Monday, July 04, 2011

Liberty

I don't intend to make a political statement with this blog entry.

I unwittingly posed in front of a racist mural for Independence Day. In the course of trying to make sense of that, I came across the work of Raymond Thunder-Sky, the Construction Clown (which is housed only a block away from the Liberty Tire building). My brain is about to explode from an attempt to integrate patriotism, racism, and antiestablishmentarianism. I'm not sure what to make of it all.

In the light of all that, an outfit diary seems rather silly. But that’s what this is, so here’s what I wore on the 4th of July.


Shirt, swap. Jeans, M. Bag, Nicole Lee. Sandals, Aerosoles. Necklace, Style & Co. Bracelets, Target. Watch, Unlisted.



Offered without comment.


Photos by Beefy Muchacho

12 comments:

Creole Wisdom said...

Yep, and here's when I unsubscribe from your blog. You're being too vague about this, and it's making me uncomfortable. I don't think you can "integrate" racism and patriotism. What is there to make sense of? I'm not sure what is worse, the underlying tone of your post or the fact that you seem to have no problem at all with posing in front of that mural. Your choice is your choice and that's fine.

The Nightmare Child said...

I've seen far worse things, Kasmira. You didn't know and it's not like you made any sort poses that were offensive.


I wouldn't give it too much thought.

JM said...

C.W.: It's paint on a wall. (Might be a little bit of a racial stereotype but I don't think the intent was ever to offend or hurt anyone.) Calm down. Furthermore, this is, as Kasmira pointed out, an outfit diary. If you're upset that she didn't write some beautiful political commentary, I think you're reading the wrong blog. I, for one, come here to see the *outfits*.

Also, pants! :) (I think blue jeans are very American-looking.)

Beefy Muchacho said...

I don't chime in often, and I certainly believe that Kasmira can defend herself if she wishes (I doubt she will), but here I go...

I was there and I took the photos. I also spend a good amount of time with her... I may have a more clear perspective.

1) As was pointed out, this blog isn't political. It's a fashion blog.

2) I know that it's easy for me to say “I know there was no malicious intent for any number of reasons”, but I also know that I’m hopelessly biased, so I'll save that for the most part... I will say that she and I had a conversation about the content yesterday before she posted where she expressed concern that it would appear she was endorsing the sentiment of the mural.

3) I would be hesitant to read intent into any of Kasmira’s posts simply because she has posed in front of murals several times previously on her blog, and has never really commented on their content. Is there any difference between posing in front of this (seemingly off-color) mural and the Sheppard Fairey mural she posed in front of last May? I’d argue that, if anything, that post made far greater of a statement simply because we also know the motivations of the artist on that one. For all we know, the owner of Liberty Tires may be a Native American. I’m certainly not saying they ARE. They could also be the Grand Poobah of the KKK, but that’s sort of my point. Presented without context, how can there be any assumption in regards to Kasmira’s specific point of view?

That poses the question… does taking your picture in front of someone else’s art immediately imply your own viewpoint? What about taking photos in Salem, Mass where the witch trials took place? What about rooting for the Cleveland Indians? What about the Berlin wall?

Personally, I thought, as we were taking the pictures, that it was an interesting juxtaposition between celebrating our national day of “Liberty” and having this mural depicting a stereotypical version of one of our country’s most disenfranchised minorities. (I regret I didn’t share this with her at the time, as it would have certainly dissuaded her from using the location at all. If you know Kasmira, you know she’s not interested in making political or societal statements like I am.)

bonincontrus said...

Okay, so call me an idiot but I don't get where a cartoon Indian promoting tires is racist. If that is the case, what about all the Bob's Big Boy statues, Pep Boys bobbleheads, Ronald McDonald's with the red hair, Wendy's with the red hair and freckles, Aunt Jemima, Mama Illadors, Chef Boyyardees, and Betty freaking Crockers?

Get over it.

Anonymous said...

http://fuckyeahculturalappropriation.tumblr.com/
for all those who don't understand why this sort of thing is racist. Racism is not something people should 'get over' either. America was founded on the blood/land/culture of indigenous people and that is denied and mocked everyday. Many people have a hard time matching their patriotism with this reality. Also, "Indians" is not a politically correct term. Check your privilege.

All this being said and aside, I don't doubt you have the best of intentions Kasmira. Take time to process and understand the issue further.

Kel Ward Photography said...

Honestly, I didn't even notice the mural until I read the other comments. I have no comment or opinion about it one way or the other. The outfit, though, is freaking adorable! Simple, but so classy. I love it.

Julia said...

Love the outfits, love the blog, agree with Beefy. And I think it's a pity some people feel entitled to be so fabulously judgmental and rude on another's blog. Especially a friendly, lighthearted one like this; if you think Kasmira should know something and you feel up for enlightening her, why not do it in a spirit of kindness and helpfulness, rather than smacking her in the face (metaphorically) and stomping off like a small child throwing a tantrum? Good grief.

BTW, just as an aside, I know many Native Americans and to a one they all feel quibbling over the word "Indian" is a waste of time.

In any case, I will celebrate the death of racism (when/if it ever arrives, sigh) but I mourn the death of simple courtesy...and tolerance.

Anonymous said...

What's the issue? How is that sign racist in any way?

Rebecca said...

I don't see the muralnas racist. Although I can see how a photo of you standing in front of it on July 4 could be read into - except that you state nothing was implied by it.

I also think if you had stood in front of a mural depicting a king or queen waving a Union Jack on July 4 people would think it was funny even though it would be inappropriate.

Happy you went with the outfit post rather than skipping a day.

Haven't seen this much controvesy here since you put lace on the bottom of the skirt that used to be your uniform in the services.

Carol in Indian Springs Village said...

Love the different shades of blue all used in the one outfit. And I think you look rocking in those jeans!

Andy B. said...

It's a shame you didn't wear a red/white striped hat with that outfit. You could have stood in a crowd of people and made it a challenge to find you :)