Innocence is a simple yet stunning mandala painted on a wood panel using blues and silvers to capture a celestial feeling.
The meaning behind this design is as follows:
I wanted to capture the spirit of Elijah McClain. Elijah was a 23 year old black man murdered by the police in Aurora, Colorado August 2019. It makes me ill to see images of these police officers posing for pictures showing how they put him in a choke hold that killed him, while smiling and laughing.
I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around how easy it is for people who are here to "serve and protect" take such innocent life. It seems there is a problem in policing in this country.
There have been a few studies where between 24-40% of police officers commit domestic violence at home (compared to the general population of 10% of households experience domestic violence). It doesn't seem far fetched to me that there is a problem with the way we do policing in this country. It feels like it's time to reconsider how policing is done.
Not all police officers are bad, but there is definitely more than a few bad eggs within its institution. They are also expected to handle things they have no business handling and I'm sure they feel stretched to their limits. It also feels more and more it's become an us vs. them mentality. And that's going to destroy all of us.
I hope this helps shed light on a serious issue and that we must stop minimizing this problem because it will not go away until we address it head on. We have lost another sweet soul that could have made this world a better place.
Elijah's unconditional love for others and for life was pure innocence, and it has been squandered. Elijah was described by his family and friends as a special soul and couldn't hurt a fly. He would use his lunch breaks to play his violin to the cats at the animal shelter. I will leave you with his words he spoke as his life was being squeezed out of his body:
"I can’t breathe. I have my ID right here. My name is Elijah McClain. That’s my house. I was just going home. I’m an introvert. I’m just different. That’s all. I’m so sorry. I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t do any fighting. Why are you attacking me? I don’t even kill flies! I don’t eat meat! But I don’t judge people, I don’t judge people who do eat meat. Forgive me. All I was trying to do was become better. I will do it. I will do anything. Sacrifice my identity, I’ll do it. You all are phenomenal. You are beautiful and I love you. Try to forgive me. I’m a mood Gemini. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Ow, that really hurt. You are all very strong. Teamwork makes the dream work. Oh, I’m sorry I wasn’t trying to do that. I just can’t breathe correctly."