“The Disgrace – Words and Deeds” by Barbara Brandel
This is one in a series of posts featuring an artist whose work is included in the Threads of Resistance exhibition.
Once upon a time there was a bratty little boy who was not very bright, but very white. He was born into a scheming family with lots of money, so he thought he was special and better than everyone. He thought he was a prince. When his father gave him a lot of money, the bratty boy bragged, offended, stiffed, lied, slandered, insulted, ridiculed, assaulted, and threatened anyone and everyone around him but mostly girls and brown-skinned people. He THOUGHT he should be king.
Meanwhile, most of the people of the village saw that he was just a blustering bully. But some were unsure, and thought maybe when he promised something, he could grant their wish. He pretended that he knew things, how to solve their problems, how to be rich like he was, how to have it all. He promised many people many different things, and even convinced some that if they gave him their money, he would grant their wishes. He started to BELIEVE that he COULD be king.
Sometimes he said and did awful things that hurt people and ruined their lives. But he could lie and cheat his way around that. He had practiced for many years. And he was good at blaming others for the very things that he had done. He could create a tornado of confusion in some people’s minds. He attracted a lot of attention, and he LOVED that. He was still a little boy at heart.
He blustered on about everything he could think of that would make people want him to be their king. Bad, selfish things that he believed, that he thought other people secretly believed, too. The little boy didn’t know the names of the things, because he was always a little confused. He called it all “Making Things Great Again.” He started thinking about ordering a crown.
One thing the little boy always did was make sure that any smart girl or darker –skinned person was bullied, slandered, or assaulted. He always said that he liked girls, but some people wondered. There was a girl who was smarter than he was who could beat him at any game. He made sure that she couldn’t, by secretly sabotaging her every move with the help of a very ugly bad bear, and gobs of other people’s money. The ugly bear and the people with gobs of money wanted the boy to do their bidding once he was king. They all wanted more for themselves, less for others.
Long story short, the little brat DID become king, made huge messes everywhere he went, and didn’t understand very much about anything important. He just wanted lots of attention, and wanted his empire to grow fatter at everyone else’s expense. His words and deeds defined him.
We don’t know how the story ends, but the RESISTANCE to his reign kept marching, rallying, writing, calling, working, speaking, art-making, knitting, and stitching for Truth and Justice and Equal Rights for ALL.
Hear a message from Barbara about her piece below: