Sunday, April 15, 2007

My daughter, Dorian Reid's, stunning art pieces were among those featured in a new show ...

It was wonderful to be reminded of some of the great things in the world this weekend -- after hours on end of exposure to the Don Imus craziness and the wierdness of having the entire media repeat over and over and over those hated words "nappy-headed ho's" as if doing so would cleanse them of their toxicity. It didn't. The insult was compounded and made the more egregious as time wore on.

What got lost was something I kept hoping would surface and rise above the din. It never did. And it was this:

Ten years ago the effects of the Imus transgression would have created a minor ripple but would have faded quickly into the background noise. Ten years ago corporate board rooms, newsrooms, broadcasting corporations were made up largely of white males. What has come is diversity to the workplace. In case no one has noticed, Affirmative Action has been and is being a resounding success!

In the aftermath of the Imus debacle, outrage within those corporations -- now integrated by both race and gender -- dramatically changed the outcome. Both NBC and MSNBC brass were confronted by women and racial minority staffmembers who demanded Imus's head! Not only the upper ranks of cable networks, but front offices of advertisers are now racially integrated and women and people of color are now in positions of relative power, and in large enough numbers to make a difference in matters of consequence.

That's the story that I've been missing in the aftermath. But I'm sure that someone will notice, and soon.

The Imus defenders are largely male, with a few notable exceptions. The female quislings -- Ann Coulter et al, appear pretty ridiculous as they continue swimming upstream against the majority of their gender -- which makes their positions the more glaring and ridiculous. There is also the usual complement of black conservative apologists for whom this is an unexpected windfall -- providing more ways to promise to bring the "Brethren" around; as if ... .

Now, maybe we can get back to appreciating the finer things in life, like the beautiful "outsider" art of the mentally-retarded. Is anything more stunning, more pure, ... or more directly from the heart; uncontaminated by either intellect or cleverness?

Photo: These are sections of a large (4' x 5') wall-hanging that is composed of Mardi Gras beads glued to canvas in a colorful free form that Dorian calls "Dragon." She had several pieces in this show, several of which were sold ($295 for this one)-- with half going to NIAD (National Institute for Artists with Disabilities) and half to the artist. Click on these thumbnails to get a closer look. They're exquisite!