A Picture Worth A Thousand Words

Over the weekend, a comic was passed around very briefly through my social channels, a week later than it actually was published in the papers of the Toronto Star. Obviously, this doesn’t really surprise me, as the majority of my contacts are American, and those that are Canadian don’t read the paper regularly.

Or they may, and just don’t like to talk about, perhaps thinking that reading the newspaper makes them “old-fashioned”. I read the newspaper, granted now it’s in digital format, but I love the print edition and just the feel of having something tangible in my hand. I am old fashioned, or vintage, retro, classic, traditional, there are a plethora of words you can describe me as.

Once I saw the comic, I knew what was going to surface, complaints. Demands for apologies, how could The Star allow such a racist and bigoted comic, claims of discrimination just being hurled at the comic Six Chix, and I was not wrong. The public editor of the comic received a swath of emails, claiming that this comic demeans Black people and the Black Lives Matter movement. I know I’m late, and that I have already missed the public outrage, but for those of you that don’t know or haven’t seen it, I present to you a picture that speaks quite literally a thousand words.

Six Chix - I Can't Breathe
“And all I wanted is some bread”.

Such a simple comic, yet this piece invokes so many feelings all at once. Every one of us have our own thoughts about this, no doubt, my first though was “Is that Rosanne Barr?”.

It’s ridiculous that I feel this needs to be pointed out, and I know not a lot of you are going to agree with me, but wearing a mask doesn’t make you a slave, nor is it slavery.

Now that I got that pout of the way, let’s analyze this situation. I have talking to a lot of dumbasses, who probably think that I am a dumbass myself. As I have said I have a lot of American contacts, they’re also diverse politically, so, you know, I get a lot of different perspectives on mask wearing. I also get a lot of different perspectives and views into various social issues, like George Floyd’s death, views on the riots, views on various aspects of American policy issues, Trump, Black Lives Matters and so forth. I am constantly bombarded with news articles from all sorts of papers, I get what a lot of people generally feel, more specifically how most of them feel on certain issues.

A lot of White people (sorry to generalize) feel that this mask wearing is infringing on their personal rights, it’s makes them feel as if they are being enslaved. To them, this is what slavery is, that slavery is simply a choice, just take off the mask.

Duh, it’s that simple.

drywall dust mask wearing
Looks like there is no stopping the virus, we’re all doomed.

There’s a large pool of individuals that don’t believe that the mask is effective, social media is filled with meme’s that “debunk” the myth that masks are going to protect you from the virus. Here’s my favourite one, I have gotten to the point where I just can’t be bothered to try and convince people why this doesn’t capture the point of masks.

I mean, I have happily lost friends over this picture. I have been called all sorts of names, accused of being a sheep, slave, an idiot, a mindless troglodyte, you name it, and I have probably been called it.

A lot of White people also feel as if they’re being blamed, as if they are racists by default because of something their ancestors did; also, that life isn’t that hard and that if black people just fine tuned a few things, like changed their attitude, or got some education, maybe changed their mannerism or their behaviour toward others, it wouldn’t be so bad, and then they will realize that they aren’t slaves and that white people don’t possess privilege or have an unfair advantage. It’s just a choice really.

It’s so simple, if you can’t breathe, then take that mask off. Why are you doing drugs, why are you using counterfeit bills, why are you dressed like that, just change. Stop blaming all of your problems on Whites. If you can’t breathe, then why are you wearing that mask, you’re just so accepting of slavery, and then you turn around and blame your oppressor for oppressing you.

It’s not that simple, they don’t wear the “I Can’t Breathe” shirt because they can’t breathe, they wear that shirt to be heard. They want to be heard, they want that George Floyd accident to be sung all around the world. She wears that shirt to remind people to listen to their cries, not everything is about you. Run, just run, life is a race that we are all trying to finish in a better standing, not even the best standing, but a good standing, though I want you tell me how easy it is when you start the race 20 places back, with extra time added to you overall score. You tell me how hard of a time you are going to have, and then tell me that finishing the race in a good spot wasn’t a struggle; that you starting early and in a better placement with nothing added to your score was the same as the others. Can you at least listen to what the other racer has to say, can you tell me that the race is fair for both people?

That analogy may not work, I don’t know too much about competitive races, just that in NASCAR, knowing how to turn left is essential. This comic does stir up a lot of emotion, it’s no wonder that there was so many people outraged, and I just present one perspective, one thought or interpretation of what I see.

I’m not claiming that either side is correct, in fact there have been many instances where Black Lives Matter protestors aren’t easy to deal with, they’re hostile, and they relish in conflict, violence, criminal activity. I still have people flooding the feed with 2015 articles of Yusra Khogali, a co-founder of the Toronto BLM chapter, and her tweets calling white-people “sub-humxn”, whatever that means. What do you think about this article though?

Let me know in the comment section, or shoot me an email. Remember to like and share your own interpretation about the comic, if you haven’t already shared you thoughts earlier last week.

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