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So here is my main problem with racism. .. It doesn’t make sense. Hating people for their skin color is just so amazingly stupid. Above is a flesh tone set of pastels and the thing that grabs my eye is that they are all shades of brown. Some are lighter, some darker, some have grays and some have pinks and some have yellows added but they are all browns. Human skin is not pure white nor is it pure black, it is varying shades of browns. So racism based on skin color is just. . . stupid.
So if it isn’t about skin color then it must be about other things and those things are all tucked under an umbrella of color. Things like cultural norms, language, religion. . . and we group them all under a blanket of color because it is easier to hate categorically rather than specifically. In other words, racism is just lazy bigotry.
My ancestor fought in the American revolution. He fought to help bring this country into being. Other ancestors later came from Germany, Sweden, Wales, and a few from the indigenous American Indians. The thing they all had in common is that they really had nothing in common except that they came to this country to find something better. To find a safe place.
Fast forward generations and this country is rich in culture because of exactly this reason. Many people from many lands adding their own unique culture to the mix that is America. There are no cultures, with the exception of certain native tribes in remote places, that have not been influenced by other cultures. The human race is blending ideas, thoughts and cultures on a constant basis so the palette of culture and norms is, like that of color, varied hues of the same. Each is dynamic and blends with the rest at times or can be used to created vibrant highlights standing alone. They are not alien to each other though. They are all based on the basic concept of being human.
Religions are a hornets nest of possible reasons for hate I guess. People get zealous about it really fast which is why our country was founded to accept religions. It was created to be a safe haven for religions. So I really do not understand people claiming to be patriots hating with such zeal anyone who believes differently than them. To me, that hatred is the most un-American of things. It is the antithesis of the founding father’s efforts.
As far as language. . .use a frickin translation app and get over it. I mean really, hating people because you don’t want to open an app to communicate is just stupid.
So this leaves me with only one possible reason for racism.
Fear due to lack of understanding.
Fear of being left out.
Fear that one’s own identity is not strong enough and that the self will be lost to the storm.
Plain and simple. . . and I do not understand how you can be proud of allowing fear to rule your thoughts. I do not understand having pride in being a prick because fear makes you feel small and insignificant.
It’s just fear.
We’re all shades of brown.
We’re all shades of each other.
You don’t have to be afraid.
A tree is such a fitting symbol of courage. It is always true to itself. An oak tree planted in a pine forest, growing up surrounded by pine trees will always be an oak tree. It never tries to become a pine. It never tries to hide the fact that it is an oak. It is always true to it’s nature. That is courage. Being true to the self, in spite of having overwhelming pressure to conform.
(artwork pastel on gatorboard treated with acrylic ground and watercolor wash)