Mon | May 20, 2019

JaRistotle’s Jottings | Colour madness

Published:Thursday | September 6, 2018 | 12:05 AM

And so it came to pass that Fitz of the Tribe of Orange had a fit over the bikes of Babylon. His gripe that their colour is representative of the Green Tribe and a flagrant attempt to politicise the operations of the Babylonians may strike some of us as just another round of laughable and juvenile political shenanigans. Others may argue that the powers that be ought to have been more attuned to the political culture of the country. Either way, the matter is altogether complex, ridiculous and serious.

While I will not argue one way or the other regarding the choice of colour, I am well aware of the international use of such high-visibility (neon) colours, ranging from yellow to green to orange, for law enforcement and search-and-rescue purposes.

Di problem is dat in Jamdown, we have been divided along politically influenced tribal lines, with divisions being overtly defined, amongst other things, by di colour of our everything, whether car, house, frock and now, motorcycle. So caught up are our politicians in their determination to promote their tribe and undermine the others that they have lost sight of the implications of their bigoted behaviour on the populace.

As I understand it, individuals and organisations, in trying to be politically savvy, have to cater to ridiculous and costly idiosyncrasies, such as refusal to wear prescribed safety equipment that is consistent with internationally accepted designs simply because 'it have di wrong colour'.

And what of instances where civil servants have been told not to wear dem nice pretty frock back to the ministry because is di other tribe's colours. Mek mi ask yuh dis, any minister a buy frock fi di staff?




Luigi Marini (Oxford University) had this to say regarding the use of colours: "Colours influence consumers" perceptions and behaviour because of learned meanings. Colours drive brand identity and recognition, such that consumers prefer products with colours that match their learned expectations and are likely to reject products that do not. Political parties similarly use colours to forge distinctive brand images, influence individual perceptions and fuel group allegiances and collective identities", doggedly targeting voters and manipulating them to develop partisan attachments to the party.

In essence, the party's colour becomes their means of identification and manifestation of belonging. The flip side to this is that political parties also manipulate thinking against other parties and their supporters with revulsion to other colours being an inescapable consequence.

This is a spot, on summary of the impact of colours as adopted by our local tribes, particularly the latter aspect, the manipulation of thinking against opponents and everything they represent.


Reckless endangerment


It is one thing to have to deal with the colour madness within the confines of closed events and ministries, but unfortunately, the bigotry has long spread to the wider society, championed with idiotic passion by politicos.

Given the garrison nature of our communities and the depressed levels of emotional intelligence, such bigotry provokes serious consequences, evidenced by the countless number of persons who have been maimed and murdered simply because they were wearing the wrong colour.

The question is, where do we go from here, how do we protect innocent people from such reckless endangerment'? Fitz's fit suggests we have nowhere going in a hurry, but that aside, we need to rid ourselves of the myopia of political party colours.

Banish party colours and make it mandatory for party emblems to be displayed against the backdrop of a single bipartisan colour, or the (collective) national colours: nothing else. Save Fitz from heart failure and the rest of us from mayhem.