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The Storm of Change


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Johann Joachim Winkelmann (1717-68)…the father of art history… [popularized] the hard, pure, white aesthetic…making the issue of whiteness versus color more than simply a question of taste…[He] declared the Apollo Belvedere, already the most famous statue in Europe, the embodiment of perfect human beauty…

    - Nell Irvin Painter, The History of White People

Painter continues:

In Rome, he had near at hand a great many Roman copies of ancient Greek sculpture translated into an Italian sculptural medium. Unaware that the Greek originals were often dark in color, he did not know—or glossed over the knowledge—that the Greeks routinely painted their sculpture. He saw only Roman versions of beautiful young men carved of hard Italian marble that shone a gleaming white.

Change is a violent storm. It is rarely peaceful.

Change is uncomfortable. The outcome alters perspective, sometimes charring, almost always painful and often accompanied by rage or anger. Change can give birth to enlightenment, and action, or a need to shield oneself from the anguish of change.

This is the process of learning to think and to be in relation to the consensus, to what is taught and made to appear normal and true.

There is a “death” that must take precedent over the notion of “living the dream.” Too many people avoid this “death” but opt to sink among the millions of past and present corpses surrounding them while pretending those deaths are the necessary building blocks for a foundation in which the “first Black,” “the First Latino,” or the simply, naturally “Entitled” will build on “for the future.”

Deceitful lies must survive!

Change is uncomfortable. The outcome alters perspective, sometimes charring, almost always painful and often accompanied by rage or anger.Reform rather than change, softens the blow. You get to hold on to some elements of the dream in this compromise with change. Drones still fall from the skies on the few “terrorists” and the many “innocent” fellow human beings; fellow citizens quietly forego cancer treatment for lack of insurance; children cry as they wave goodbye to what was once their new neighborhood, new home; other children, Black and Brown, fall from police bullets at an alarming rate; and other children still cry for mothers or fathers deported by the government’s crack down on the “illegal.” Corporations still rake in billions to build smarter weapons of mass destruction, prisons to house “terrorists” and “dissidents,” and “criminals,” and ever more shopping malls featuring Wal-Mart and Nike and the thousands of “workers” in sweaty shops in Bangladesh are not invited. Banks foreclose on homes while landlords cash in with “revitalization” projects to justify huge rent increases and former home owners, professionals preferably (rather than the disabled or seniors or families with children).

But all of this is well and good if a little bit of the dream remains for you and yours to get ahead and rise above the fray—in the interim—before “the market collapse” or “the Armageddon.”

In a culture where surveillance is the rule, fellow citizens are suspect, everyone including students are on the alert for the “subversive,” how does anyone with a political conscious broach the subject of change—that uncomfortable and painful kind of change?

The reality of corporatocracy is real. The evolving evolution to totalitarianism is real too.

So are the consequences of trying to bring about change in a maximum security atmosphere where the guards and a good chunk of inmates are fearful of change that would deprive them of what has become for them a way of life—since the “pilgrims” and then the “frontiers” men and women confronted hostile “Indians” and then different darker Europeans. It is a way of life as depicted in the discourse surrounding plantation life.

Creatures lie in the shadows waiting to radically alter the “good life.”

No matter how you cut it, change is violent.

Despair gives us young people who come to read their role in the narrative emptied of self and filled with self-hate. Despair gives us the silenced masses.

Change can give birth to enlightenment, and action, or a need to shield oneself from the anguish of change.And all those who proactively indulge the dream for their piece of the pie, hope a savior will make his (can’t be a “her” for patriarchs, men and women) appearance and right the wrong without doing much destroying the dream. Just right it—because behind every Christopher Columbus discovery of America are those Indigenous populations still in existence, because dead Black, Brown, Yellow people, Iraqis, Afghanis, Pakistanis youth will haunt the dream forever.

Save us from the pain!

How do you educate such a mass of humanity so brutalized by the storm of capitalism’s revolution?

For hose who cannot endure change, the illusion of the “gleaming white” sculptures. For the rest of us, there are questions we must answer and work to be done! Editorial Board member and Columnist, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has a Doctorate in Modern American  Literature/Cultural Theory. Click here to contact Dr. Daniels.

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Oct 18, 2012 - Issue 490
is published every Thursday
Est. April 5, 2002
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble