Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum closes after staff walks off job to protest pro-Israel tone in new ‘confronting hate’ exhibit

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Wing Luke Museum in Seattle

It will be several days or even weeks before the Wing Luke Museum can reopen, after 26 staff member walked off the job on Wednesday, protesting an exhibit because it was too pro-Israel and anti-Hamas for their taste. The exhibit, “Confronting Hate Together,” promotes the concept that anti-Zionism is the same as antisemitism, according to the group’s post on Instagram.

“A collective of Wing Luke Museum workers participated in a walkout on Wednesday, May 22, and have been withholding labor in protest of Zionist language in the new exhibit ‘Confronting Hate Together,'” the walk-out workers wrote.

“We love the Wing Luke Museum and 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. Our solidarity with Palestine should be reflected in our AA/NHPI institutions. It 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,” the group wrote, inviting people to send emails to the museum’s executives to “show support for our cause, 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 group wrote.

The group’s Instagram account is called “wlm4palestine,” an indication that it is opposed to the security of Israel and is instead supportive of the Hamas terrorists who attacked Israel on Oct. 7 in the worst attack on Jewish people since the Holocaust.

The Nazi Holocaust ended the lives of millions of Jews in Europe and led to the international decision to allow the creation of a Jewish state where all Jews could feel safe. Today, anti-Israel sentiments have arisen among those who don’t believe the nation has a right to defend itself against terrorists.

Since half of the museum staff has walked out and said they won’t return until their demands are met, it is unclear when the public will be able to see the exhibit and judge for themselves if it is too pro-Israel.

WLM4Palestine demands.

“Staff saw the panel with Zionist language during the May 14 media preview for the exhibit … Despite making a revision after learning of staff’s concerns, the edits made still conveyed Zionist perspectives. On May 19, 26 staff members signed a letter to Executive leadership asking for the removal at the text panel as well as other demands,” the group wrote.

“What is happening in Palestine directly reflects violent colonization and imperialism that has and continues to impact Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA/NHPI) diaspora for generations. Our Museum’s exhibits, education, and programs have brought together communities, shared hard histories and conversations, and helped create joy and light among
the darkness of what AA/NHPI diaspora often feel and experience. Zionism has no place in our communities and being anti-Zionist goes hand in hand with our own liberation as AA/NHPI. Our solidarity with Palestine should be reflected in our AA/NHPI institutions,” the employees said.

“White supremacy, colonialism, and imperialism are wide, interconnected systems of power that each ot us‘ either uphold or actively work to dismant|e. Every day we aim for the work we do at the Museum to be a space to provide tools, conversations, and inspiration in fostering connected learning in our collective struggles and solidarity with AA/NHPI and beyond, and our mission in doing so shouldn’t stop with just our immediate communities.”

The group was especially offended by a portion of the exhibit provided by the Jewish Historical Society, which states, “Today, antisemitism is often disguised as anti-Zionism.” One photo shows the Mercer Island synagogue spray painted with the words, “Stop the killing.”

The Wing Luke 26 have four demands: Remove language that frames Palestinian liberation and anti-Zionism as antisemitism, have a “community review” before the exhibit goes live, confess the sin of having a limited perspective presented in the exhibit (not enough Palestinian, Arab, or Muslim perspectives, and put in the center of the exhibit “voices that align with the museum’s mission & values.”

The museum posted a note on its website that said it hoped to open soon:

“The Wing Luke Museum is and will continue to be committed to addressing challenging issues in our work. We expected Confronting Hate Together, an exhibit that explores anti-Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander hate, Black hate and anti-Jewish hate, to be a learning opportunity that invites us to seek out and understand others’ perspectives. As an organization rooted in dialogue, we acknowledge and support the right of our staff to express their beliefs and personal truths and to this end, we are holding space for a careful and thoughtful process of listening with intent to hear multiple perspectives in pursuit of a mutual way forward,” the museum wrote.

“After closing the Museum this week to listen and earnestly engage in dialog with our staff, the Museum looks forward to opening our doors at a future date so that we can continue serving our community in other needed capacities during this time. Please look for updates from us,” the note from the museum continued.

“We welcome the public to come and engage with the exhibit for themselves, when we do open, and we will offer free admission for the community to experience this powerful exhibition. We look forward to continuing to serve our mission to advance racial and social equity together with our staff and welcome them to join us as the dialogue around this important exhibit continues,” the management of the museum wrote, an indication that it may concede to the demands of the Wing Luke 26.

