Denise is a communication student, a poet and a book lover. She enjoys watching documentaries and film.
I made a poetry that supports the #BlackLivesMatter movement. This poem will speak about the importance of 'difference' and that regardless of color, our lives matter. Below this poem, I added a few things I've learned in class about the Spectacle of the ';Other' reading by Stuart Hall and a few insights from a social experiment we've done in the past about it.
To be human, it needs no color
Brown, white, or black, whatever color your complexion is,
you are human and your life matters
It's never right to negate someone's existence,
just because he, she, they are different from you
Difference, is what makes us human
We are born to be different because we are not machines that can be replicated,
manipulated, and altered
We cannot copy every single gene the other have
Because we are, human beings
No one can dominate over the rest
because we are one and the same,
We have the same legs, hands, eyes, mouth and ears, regardless of color, length or shape
We all use it the same way, anyway
to walk, to touch, to hear or listen, to see and to speak
We function and move the same, regardless of color or race
And we are entitled the same rights
The right for education,
the right to vote,
the right to express and speak,
the right to fair trial and due process and to be presumed innocent until proven guilty,
and the right to live is ageless, genderless and colorless
It only needs to be human,
even animals and other living creatures have rights
so why can't we?
To you who's reading this poem right now,
speak and fight for what you and the rest of us deserve
We deserve to live in harmony with equal rights and opportunities
Because for you to be human, it needs no color
Through the years, 'blacks' and other marginalized groups have been abused and killed. Just recently we've heard the news about George Floyd and the brutal response of police force against the Black Lives Matter protesters. In my country, we've also heard about the violent response of our police force against the Lumads (the native Filipinos) protesting about their displacement from their lands and all of those events reminded me of a discussion we had in class about the "Spectacle of the Other." In this reading, I've learned that difference and the binary system is important in meaning-making and that our difference helps define the "other." We cannot define something without contrasting it with its counterpart. For example, the meaning of 'white' is constructed not because there is some essence of 'whiteness' but because we contrast it with its opposition - 'black'. This is only a glimpse of the reading's link I am going to attach in this blog. If you want to study more about this topic you can check out the link to the pdf file. It's quite a long read but it would be worth it.
Spectacle of the 'Other' by Stuart Hall
A few things I'd like to share
In our community, wearing 'extravagant' clothes and having tattoos have a lot of stereotypes. If you have tattoos, people will say you look dirty or you're like a member of a gang. These stereotypes exist not only in our community but everywhere and so, to prove that these stereotypes exist, we did some kind of social experiment in the streets of Colon in Cebu City, Philippines. The picture you see below is me and my friend doing the experiment ourselves.We wore fake tattoos and dressed 'extravagantly'.
Doing such, we've encountered countless catcalls and mocking from people who passed by us. It's expected but it was really an overwhelming experience - to experience the life of the 'Other'. How much more those people who have lived their entire lives being the 'Other', like the 'black' people in America? It is easy to point at others that they are different from you but you do not realize that you are also different from them. We are all different because like what I've said in my poem, difference makes us human.
© 2020 Dens Yang