Friends, Fam, Folks,
Daltonism is the scientific term for color blindness. Though it now only refers to a particular kind of color blindness, the condition was originally named after John Dalton, an English chemist who wrote the first scientific paper on the subject.
As many of you know, racial tensions are literally boiling right now in our country. With the deaths of Trayvon Martin (17 year old black boy gunned down in his neighborhood carrying skittles and iced tea), Shaima Al Awadi ( Iraqi mother beaten with a tire iron within her home in El Cajon California), Stephon Watts (15 year old black autistic teenager shot in the head in his home by Chicago police) and Anna Brown (29 year old black women dragged out of a hospital and put in jail where she later died) all happening within weeks of each other, we see the damage that dormant racist, xenophobic, ablist, and classist sentiments can exact on our nation. These scars which have long been left unacknowledged or have been willfully ignored are starting to fester and rot.
Young boys are being murdered in their own neighborhoods and their stalkers/attackers are left to roam free. Mothers are being beaten to death in their homes. Children with autisism who cannot always process social cues are shot in front of their parents. The ailing and ill are being dragged from hospitals and left to die on the floor of a jail cell. If we had any reason to believe that the election of a single White-African American man to the presidency marked the birth of America’s post-racial identity, those reasons no longer hold water.
I do not send you this message to scare you or to guilt trip you. I tell you this to rally you. I am asking you guys to take a stance and for most of you this will not mean any adjustments to your daily lives. All I am asking you to do is create. Beginning April 1st, I am asking you to create a piece of art every day for 30 days. I am asking you to create in honor of the lives that have been stolen. I am asking that everyday you email me a poem, a song, a story, a picture, a design, a painting, a sculpture, a dance, a critique. Here is the catch, all of the pieces should explore your sentiments about race. If you do not think about race everyday, here is an opportunity for you to stand with the millions of Americans and people around the world who are forced to.
This is our opportunity to say, we are not color blind. We are not Dalton’s kids. We see clearly what is going on in our countries, in our neighborhoods, even in our own hearts, and as artists we won’t stand for it.
Please, beginning April 1st take this stance with me. Send all your submissions to email@example.com AND CC firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not CC both addresses it will not get read and posted. The pieces will be anonymously posted to a blog site called Not Dalton’s Kids. If you would like to be publically credited please indicate so in the email. Additionally, if you do not wish your piece to be shared publically, please indicate this in the email as well. However, I encourage you all to allow the pieces to be posted as this is a collective effort to add constructive conversations to the discussion and acknowledgment of race and racism. Please share this with as many people as possible. Much love to all of you. Rest in safety and in power. -alysia harris