Monday, January 24, 2011

And the winner is....

During my last exhibition titled 'Subjective Perception' at the Ponder Fine Arts Gallery on the campus of Benedict College in Columbia, SC, I posed a question on my interactive 'painting' the 'Blackbored'. 

"Blackbored - Racialebra'

I posted a sign stating that any student who answered the question the most correctly would win a signed and framed poster of a piece of art. After reading half a dozen responses, the most correct was submitted by  Kennan Hutson.

"The noun 'nigger' is one of the most unique nouns I've known because it is more
than a title. The noun 'nigger' is a state of being, a mindset and a way of living,
a culture. At one point in time 'nigger' was defined as an ignorant person but now
many things have been attached. 'Nigger' has developed its own color, even entity,
and can only be determined by one's own perspective. Based on our society, to say
the word 'nigger' is immoral, but to kill one is tolerated. There is only one answer;
A 'nigger' is as valuable as it's influence. It is as powerful as the mind of its adversary
and is as helpful to a society as the weakest star in the midnight sky."

Well stated, my man. See America, there is a depth of knowledge and solemn contemplation on the part of our youth. Challenge them and they will rise! The real answer resides in Kennan's statement that it is immoral to say the word 'nigger' but killing one is tolerated. In today's politically correct society, we have placed greater value on words that on actual lives. This conundrum reminds me of the children's rhyme, 'Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Not these days. In our 24-hour  sound byte obsessed media market, where outrage is manufactured and manipulated to drive ratings to an audience that no longer cares to think for itself and has ceded moral authority to talking heads and pundits that have carved up and aim their subjective opinion (not objective journalism) at demographics that only fit their political ideology, its no wonder that the value of a human life has been eroded to the point that it now matches our limited attention spans. Kennan's right, the value of words lies in their power to influence.