Often times when we can’t see other people we try to distance ourselves in a way that puts the other person as far away from us as possible. It’s a clever way to justify crimes and injustices committed against that person or group. Just make them very separate from you you don’t have to see the humanity in them. it’s a way to excuse yourself from being empathetic to that person or group of persons. The resolution that one would find for someone that they love or considered a member of one’s community would be much different from that of someone seen as on outsider or not seen at all.

The hyphenation on American is the perfect proximity manager. Its a linguistic divider that acts as a bridge or train track to the ‘other type’ of American. They type that is so far that they almost aren’t. If they ‘aren’t’ then the dignity empathetic and inclusion awarded to those that are isn’t necessary for those that aren’t. The only non hyphenated Americans are white. Everyone else gets that nifty proximity managing hyphen. Case in point the original Native-Americans, the exploited African-American, Asian-Americans etc.

That like hyphen might as well be as long as a trail of tears. I would like to say it’s a celebration of heritage and perhaps sometimes it is, but I feel that it is used more often as a proximity to whiteness manager.

As language does, It’s evolved to reflect the guilt surrounding it. An example of this evolution is the outdated term ‘half-breeds’ which was used to identify people who were partially of the African diaspora and part white in the United States. Better translated “as half of you, half of me, kinda like a horse but not like me at all because I’m not like a horse, you are.”

My artist brain was thinking, wouldn’t the literal version of a half breed would manifest as a centaur? To put a literal figurative component to that particular term as most things that we try to distance ourselves from become so absurd.

Speaking of horses. As a kid I wanted a horse. I wanted to go horse back riding and do competitions like some rich girls I had recently read about. The closest I personally got to acquisition was my little ponies which were fine, because real horse aren’t pink and purple and do not have hearts in there eyes. Well, there was that one time when our next door neighbors from Mexico brought back 2 horse and kept them in their suburban southern California back yard. The whole block smelled like horse poo and all the kids from the elementary school would crowd the gate to see them.I didn’t want a horse any more it seemed silly. My grandmother was so annoyed and called the city and that was that the horses were gone. Don’t know where they went maybe sold to those rich girls I was reading about.

Perhaps because, I didn’t have a real horse or stable I figured only like 4 girls had that horsey life. Fast forward to college and I met those pony having girls. They were real. It was weird…it was a thing…and I wondered if they ever thought of girls who didn’t have horses. My conclusion is that it never crossed there pony having minds. At that point I was annoyed with my childself for putting so much thought into them.