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Wing Luke Museum closes as staff walkout in protest of exhibit with Zionist language


Wing Luke Museum staff members walked out in protest of a new exhibit’s Zionist language on Wednesday, May 22, forcing the museum to close.

According to The Seattle Times, protesting staff members said in a social media post that the museum’s “Confronting Hate Together” exhibit “attempt[s] to frame Palestinian liberation and anti-Zionism as antisemitism.”

The Wing Luke Museum, located in Seattle, focuses on the culture, history and art of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In May, it announced that it was hosting “Confronting Hate Together,” an exhibit designed to examine racism, antisemitism, hate and bigotry in Washington state. It was created through a partnership between the Wing Luke Museum, the Black Heritage Society of Washington State and Washington State Jewish Historical Society.

Many staff members, however, were unhappy with how the exhibit appeared to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-semitism. The museum made a few revisions after staff members expressed concerns during a preview of the exhibit on May 14, My Northwest reports. However, staff members said the “edits made still conveyed Zionist perspectives.”

“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,” staff said in a statement on Instagram, per KING 5.

According to My Northwest, 26 staff members at the Wing Luke Museum signed a letter addressed to leadership outlining four demands. The demands were also included in the Instagram post:

  • “Remove any language in any Wing Luke Museum publication and question any partnerships that attempt to frame Palestinian liberation and anti-Zionism as antisemitism.”
  • “Acknowledge the limited perspectives presented in this exhibition. Missing perspectives include those of namely those of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslim communities who are experiencing an increased amount of violence, scapegoating, and demonization as Zionist forces continue the genocide in Palestine.”
  • “Require Community Advisory Committee (CAC) review of all pop-up exhibits including a community review of the revised Confronting Hate Together exhibit content.”
  • “Center voices and perspectives that align with the museum’s mission & values by platforming community stories within an anti-colonial, anti-white supremacist framework.”

The museum issued its own statement on Friday.

“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 said in a statement on its website per KING 5.

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.



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