Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King Day

I had a great teacher in high school - one of those guys that really makes you think. You could tell that he truly loved teaching kids and that he wanted us to learn. Mr. Holland is one of those teachers that leaves a lasting impression on a person. Here's something he taught me:
The races of this world have long been identified by color...the "black" man, the "white" man, the "yellow" man, the "red" man, etc. It's a rather simplistic way to separate people because while everyone "gets" that skin color can be different, they don't "get" just how little a difference there truly is. It's a classic case of not being able to see the forest for the trees. Let me demonstrate (and this is very similar to how Mr. Holland demonstrated his point for us, his students, way back in 1979). This is a picture of a so-called "black" woman, Maya Angelou.

Look closely. Yes, her skin is dark. But black? Not hardly. This is the color black:
This next picture is of a person of Native American descent. A so-called "red" man (or woman, in this case!). Does she look red to you? If you said yes, look again.This is the color red.

Here's a picture of a person of Oriental descent. Remember the politically incorrect '70's when Kung Fu was on the air? Every week you heard the term "yellow man" (usually spoken by some wild, wild west sort of character with a huge chaw of tobacco in his mouth. lol). Well this little girl doesn't look all that yellow to me.
This is what I call yellow:This is a picture of a so-called "white" person. Now I've seen a lot of pale people in my time, really I have. My BFF Susan's oldest daughter for one. That girl's darn near the color of milk. But still... She's not quite as white as, well..."white". Like this is.
So what's the point of all this talk of color? It's simple really. We may call ourselves and each other by all these chromatic names, but it won't change the true fact and that is...
We're all really just different shades of brown.
So go ahead and define the world in terms of pigmentation. It won't make you any more white or black or red or yellow. You are now and will always be, simply a shade of brown. Just like the rest of us.

This "philosophy" on color is something I've passed on to my children. I want them to know and understand that you cannot and should not judge a person based on what shade of brown they are. It's what's in their hearts and minds that matter. Be it good or be it bad, that's what you should base your opinion of someone on. How will we ever learn to accept one another if we're always looking to high-light a difference so ridiculous as skin color? I promise you, I do not care how dark you are or how light you're still brown, I'm still brown, the guy standing between us is still let's move on and solve the world's real problems together.


  1. Being a member (matriarch?) of a family of many different shades of brown...let me thank you from the bottom of my heart, for this fabulous post, dear Kari!!


  2. Oh Kari, you have made me THINK. I felt so good about my feelings about the races and then I read this and think "I can do better!"
    You my friend, are a deep thinker. Of course most Star War's fans are. I am going to make a new post and reference this posting. It is a must read! - Jennifer
    Oh...did you know Yoda was hanging out under my couch? See 'Feel the Force Bunnies' on my blog!

  3. Hey, you are up on my blog now! I hope lots of people see your post today - it was fabulous! - jennifer

  4. Great post...hopefully, it will give folks a reason to re-think their thoughts on By the way...there are many varying shades of brown in my family, too...but sadly, on your color wheel there is not a light enough beige to truly capture my pasty colored legs...I am my own sun-repelient...I am so light, light, need shades to look at my legs!

    Love your prespective...and what an awesome teacher your Mr. Holland was...see how he touched so many lives...just today...he managed to keep touching our lives through you...Thanks...


  5. Wonderful and thought provoking post Kari!

  6. Wonderful post Kari! Beautifully written and illustrated.


  7. Really great post Kari. You really know how to express things which is a gift. And what a great teacher you had! Loved this!

  8. Thanks for your comment today on my blog...yup, we're going to have to start a club or something soon.

    I love your post today. Perfect! My Mr. Holland did the I blue-eye/brown-eye object lesson. Very powerful!

  9. There are many shades of brown in my family.I love them all!
    Great post kari. :)
    (and no,I haven't forgotten my tag)..

  10. Wise is the student who can take a lesson from her teacher and make it stand out like a shout in a silent room. You are very wise indeed.
    Aunt Sandi

  11. A very well written post. It is so very true. Thank you for taking the time to remind us all of the facts.....Smiles

  12. I came by because of Jennifer. I really enjoyed reading this post. I liked how you expressed your thoughts.

  13. I diddo Nadine and Jennifer's shout out.
    Awsome post. Love your blog.

  14. Hi Kari, you are too funny! You will never be lonely, we are all just lurkers this week it seems! Martin Luther King was a great man. We have read a lot about him and just watched his famous speech on YouTube. Great post as always Kari :) Jenn and Jacqui

  15. Hi there kari...

    I refound your blog on a "favorites list" on my old computer and I checked you out again. I am not sure when it was I last visited though!!! A good while ago that´s for sure! I think youre right about the drop of visitors to blogs... I guess alot of us have been having struggles (that´s my perception after reading lots of blogs recently it seems that everyone has been going through something)and there´s not much "get up and go" going around. At least I know I have been that way. So these last couple of days I have been making an effort to visit my regulars and then some new ones... and you are the lucky one for today!!!hahahah!

    I enjoyed your posts.. espe the airbrushing one... I have been told that absolutely EVERY magazine is airbrushed... even beautiful and perfect bodies are airbrushed... is that crazy or what?

    Please feel free to drop by. I like what I found here so I am for sure coming back!

  16. Well said that woman!! What a wonderful day for a public holiday in USA. Great post Kari and didn't you know that January is hibernation month however I managed a short post today ( I've been sticking to my eat healthy and exercise more and have lost 5 pounds since Christmas )

  17. This is a really nice thought.. I love the way you look at things! You cracked me up with your comment about commments at the top of the page! Hilarious... I've noticed it too. I think we're all depressed and ready for spring. :)

  18. I think everyone is busy or froze lol. Speaking of I haven't seen you in awhile either Ms. Sunshine! I come over and watch your Gbaby grwo lol. I had April put me one on my page so I can see it. Yours is fatter hehe and sooner. Aren't we blessed.

  19. Kari,

    You need to go over to Kat's and get that delurker photo she had the other day, it's too funny!

  20. Hi!! found you via other blogs. Just wanted to tell ya I like your blog:-).
    Have a wonderful evening!!

  21. O.K. So, I am really hoping that you get my sense of humor or you may hunt me down and beat me with a pointer thingy. You have been TAGGED dear. Please participate or people will think that you hate me. you don't hate me do you Kari? do ya? do ya hunh? Come over to my site, the mental- carnival of blog sites, to see what this is all about - Jennifer

  22. I love what Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis says about race. "There is only one race - the human race". In fact, before America ever got caught up in the slave trade - people considered different races based on what country you were from and not what color your skin was. For example, the French 'race' would not associate with the English 'race' and heaven forbid an Swede would marry a Dane!

  23. Lordy, that's some kinda thinkin' cap you got on there! Great post and great reminder....

    Lurker schmurker...I usually feel like I'm posting to myself but it's good therapy....


  24. Absolutely awesome post!!! I LOVE how you showed the colors. We really are just SHADES of ONE color, aren't we? This is what I teach my children and hope that they will continue on to their children. I want us to be color-blind!!!

    ( And HERE I AM commenting!!!)

  25. Kari!

    AWESOME post! I love all the comparison pictures! It's great when you can get your point across with the help of visual aids. I think it helps people retain the information better!

    You know my house is filled with several different shades of brown!

    I also know what you mean about comments being down. I know people are coming to my blog because I have a tracker thingy. But, I never seem to get that many comments.

  26. What a great post Kari.
    Will it ever be that way in this world I wonder. As long as there is hate and greed and no "walk in another mans shoes" I don`t see it. Somewhere there is that place though. There really has to be.
    You guys have such a huge decision to make over there when the vote happens. I have thought at times though that no matter how good the man running things can be, there are other forces running him much more powerful, that we the people are kept blind about.
    Anyway....have a wonderful weekend.


  27. Commendable! I landed at your site... blog hopping of course. This post is simply wonderful and touching. Hats off to your parents who have brought you up with such warm feelings for others.


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