Take a look at the picture below and tell me what it inspires for you.
For me it inspires a recollection of every distopian sci/fi movie I’ve ever seen. You know the movie where one type of people or life form are discriminated against or made to be separate and less than everyone else. You know…that one movie…
So this is the way we’re going about it here in little ol’ Vermont. Ok.
But not ok with me. And in the world we live in today where everything is public and everything is shareable and knowledge is detached from wisdom, I’m writing about this because I want to put a digital sign post up that says, NO, I don’t agree in the hopes that it might encourage or inspire others to think about how we’re doing this.
I see a big problem that is going to be tough to overcome. And addressing the problem, even recognizing it, is the first step. The problem is our collective lack of ability, desire, self-control to address real problems in constructive ways.
If we can’t solve “how”, we’re never going to solve anything.
I’m writing this article about what seems to be a very senstive topic, race and culture today. I’m writing this because I would also like life to improve for everyone, especially for those who need it to improve. I’d like life to improve relative to the objective need for it to improve. If that includes certain colors of people or types of people, so be it. If certain colors of people have a harder life than other colors of people, and there’s a way to improve their lives, that they want, without hurting others, I’m all for it. That’s seems like a win, a big win.
When I see a full page add in the biggest independant local paper in Vermont, like the one above, that inspires dystopian segregation feelings in me, I want to call it out. I want to call it out because it doesn’t fit with what I think is an improvement in quality of life for anyone. And because I live here and love here and want everyone to have a positive experience of life, I must speak out. I must! This is a lesson I have learned after 50 years of, for the most part, not speaking up when something feels way off for me. Can you relate?
The beauty and harshness of truth in our world and our community is that I could be wrong. I could be wrong in the sense that the advertisement that objectifies people with darker skin and with foriegn roots, to me, does not feel objectifying or wrong to those people with the darker skin and foriegn roots. This is a risk for me, well, it’s really a risk for my ego. But if I consider myself serious about wanting to improve life experience, this type of “wrong” would be welcome. After all I wouldn’t be much of a humanitarian (if that’s what you’d call it) if I said, “I don’t care that you are a person with dark skin and foreign roots and that you feel this advertisement improves your quality of life, because it offends me.” That wouldn’t make a lot of sense, from a humanitiarian perspective.
It also wouldn’t make a lot of sense to simply ignore or chastise a person who feels offended, no matter what their color or background. If there’s a person with white skin who feels offended by this advertisement because it goes against their view of how to improve our quality of life (like me), there’s an easy way to determine if they’re serious about contributing to improvement or just want to be offended because it serves some other, lesser, urge.
Can they handle discussion of the possible “wrong-ness”.
This concept is being discussed in other ways on social media. People now are talking about whether to use the word “woke” or not and what it means. Also people are discussing the low hanging fruit of hatred being used to end hatred. This method of spewing hateful words at someone you deem to be an opponent, in order to improve the world in your eyes is so obviously illogical and spiritually bankrupt that it’s only a matter of a very short period of time before it becomes self-evident that these tactics are being used for war, not peace and what is being achieved is war and not peace. When this happens, the public record will reflect who was truly on the side of war and who was truly on the side of peace.
When this becomes illuminated we will again get to see who the true warriors are. Because the opportunity to continue the spiral of hatred will continue as people feel and act on the urge to punish those that have been so caught up in the warring in the name of peace.
So back to the add in 7 Days. This, to me, is a warring image. It’s not a movement to a more peaceful world. It’s not a movement towards improvement in people’s lives. The desire to improve may be what’s behind an add like this and the associated narrative of segregation and obectification but I don’t think it fullfills it’s purpose and I’d like to hear from those who created it and who advocate for it, including 7 Days, why they think it does, because they obviously do.
I’m tweeting about this as well and looking for robust and civil discourse on this, if you want, come on…