Catholic University of America hangs paintings of George Floyd as Jesus Christ, students object

Some students are dismayed by the paintings
The Catholic University of America

November 23, 2021 10:51am

Updated: December 24, 2021 2:37pm

Two new pieces of art are on display at the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C., that depict George Floyd as Jesus Christ laying in the arms of the Virgin Mary, is sparking criticism from at least some students.

The paintings (pictured below) bare resemblance to many similar depictions of Jesus with Mary after being taken down from the cross.

The works were created by Kelly Latimore and a note hanging below the painting reads, "Following the violent death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, Latimore created this Icon in June of that year. Thee image is evocative of the Pieta – The Mother of Sorrows. May Mary, the Mirror of Justice hear the cry of all who have known the sorrow of losing a loved one to violence and injustice. Amen."

The paintings, which according to a Daily Signal report, hang in the university's law school and its campus ministry office.

"The icon has no place at The Catholic University of America," an unidentified junior said. "It is blasphemous and an offense to the Catholic faith, but it is not surprising at all that it was put there."

University officials and the artist say the image is meant to be of Jesus and Floyd. Officially titled "Mama," a word repeatedly uttered by Floyd as he lay on the ground with a police officer's knee on his neck before he died, the painting was reportedly commissioned as "a way to mourn George Floyd."

"I think it goes without saying that George Floyd didn’t deserve to die, and I sincerely appreciate the efforts of millions of Catholic Americans, who engaged in good-faith advocacy to advance policies that will prevent the use of excessive force by law enforcement," Blayne Clegg, a student and former president to the school's College Republicans group, told The Daily Signal. 

But Clegg also said, "George Floyd is not Jesus Christ."