Fion is another one of our characters for yet another one of our stories that we are writing, and co-created with a neighbor of ours during our time in Portland. She is the protagonist of the story and is pampered by her father. This illustration is of her dressed up by her father for a photo shoot.
Chihiro is rather skilled with a crow quill pen and ink. It has always amazed me how she can get such thin, stable lines and bring out detail through the tedious and patient process of drawing line after line to create hair, shadow, or light. Here is an example of a drawing that she did using such a tool.
Sadly, racism seems prevalent throughout the world. What is equally sad is that many people do not realize that their actions or their words are racist. Chihiro and I have called this unconscious racism. The idea that culture provides people with a set of assumptions that we don’t have to verbalize internally or externally to act those assumptions out. Too often people make assumptions based simply from how someone looks, and their shallow understanding of another culture. When they act upon these assumptions, whether or not their intent is friendly, they are acting in a racist manner.
Unfortunately it seems, most people who do receive such comments are themselves unaware of the racism in play, either that or they simply brush it off with the thought; it’s ok, that is just how it is. But it isn’t. Acceptance of these minor offenses as “it is just the way things are”, perpetuates a sense of human interactions that is outdated and all together wrong. Indeed everyday we make judgments on everything that we hear or see or feel or smell or taste, but we should understand that our judgments are not always correct and should not always be acted upon. That a bit of thought is necessary when interacting with another person, another group or community, another nation. We should spend more time learning about each other, instead of assuming things about each other.
Since we are a multicultural union, and our daughter is biracial, they have felt the bitter bite of racism, and have seen the sheer lack of understanding that people have. Being in Japan, where the population is predominantly Japanese, we felt that we could try to educate the people here about racism, so when Chihiro saw a poster advertising designs for social awareness posters for the subways, she thought up this slogan, and Jeffrey put it together. Read the words, and think what it really means by we are all people.