October 9, 2018
Given what transpired in the last few weeks’ circus Supreme Court ruling to name Brett M. Kavanaugh a supreme court justice, most people living in the United States are in a uproar over the judge’s ruling. Some, like Marion Stanford, have decided to protest the controversial decision by the U.S. Senate amid the sexual allegations brought forth by Christine Blasey Ford and other women. Unlike most protesters, whom continue to vocally challenge the ruling, Stanford decided to voice her displeasure in a unique manner: she grabbed a piece of wooden paneling, paint, and created a work of protest art that almost landed her in jail.
Stanford listened to Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony against Kavanaugh. However, it was Kavanaugh’s own denial and defense of himself that inspired Stanford’s artwork: the Republican Party’s symbol—an elephant—covered in red, white and blue, whose trunk finds its way up a woman’s skirt. The blond woman in pigtails screams “Help!” Right next to the image is the message: “YOUR VOTE MATTERS.” Stanford posted the sign in her front lawn.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Stanford stated, “The message is if you recognize this, if you understand this pain, if you are part of this movement, your vote matters.”
Stanford is doing her best to bring national attention to the Kavanaugh appointment and Republican hypocrisy. Kavanaugh is a conservative political hack whom many believe will roll back progressive legislation such as Roe V. Wade, a Supreme Court ruling noting that women have the right to terminate their pregnancy.
Republicans hold non-Republicans to double-standards: everyone is to be pious, virtuous, and abide by the law, yet Republicans cut one another slack and from-to-time break the law and moral codes while their buddies look the other way.
For example, President Trump referred to Omarosa Manigault Newman, a Black woman and former White House aide, as a “dog” and “lowlife.” In the recording heard around the world, Trump told Billy Bush, “Grab them by the pussy.”
Unfortunately for Stanford not everyone agrees with her political statement. Some of her neighbors have likened her artwork to child pornography and others have noted it as “disgusting.” The police received numerous calls and gave Stanford an ultimatum: remove the sign or go to jail. Stanford obliged by removing the sign.
As noted by some social media users, the sign drew inspiration from an editorial cartoon by Ann Telnaes. Cartoonist Telnaes published the cartoon last year after sexual allegations were revealed of then-senate candidate Roy Moore.
Stanford’s political protest aims to remove Ted Cruz from office. Next to the alleged “controversial” sign, Stanford had campaign signs of Democrats including Beto O’Rourke, the candidate opposing Ted Cruz in the Senate race. Stanford’s state of Texas is known for voting conservative and the debacle involving the sign speaks to the conservative views shared by the political machine in Texas.
Below are some reactions from social media: