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August 17, 2016 / betweenstops

Trying to explain

I came to Barcelona to do an artist residency at JIWAR in the Gracia district. What I proposed to do here is to draw people and while drawing them to get their story. Of course, in the exchange there is a bit of my story. As I’ve yet to draw an American, the conversation often involves the comparison of counties.


This is a 24 year old super cool guy who was traveling alone as his mother got sick so her and his 14 year old brother (who is on her passport) couldn’t come. He is going to move here and be successful with a perfume store. He was fully, get that? Fully confident (something you can’t be at my age) that he would move here and do that. 

I’m sure he will. As ancient greek Virgil  said                                                                                                                                         Whether you think you can or you think you can’t                                                                                                                                                You are right

But that’s not the story. The conversation was not completely understood, as both of our spanish was sub-literate and his English was not fluent

I was trying to explain to him that the USA is still a racist county. This came up in conjunction with the African American best-in-the-world gymnast. I said something to the effect that I was so happy for her and that she showed up the way she did for herself and (consciously or not) for her skin color and culture because people of color still don’t get a fair shake in the USA.

He didn’t get that… Obama and all. I tried to clarify and explained that a white policeman in any city (or not even police in stand-your-ground Florida) be it Baltimore or Oakland or Furguson or New Orleans or anywhere really; can wrongfully (as in proven by footage from cellphone bystanders) kill a black person (usually young and male) and get away with it free as a bird.

I don’t think he believed me.

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