Gainesville State College: President Censors Faculty Art Critical of Confederate Heritage

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Gainesville State College

Gainesville State College (GSC) unconstitutionally censored a painting critical of Confederate heritage by removing it from a faculty art exhibition. Art instructor and artist Stanley Bermudez’ painting “Heritage?” features images of a lynching and of a torch-wielding member of the Ku Klux Klan superimposed onto a Confederate flag. Two weeks into the exhibition, when critics of the painting contacted GSC President Martha T. Nesbitt, she removed it, claiming that “I have to consider the impact of an action on the health and reputation of the institution. In this instance, I made a judgment call that the negative results would outweigh the positive ones.” FIRE has asked President Nesbitt to announce to GSC’s students and faculty that their protected expression will never again be subject to censorship.