Six days ago, I wrote an essay about how white people tell brown people that we “…make everything about race” and are always looking to find racism where none exists. I disagreed with that statement and posited that black and brown folks simply witness racism and point it out to others. The others, then, deny that any racism is present.
It’s an ongoing disagreement.
To demonstrate an example, I reported on a display that a nearby university has on a building facing a major thoroughfare. It is a wall painted with larger-than-life images of students. Each panel has a phrase describing an aspiration that its students and its graduates could reach, along with a picture of a “representative” student.
I contend that this institution did not put enough thought into its images and displayed some biases which I hope were unconscious. I shared the text and invited readers to imagine what pictures were paired with each statement. I promised I’d describe the images to you, and today is the Big Reveal.
“Inspire like a Champion.” A young Asian male is “juggling” various distinctive sneakers, which we presume he designed. He is shown full face.
“Dance like a Champion.” A young black woman with braids and wearing a helmet, is rollerdancing. She is shown full face.
“Play like a Champion.” Two young black men wearing hoodies are playing basketball. They are shown in profile.
Create like a Champion.” A young white female is composing music at an electric keyboard. She is surrounded by musical notes and symbols. Her face is shown at three quarters.
“Explore like a Champion.” A black male with short dreads under his cap is wearing a backpack. His back is to us. The symbols around him are a bridge and various city landmarks.