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Announcement :: Race
by Richard Lou & Bill Fisher
Email: wwfisher (nospam) charter.net
22 Jun 2005
Missing Stereotypes - Public Art Piece.
∑ Distributing art-posters in Duluth, Georgia
∑ Sending T-Shirts through the mail with same image to principals in the Jennifer Wilbanks saga.
∑ Artwork is downloadable at following web address: http://billfisher.dreamhost.com/imagery.html
Click on image for a larger version
wwfisher (at) charter.net
Richard A. Lou
Missing Stereotypes - public art piece. Distributing art-posters in Duluth, Georgia and sending T-Shirts with same image to principals in the Jennifer Wilbanks saga.
"Missing Stereotypes" explores the media’s narration of the "Runaway Bride," Jennifer Wilbanks, and her mythically racist account of being "kidnapped" at gun point and sexually assaulted by a Hispanic man and white woman. "Missing Stereotypes" playfully examines, using our beloved first Hispanic and white couple - Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, as a counterpoint to the more ominous account given by Wilbanks to law enforcement regarding her "armed kidnappers." Our two questions are why didn’t the media respond appropriately to the racialized accusations by Wilbanks that could have placed Latino men in harm's way? Why do we continue to allow the media to d! ictate what we should care about?
Performance artist and McArthur Award recipient Guillermo Gomez-Pena said it best in his performance "Border Brujo" when describing the dominant culture’s schizophrenic relationship with Latinos in the U.S., "You are in good company but you don’t know it yet!" Jennifer Wilbanks, and for the most part a self-devouring frenzied media, certainly in what some might describe as theatre of the absurd, exemplified Gomez-Pena insightful conundrum. Wilbanks, the "Runaway Bride" related to police and the FBI "a torrid tale of abduction and sexual assault by a Hispanic man with bad teeth and his heavyset white female companion." (excerpt from CBS online, Christine Lagorio, May 13, 2005) What was it about her imagined transgressors that were palatable and therefore believable to a larger U.S. audience - the lingering racial stereotype of the oversexed, violent, and armed Latino male interested in miscegenation. It is not a coincidence that with t! he rapidly changing demographics in the North Atlanta area that it is bubbling with anti-immigrant sentiment, in Gainesville there have been reports of high school boys purposefully targeting Latino day-workers to rob, and hate groups are passing as immigration watchdogs.
Noam Chomsky’s warned us about the media’s ability to focus and enlarge the unimportant in order to deflect attention on matters that are vitally important to us as a nation interested in emulating a form of democracy. We fall in love/hate and are consumed with the tragic-comic figure of Wilbanks instead of focusing on issues that affect us profoundly and daily like sexism, racism, the lack of health care, U.S. invasion of Iraq, the legal and physical abuse of prisoners by U.S. armed forces, homelessness, global warming, HIV-Aids, poverty, and criminalizing dissent under the USA PATRIOT Act - unfortunately with the media saturation of the absurdly banal we have a populace that is mesmerized and par! alyzed with the similar wide-eyed vapid gaze of a Jennifer Wilbanks.
Missing Stereotypes - T-Shirt gifts great for travel or weddings. It’s in the mail! Below is the list of our projected recipients:
1. Jennifer Wilbanks
2. John Mason - fiancée
3. Claude Mason - fiancée father and ex-Mayor of Duluth, municipal court judge in Norcross, Georgia
4. Danny Porter - Gwinnett County District Attorney
5. Randy Belcher - City of Duluth Police Chief
6. Carter Brank, assistant special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation,
7. Shirley Lasseter - Duluth Mayor
8. Superior Court Judge Ronnie K. Batchelor
9. Elaine Reyes - 11Alive’s reported.
10. Ray Schultz - Albuquerque Police Chief
11. Ryan Kelly, owner of the Park Cafe a few blocks from Wilbanks’ house