A SHADE OF DIFFERENCE

What are your colors? by Rich Paschall, Sunday Night Blog

Everyone has favorite colors. You can probably tell what someone likes by the colors in their home. People pick out the color for their rooms not just by the color, but the shade of color. Big home improvement stores will mix and match colors for you so you have just the right shade. They stock color palates and have little colored papers you can take with you while you stare at the walls and envision how it will look. Some will even give you a little sample so you can stare at a brush stroke you put on the wall and dream of a whole room in that color.

Blue is a nice color to me, but I would never paint the walls a dark blue, only pastels. As a matter of fact, there would be no deep dark colors in my home decorating, if you can call it that. Purples and dark greens certainly are too harsh anyway, but maybe they would appear on your walls. That’s fine for you. Who am I to judge you by your color selection?

skin-colors-cropped

I like Hunter Green in the kitchen accessories, but not on the walls. Does that seem strange to you? For a number of years I found it the color of choice in Tupperware and kitchen utensils, but I would never paint with it. Never. Does that sound a little biased? If I found the sea green of your bathroom just a little too garish, would you hold it against me?

At a past place of employment I had a manager who wanted to paint his office a nice shade of lavender. If it was good enough for his bedroom, soothing and relaxing, then perhaps it would be good for his office. After all, the company said he could have any color he wanted. Unfortunately, there were those who did not like lavender, especially on office walls. He was derided for his choice of color. There were those that snickered behind his back. Some openly pointed out the folly of associating with such colors, and at work no less! The color of choice around the building seemed to be rather bland. You know the color, an off white that looks about the same no matter how long it is on the wall. This shade of lavender was…well, rather gay according to some people.  What does that say about a new manager? He was judged, but he was certainly straight (or as certain as I can be). Anyway, it was a nice shade.

This prejudice against color is not limited to the walls at home or the office. It goes well beyond the choice of furniture and the carpet on the floor. It is not just the accessories in your house or indeed anywhere in your life that gets judged. It has to do with all your color choices. Are my friends really judging me by the colors I choose?  If I chose white am I boring? If I choose black am I too gothic? If I choose lavender am I too gay? Perhaps this sounds just a bit ridiculous.

Yet, people choose their friends this way. They make instant judgments of the people they do not know by their shade of color. Ask just about anyone and they will have an opinion of these color choices. People can look across a crowded street and when they spot a person of another color, they formulate an instant opinion. Perhaps a person looks like a gangster, and you should avoid crossing the street. After all most people if that color are not to be trusted. Then there are those that are a certain shade of white that is different from my shade. Many people will quickly decide they are crooks, or they are greedy or they are shiftless. This is not just an issue between races, it is also an issue within a race. White people judge other white people and black people do the same. You do not think so? Ask around. Many have color palates for race that are far more discriminating than their choices of wall color.

When the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960’s appeared to tear down color barriers, and people of all shades of color were welcomed into every arena of business, society was pleased with the progress. While some laws seem to prohibit color choices, the fact is that color choices are as bad or worse than ever. The judgments are perpetuated by social media prejudices and Fake News reports that are meant to push people to the left, right, middle and anywhere else they can separate themselves from others. “Progressive” radio, “Patriot” radio, “Conservative” radio, “Liberal” radio all highlight the difference between us and “them.” If you don’t think “them” frequently means another color, listen more closely. If you think that many of these talk and Fake News shows hate the President of the United States because he is black, you may be on the right track.

The proliferation of these judgments by everyone from politicians and so-called newsmen to the average person on-line, based largely on color, means that the color scheme that is the world today is more divided than ever. We may no longer be segregated by law, but we are now segregated by personal choices. Many can not find it in their hearts to celebrate the different shades of life we all have to offer. They only want certain colors to be approved for the walls they put up in their own existence. Perhaps this sounds just a bit ridiculous, because it is.

So we’re different colours
And we’re different creeds
And different people have different needs.
It’s obvious you hate me
Though I’ve done nothing wrong
I’ve never even met you so what could I have done?

For 10 Song About Racism That Don’t Suck, check out all the videos on flavorwire.com  You won’t see some of the hip-hop songs of today that deal with race, but you may recognize some of the rock songs of other eras.  The 10th song on the list is the harsh vision of the old South by Billie Holiday performing Strange Fruit.

9 thoughts on “A SHADE OF DIFFERENCE

  1. These are interesting thoughts. Colour can be such an emotive issue. I remember a friend once had a ring from her husband who wanted to buy a three piece suite for their home as it was on special. She asked what colour it was, and he replied fairly neutral. When it arrived it was lime green. He was colour blind, and saw things differently!

    Liked by 1 person

      • My first husband was red-blue color blind. Going clothing shopping was agony. Anything pastel just looked gray to him. I don’t think a gray world is necessarily a better one … 🙂

        My son — and now my granddaughter — cannot see skin color. If asked to describe what color someone is, they will say “well, pinkish tan, maybe?” They don’t see race, literally don’t see it.

        Liked by 2 people

          • A few years back, a magazine writer profiled me and my career, etc. He assumed race was the biggest issue in my professional and personal life. I told him my hearing problems were really the biggest hurdle. The racial issue has improved somewhat but, unfortunately, it’s still there as Marilyn and I learned in last summer’s Northern New England trek. My hearing?? Getting worse. Can the ACLU help?

            Liked by 1 person

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