Friday, August 17, 2012

Our society's racial divide

What's the first thing you notice when you meet someone? Sex? Race? Clothes? The answer is pretty obvious. The racial divide in our communities obviously still exists. For some reason, human nature has taught us to be prejudice based on what we look like. And it can be everything from hair, eyes, smile, etc. Last night I visited Las Parcelas garden (part of the Norris Square Neighborhood Project) and they presented a good number of short films; some which were about race. The short films were presented by Scribe Video Center's and PNC Arts Alive.

  • Clara como el Agua (Clara like Water) by Fernanda Rossi is one of the most powerful pieces presented. Clara como el Agua tells the tales and half-truths that surround the origins of Clara, a light-skinned black girl with kinky, blond hair and gray eyes. Tired of being incessantly teased by her dark-skinned peers, she ventures into the magical waters of the bioluminescent bay to change her skin color and possibly herself. The story sheds light on the differences between the Puerto Rican community and how "white privilege" exists everywhere. 
  •  That Which Once Was by Kimi Takesue takes place in the year 2032. Vicente, an 8-year-old Caribbean boy, has been displaced by global warming and fends for himself as an environmental refugee in a hostile Northern metropolis. This story combines race, class, environmental disaster (and more) all in one short film.The future is what we make of it and this film shed light on what can happen if we don't stop. However, it also showcased that when we are at our lowest, we don't judge based on age, sex or race. When we are in need, we will gravitate towards people similar to us in any shape or form.
So is race easy to talk about? Of course not. It's a touchy subject that a larger community (with wealth) can dictate. There's an argument that people with wealth and power are the only community that can be racist. Think about it. What's the difference between a white male CEO and a Puerto Rican grocery store clerk? They both can't be racist. The racial divide will always exists, even when disaster strikes. Thoughts?
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