Monday, October 08, 2007

White Girl, Black Girl, Same Girl ?

I posted this image a while ago, noting that it was another version of a similar sketch and that it was still in progress:



And then I put it aside for a while. Until this week:



This reminds me of a story from several years ago....

A prominent caucasian female news correspondent at the network where I worked, proposed to the Executive Produer of her prime time news magazine show that she go "undercover" to expose racism in everyday American life. By "everyday American life" it was understood to mean applying for a job, renting an apartment, obtaining a car loan and so forth.

This very prominent news woman wanted to report from the front lines of racist America in black face. Yes, she suggested she be fully make up as a black woman to expose the existing prejudice of white America. "Black Like Me", thirty years later, with hidden cameras.

Despite her power, cooler heads prevailed and she was left to analyze and narrate the results of said investigation. Actual people of color, which were lower on the network food chain than said correspondent, were left to make telephone calls for apartment rentals or complete paperwork for job applications, and then videotape their unfortunate follow up face-to-face interviews which invariably resulted in their rejection. Racism was alive and well without an American news icon putting on a minstrel show.

There would be no dramatic whipping off of the lace-front wig to reveal the smooth tresses of the white, patrician beauty pageant winner. No shocking "I'm - The - Famous - Network - News - Icon" whom you denied the rental of a run-down, one-bedroom, section-8 housing apartment.

We were left with the equally, if not MORE, offensive spectacle of average American men and women just trying to make a living, find a home or buy a car, only to have the door slammed in their faces.

I think the point was better made that way. Don't you?

2 comments:

Auntie M said...

I most definitely agree.
More importantly, your two images of the same girl, are striking. The images are so similar. It is a no brainer that it is the same girl. The girl's skin color does not change who she is--same beauty.

muddy red shoes said...

I agree too, I cant understand it myself, maybe as artists we see past things, more into people, white black, brown or yellowish, or greyish in my case at the moment, it dosent matter, what is inside is the crucial thing.