Blog / 2022 / What I Learned Living Six Years in Conservative America

January 5, 2022

[video transcript]

You can download the anitfascist rainbow eyeball animation shown at the end of the video here, and there are other fun art GIFS you can share in this online gallery, including a pro-vaccine one and a pro-mask one!

I make a lot of political art and, though not all of it is positive, my work always starts a conversation instead of telling people how to think, because I make art, not propaganda.

rainbow iris eyeball, “I see color” meme art
Gwenn Seemel
I See Color
acrylic and marker on paper
11 x 11 inches

The original painting is for sale for $150 plus shipping—see all currently available artworks—and there are prints and pretty things with fun eyeball designs here in my print shop.

blinking eyeball GIF with a rainbow iris, “I see color” meme art
Gwenn Seemel
I See Color GIF
digital animation

I see color.

And it wasn’t until I’d lived in a super-conservative, racist, sexist, ableist, anti-mask, anti-vax, climate-change-denying, insurrection-happy area that I realized just how unusual seeing color really is.

For years, I made my home in Portland, Oregon, that famous bastion of lefty sentiment where adults often skateboard to work and kids of any gender wear princess dresses to school if they want. Being curious about others and embracing all the different ways there are to be human feels completely natural to me, but now I get that it’s not.

Now I understand that, when conservatives say they (quote) “don’t see color,” it’s not just a slick way of pretending that they have no racial bias. They mean it literally.

The fascist goal is to deny differences for long enough, so that those differences eventually go away. At that point, Americans will all be one same-thinking super-robot of blahness that will then be able to fight against the blah super-robots of other fascist countries, and these wars will make the fascists worldwide feel like they have a purpose—oh ya, and god (the only actual one, of course) is definitely on their side. “I don’t see color” is just one more instrument dangling from their denial tool belt, which is already plenty heavy with denying everything from global warming to the millions of deaths caused by COVID.

When I say that I see color, I am promising to not shut out reality, no matter how painful it might be at times. I’m committing to being present, even if it sometimes feels like it’s all too much.

I see you, my fascist neighbors. I know that you and your friends attacked the US Capitol with the intent to destroy American democracy on January 6th of 2021. I also know that this country is full of people who will always resist joining a same-thinking super-robot of death. Because we see way more than fascists. We see color.

This video is made with love and microdonations from my community!

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


To receive an email every time I publish a new article or video, sign up for my special mailing list.


If you enjoyed this post, Ko-fi allows you to donate. Every dollar you give is worth a bajillion to me!