The Wing Luke Museum is an art and history museum founded in 1967, which focuses on the culture, art and history of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Located in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, it is Smithsonian Institution affiliate and the only pan-Asian Pacific American community-based museum in the United States.

The exhibit was to run through June 30.

22 COMMENTS

  1. The left doesn’t want to “confront” hate. They want to create and export it.

    If it were almost anywhere but Seattle, the whole staff might be fired. In Seattle, they’ll probably get raises.

  2. The group was especially offended by having their farce/rationalization exposed.

    I wonder if they would have objected to a crematorium? Seems their speed.

  3. So sad to see so many people jumping on the antisemitism bandwagon 🇮🇱🇺🇸🇮🇱🇺🇸

  4. The irony is thick. Just a few years ago, it was a universal theme to avoid looking anything like Hitler for moral AND social reasons. In fact, “Hitler!” became the accusation du jour from the Left towards anyone they didn’t like, especially conservative politicians.
    Given that the Left was hard-pressed to name a single Jew killing/oppressing Hitleresque support or action, the accusation only revealed the Left’s need to appear to take the higher ground while foolishly using ad hominem arguments. Hitler would scratch his head, wondering how his name applied so often to folks who hardly mentioned Jews, let alone in a derogatory sense.
    And here is the irony: The Left is once again fleshing out what they accuse the right of doing. Hitler would rightly be proud, and the Left cannot even see it while they declare they take the higher ground.

  5. While many Jews are Zionists, many – perhaps the majority in the World – are not. A museum, nowadays, should know the difference!

    • The exhibit at the museum is titled “Confronting Hate Together” being for Zionism or being against Zionism shouldn’t have anything to do with hate. Unfortunately some people who espouse hatred against Jews have simply devolved to the level where they cannot even accept the premise that hatred against Jews is antisemitism, or even hatred…instead they actively cheer it and pretend it does not exist, even going so far as to claim that most Jews do not believe in Zionism.

    • The hate is aimed at all Jews, regardless of the individual Jew’s political beliefs. A distinction without a difference.

  6. I’ve never been to the Wing Luke Museum and, I never will.
    If I didn’t have to fly thru SEA, that would be fine with me too.
    As well documented, many of the once fine cities are now ruined.
    Ruined with ultra progressive … liberalism – socialism – marxism.
    The cities are in a perpetual “DOOM-LOOP” destined for rock bottom.
    Unfortunately, Anchorage is heading that same direction too.

  7. If you google Wing Luke Museum a email address comes up and you can send them your support of not giving in to the bullying from these employees to only display their propaganda. Truth and history gets erased. History is there for we learn from horrid happenings and learn that they must never be allowed to happen again.

  8. —-The exhibit, “Confronting Hate Together,” promotes the concept that anti-Zionism is the same as antisemitism, according to the group’s post on Instagram.

    antisemitism:

    I doubt one could find a handful of people who know what Semitism is. A majority could likely tell us what we are supposed to believe it is, the political definition we are supposed to give it.

  9. It’s Seattle, the best thing any museum can do in Seattle is shut down, send its historical documents and art pieces to red states where thinking people can appreciate the time, effort and talents of the persons that created them.
    If Seattle needs a museum they should cut to the chase, put up statues and pictures of Marx, Lenin, Hilter, Pol Pot, Francisco Franco, Osama Bin Laden and require all Seattle citizens to have a picture of Kim Jon Un in the homes and on their phones.
    Everything beautiful that was Seattle disappeared when the slugs from California slithered their way up the coast destroying pretty much every west coast city,Portland, Seattle and soon Anchorage.

  10. So the Wing Luke Museum is an amazing place – for those of you who are not local. Their admin worked together with our local Jewish leadership to create this exhibit. and they’re the ones who stand by the exhibit. they haven’t caved. they are being hijacked by the staff. we need to support them. here’s a petition i found to show they have the people’s support to re-open. there are people even considering volunteering to replace the staff that walked out!
    ‘https://www.change.org/p/re-open-wing-luke-museum-confronting-hate-together

  11. The world is incurably sick and evil. Calling evil good and good evil, as it says in the Bible. To me, it’s incomprehensible.

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