Our Conflict With Color
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By Janice S. Ellis, Ph.D., Kansas City, MO –

Our conflict with color is manifested in both our public and private lives. Oh, how we carry on a love-hate relationship with color. It excites and arouses the imagination. It also incites and provokes hatred.

Color, in all its shades, in all its lively variety, is among the spices of life. Painters and photographers capture it on canvas to depict the beauty, and banality within and around us.

Our schizophrenic relationship with color is age old. We adore color in matters. We loathe it in human beings. History is replete with instances of humankind’s most unkind behavior toward others who don’t look like us, dress like us, speak like us, worship like us, live like us, and aren’t the exact same color as us. Our conflict with color abounds.Through the years, several have fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice to resist and alter this ugliness, as well as the injustice, discrimination and persecution perpetuated upon our fellow man due to the difference in skin color.

Our conflict with color allows all kinds of injustices based on skin color. Photo Credit: meetville.com

Our conflict with color allows all kinds of injustices based on skin color. Photo Credit: meetville.com

Picture the possibilities if we could, if we would, appreciate the abundance of colors in individuals, just as we appreciate the abundance of colors in nature as well as in our personal creations.

Picture if we understood that each kid, white, black, brownish or yellowish, has the exact same needs: caring parents, safe neighborhoods, great schools, an opportunity to dream and become whatever they dream of becoming.

Picture if it would beome a natural subconscious practice that every person, regardless of their color, is given benefit of the doubt and treated equally when she or he applies for a job, submits an application for school, applies to purchase a home, or lease an apartment.

Our Conflict With Color

If individuals of different colors were seen with the exact same respect and reverence as the colors in nature, there would  be little need for legislation and laws to ensure equal rights, equal employment protection, reasonable housing as well as other bestowed and inalienable rights. But, oh, our conflict with color.

Picture if we were not required legally to do the right thing toward each other as it only came naturally.

We marvel in the awe-inspiring beauty and amplitude of nature’s parade of color, blossoms and blooms in spring and summer, the maple trees and evergreens in autumn and winter. And then, obviously, we adorn our houses and bodies with brilliant furnishings, trends and works or artwork yes, even body art.

Shade, in all its own abundance, is welcomed in every part of our lives except as it pertains to other human beings of color, that is. Our conflict with color abounds.

Our conflict was color. Heed the words of Nelson Mandela. Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Our conflict with color. Heed the words of Nelson Mandela. Photo Credit: pinterest.com

When it comes to individuals, too often skin colors and hues evoke closed mindedness as opposed to openness, worry in place of friendliness, oppression as an alternative to independence, and the baseness within us rather than our humanity.

The economical, societal and educational caste systems created around color, and because of color, have done as much to imprison and deprive the perpetrators as the perpetrated. How can we let our conflict with color exact such a price.

Great strides and enrichment of our experience could be made if we’d just attempt to better comprehend our conflicting feelings around color, beginning with the straightforward acknowledgement of the most important color that runs through our veins and binds us all with the gift of life.

Only picture what could occur if we stopped allowing trivial differences in skin color to confound and undermine the quality of life we share as neighbors, co-workers, pupils, fellow travelers in the planet period.

Only picture.

Feature Photo Credit: taughtbygrace.wordpress.com


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Janice Ellis
Janice Ellis
Janice S. Ellis, PhD, is an award-winning author. Her book, From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other major book sellers. She has written a column for newspapers, radio, and now online, where she analyzes educational, political, social and economic issues across race, ethnicity, age and socio-economic status. You can see her writings on this website.

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