Sunday, February 23, 2014

Caricatures Count Too and Audre Lorde

Institutional rejection of difference is an absolute necessity in a profit economy which neeeds outsiders as surplus people. 
   As members of such an economy, we have all been programmmed to respond to the human differences between us with fear and loathing and to handle that difference in one of three ways: ignore it, and if that is not possible, copy it if we think iti is dominant, or destroy it if we think it is subordinate.
    But we have no patterns for relating across our human differences as equals.  As a result, those differences have been misnamed and misused in the service of separation and confusion.  

Sister Outsider (1984)

Instead of trying to paint, I decided to do this sketch.  A caricature of Obama.
I was inspired by the artist Jason Seiler, who is pretty much OFF THE CHARTS with his illustrations.  I'm hoping this will kickstart my productivity.    As for the quote above,  I've been reading Race Matters by Cornell West.  The above quote was used in the book.  This stood out for me because I agree that differences in people are often misnamed and misused in the service of separation and confusion.   I have heard people refer to the president (still) as a Muslim because of his name.  (And as if being a Muslim connects one with terrorism).  Regardless of what one thinks about the presidents ideas and policies, it is fundamentally wrong to judge someone in such a simplistic and stereotypical way. 

Obama sketch
I shamefully admit that I haven't read AUDRE LORDE's book, or for that matter any of her poetry other than what I was able to google recently.  All I know is that she is a Black Lesbian Feminist, so that is enough for me to disregard everything about her.  Wow this separation and confusion stuff really works.  (BTW, that was sarcasm for anyone not hearing it through the print)
Here's another interesting quote.

“Black and Third World people are expected to educate white people as to our humanity. Women are expected to educate men. Lesbians and gay men are expected to educate the heterosexual world. The oppressors maintain their position and evade their responsibility for their own actions. There is a constant drain of energy which might be better used in redefining ourselves and devising realistic scenarios for altering the present and constructing the future.”
Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches