An artist accurately sums up in 3 words why being a "respectable" black person won't make a difference
Brooklyn-based artist Moise Morancy released a heart-wrenching photo essay on Monday, September 7th titled #itdoesntmatter.
Morancy’s message is clear — respectability politics save no one.
By juxtaposing common tropes of respect with symbols of hate and power, Morancy forces viewers to come to terms with realities oftentimes dismissed.
“My intention was to bring a very vivid and harsh truth to light and spark a conversation…[t]he peaceful Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed in a suit and an innocent and unarmed Trayvon Martin was killed in a hoodie…[d]ifferent clothes, same skin,” said Morancy in an interview with Blavity.
The Black Lives Matter movement has sparked a nationwide discussion on the murders of black people at the hands of law enforcement and vigilantes. Many have argued that if black people carried themselves in a more “respectable” manner, they would be murdered less often.
This suggestion has proven to be false.
In the past year and a half, we have seen numerous accounts of innocent and unarmed children, veterans and college students murdered or severely injured. Morancy’s photo essay reinstates the pervasiveness of police brutality in America.
“I released a music video in April called ‘GANG BANG,’ where in the first verse I state ‘a nigga in a hoodie or a suit, you know they still gon’ shoot!’ I wanted to capitalize on the words I wrote and bring it to life visually, since that is the direction in which the generation I belong to communicates best.”
In response to the various arguments by those who wish to justify police brutality and by those who wish to avoid being brutalized, Morancy chose this photo essay as a way to clearly illustrate that a person’s clothing or demeanor is not the controlled variable.
It does not matter if Black people do or do not wear suits, if they have or do not have degrees, if they do or do not have criminal records; institutional racism is so deeply entrenched in American soil, Black people are constantly fighting to be seen as human.
Morancy’s photo essay emphasizes the urgency of coming to terms with the problem. Instead of focusing on ways to strategically not be killed by the police, we should focus on ways to strategically remedy systemic ills that foster such violence, “[t]he best thing I can do is try to present the truth to the best of my ability…it’s up to the viewer to decide what they want to do with it.”
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