Sunday, November 13, 2016

What Now?

I must admit my sadness at the results of the election.  There is a bit of fear also since I am not sure exactly what President-Elect Trump really believes or stands for.  If I am to believe what he said on the campaign trail then women and people of color are headed for hard days ahead.  I am trying to move forward by making art and educating myself on issues that I can actively take action on.  I started a new Facebook page Marion Coleman Activist where I will be expressing my feelings on a variety of social justice issues.  I am a Democrat but do not consider myself to be a negative person and I plan to stick to speaking about my feelings only without shaming anyone for their beliefs.

Today I am working on a piece for a project, Defining Moments I am doing with Carol Larson.  She is way ahead of me on the project and I will have to do double time to catch up.  So I am in the final stages of putting together a top about my wedding to Nyls.  We have been married for 32 years.  I already have one top about the issues that we would have faced if we had tried to marry in an earlier time.  I finished this piece, Romancing Across the Color Line, a couple of years ago for an exhibit at Visions in Gallery in San Diego.

These are details from another  top I have made about my interracial marriage.  I will be stitching very soon.  Sometimes I make multiple tops before I actually to the stitch work.  This gives me time to think about the work and it also allows the piece to speak to me.

Today during our daily morning talk Nyls and I were reminded of our recent anniversary/80th birthday celebration for Nyls train trip from Emeryville to Chicago.  We were peacefully having breakfast with a man from Wisconsin.  His wife did not want to get up early he said.  However, she changed her mind and made the last call.  She could barely be civil to us and actually left the table to go speak with someone else.  She wasn't having the usual light conversation we had been having with her husband and with other people we had previously been seated with.  We saw them several times on the trip but they never spoke to us again.  We surmise that she did not approve of interracial couples especially old one.  We sometimes forget we are different and that others do not approve.  We decided we will have to be careful in the future.  Now that is a sad thought.

I am committed to making work about the election.  I guess I was blind and deaf to the discontent that many white Americans have been feeling.  I do live in California, the Bay Area at that, so I live in a very liberal environment.  I am sure I have neighbors who are "conservative" but they haven't expressed this type of anger toward me.  However, when I watch some media discussions I can hear the rage against President Obama and his administration even when their candidate has been declared the winner.  I also hear the denial of any racism while children are being bullied and frightened about the possible separation from their families.  As a social worker I am having a hard time that.

For now I will continue to educate myself, make my weekly post on this blog, make as much art as I can and try to be part of the solution.  We are deeply divided and we shall see how things go in the days, weeks and months ahead.  Peace.

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