I was walking through town yesterday with one of our daughters, when she pointed out a bit of street art that a friend of her’s had done…
I’ll freely admit that I love street art, often they are such astute and perceptive comments on current societal issues, it also often tells you something about the town you are in. This was actually one of the things I found really weird in Greece, where walls are liberally daubed in slogans – I assume relating to matters that people feel strongly about – yet you do not have the means of knowing as you cannot read them, which almost makes it feel as though you were missing out on a piece of what this place is about.
Anyway, I digress. I liked this Love Over Racism piece, in all its simplicity. Racism comes in so many guises, some of which troublingly enough are socially acceptable, yet this piece stands up to it by stripping the matter down to the bare essentials, rather than getting embroiled in any finer points and phoney differentiations or hollow justifications (Some of my best friends are Pakistanis, but… ?).
There is not doubt about it, 2016 brings with it some heavy baggage inherited from last year regarding migration issues resulting from crass gradients between rich and poor regions of the world. Often as not this discourse can easily also tainted by racist sentiment. Hell’s bells (as my dad used to say), it is not as though I did anything very clever to merit the right be born here – in a safe, affluent place – , it all seems pretty random to me which side of the fence you are born on, which faith you belong to (or not), how you live your sexuality, what your ethnic background is, which caste you belong to, what your social standing is and so on… surely, anyone with so much as a spark of empathy cannot close their eyes from this fact?
In a nutshell, I reckon racism is a classic misconfiguration, neighboring component compatibility has obviously been mis-assessed, resulting in elements not working together nicely. It takes a bit of thought and effort, but this can be amended, allowing all components to do their job and to work hand in hand.
This would seem to me to be something worth striving for.