Black vs Purple
As a professional artist and muralist,
I have developed a deep appreciation for the power and significance of Color.
For instance, Purple really is the most appropriate color to attribute to my Beloved Susan’s Memorial Bench, as anyone who knew her will rightly attest to!
Purple is the Royal color, and the color of Dignity,
and the color of Joy, and of Compassion,
and of Exuberance!
and... of Non-Conformity.
Purple is Playful! and Fun!
(and it reminds me of her Raucous Laughter!)
I am beginning to realize, after many enlightening and insightful conversations with the persuasive
Superintendent of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services for the City of Pasadena,
that the color Black is not without its more positive attributes especially for a Memorial!
In addition to being the appropriate color of mourning…
Black is, after all, Beautiful!
Black represents Strength, and Courage and Justice!
Black, in all of its Elegance represents
both Defiance and Conviction!
And being the color of printers’ ink,
typewriter-ribbons, marker-pens, and pencils…
Black stands for Communication! and for
Speaking Truth to Power!
All of which Susan would be very proud to embrace in her Memorial, as she did in her life.
in the spirit of Community Values and Cooperation
(and of choosing one’s battles wisely)…
and realizing that there are many, many other
more important causes to stand for...
Such as calling out social injustice,
as when she sought to protect the informational privacy
of her JPL co-workers against intrusive
Homeland Security badging and privacy issues in 2007,
when she was instrumental in helping to instigate a lawsuit against the Federal Government.
(The lawsuit went all the way to the
United States Supreme Court!)
Her involvement and work in giving voice to the concerns of Human Trafficking Victims!
or Her concerns over the unfair over-representation and incarceration of black and brown men
and women in our penal system…
and while She was certainly not pro-abortion,
She was deeply concerned about the invasive tendencies
of our government, and our society, to legislate away
the rights of women to have dominion over their own bodies, and the same for gays and lesbians,
and all the LGBTQ! …
or her conviction that it should not be a
Death Sentence to drive while black…
or to be shot in the back for a petty crime…
and that, while guns are indeed inanimate objects...
flooding our streets with human slaughtering
weapons of mass distraction is not making our children and our public spaces any safer!
And that, indeed, Black Lives,
Just as All Lives,
really do matter!
"So with that said… I don’t think that Susan would want her Memorial tarnished by a silly little battle over mindless and insensitive bureaucratic rules in support of conformity and the stifling of creativity and free expression.
I think we should name Susan’s new
(which has been returned to the park)
(It’s the Mexican Muralist in me!)
-Roberto Quintana de Foster