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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Racial Tensions are created not Born

"Celebration" 20 x 16 acrylic on gesso board
I’m always attracted to scenes comprised of people; especially of other cultures and races. I find people of color to be interesting and attractive; they manage to tell the most amazing stories like my latest painting, above, “Celebration."

How many times do you take photos of friends and family at special events or significant occasions? Most of us enjoy celebrating birthdays, graduations, promotions, weddings, engagements, births and deaths with our favorite people. The photos save the memories and document the life processes of the past. Sharing special times with those you care about creates bonds of love.

"Tansy's Pride" 9 x 12 Pastel on Bristol
Painting an intimate scene that reminds others of those joyful times gives me pleasure. If my artwork can help bridge the gap between racism and understanding then I am fulfilled. 

Each culture and people we come to know adds to our knowledge. Seeing people in new ways may eventually bring acceptance. We humans are more alike than we are different.

Creating meaningful relationships between people is a slow process. If I can help others see similarities rather than differences, I have achieved my goal.

Hatred is not born, it is taught and nurtured. Children show us the meaning of acceptance when they play. They make friends easily and seem to take people at face value in non-judgmental ways.

"With these Hands Hope" 16 x 20 mixed-media/canvas
Oppression and discrimination are learned traits that fester in a climate of fear. Why do some people think they are better than others or that white skin is somehow purer or better than colored skin? Why do some people think they are spiritually or religiously better than anyone else? Most likely they were shown this through ignorance and example; but in the eyes of God we are all equal.

I may not agree with everyone I meet, but I can certainly accept their uniqueness and the value that they bring into the world. My religion and my faith bring me joy and salvation, but someone else may have their own set of beliefs that I must respect and acknowledge.

When you judge others, you lose sight of your own faults and failings. Being self centered or allowing our own feelings and opinions to get in the way puts up a barrier that is difficult to remove. You come across as arrogant, unapproachable, and rigid.

"Fish Market" 24 x 18 acrylic on canvas
Everyone on this earth has their own perspective based on their environment, upbringing and life experiences. Rather than quarrel and try to disprove “the other guy,” we should listen and hope for understanding. We will never all agree. But we can become peacemakers, and listen with our hearts.

If other people are unwilling to meet you half-way or they become aggressive toward you and invade your space, you have every right to defend yourself. Better to “agree to disagree” than to come to blows. Don’t marginalize your own principles and beliefs out of fear or to assuage someone else’s anger. Stop this kind of behavior before it escalates. Get help if necessary. Walk away!