to be validated by a periodical that is nothing short of an American institution, the moment is bittersweet because I’m very disappointed by Obama’s appointment of Rick Warren to deliver his invocation during Obama’s inaugural address. Rick Warren is against gay marriage and reproductive rights, and he does not believe in evolution (maybe he offers himself as proof of lack of evolution). I understand that Obama is trying to appeal to conservatives and evangelicals, but this move is symbolically a slap in the face to many people. Warren is not a uniter, but a divider… he is intolerant in many of his views.

"I still think Obama is the best choice for president, but I can’t condone Warren’s involvement in Obama’s inauguration, no matter how insignificant it is. While I’m on the subject of gay marriage, I will be donating a chunk of the proceeds from an inauguration poster of Obama I was asked to create to the movement to overturn Prop 8. At first I was considering pulling my inauguration poster, but I think re-directing funds from it to put into a cause I care about is actually more constructive. Plus, I wouldn’t want withdrawing the image to come across as a blanket boycott of Obama. I’m sure I will ultimately disagree with Obama about many things, but I think I will agree with him on more. I think it is important to speak one’s mind, but also to not let the narcissism of petty differences sabotage our unity and progress.”
I think our differences with Obama on Rick Warren are far, far more than "petty", but I'll agree with Fairey that we can probably expect to agree with Obama much less than we disagree. The question is, exactly how much will this particular disagreement impede the progress of the movement? Have we made the necessary noise and can now get back to the business of Obama's promises to us? I don't know. I think this pervasive sense of betrayal may linger.

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