On June 1, Banksy, the anonymous British graffiti artist, through the Twitter id @therealbanksy, posted this video of an entire town in Istanbul that learned sign language to surprise a deaf man. Banksy’s post was retweeted 29,900 times and liked by 43,700 people. This occurred several years ago and was part of a Samsung ad for a video call center. It has been posted by so many people and organizations, I stopped counting.
A few days later, I saw the following post. On June 3, The Episcopal Café retweeted an image of a noose found near a Washington DC elementary school. There were 14 posts about this horror. One of those had 849 Retweets. Several had none. And a few were in the 100 range.
The kindness shown by the neighbors in Turkey’s Istanbul, juxtaposed with the hatred expressed in our own nation’s capitol, is both troubling and ironic. These juxtapositions are also complex, once the commercial motivations of South Korea’s Samsung are woven into the equation as well as the public response as gauged by the retweets. However, these aspects are not all that strike me.
With these two posts, I am left holding in my heart two extremes. Unresolvable, probably. And that holding, revisiting;
that “unsolving” seem to be at the heart of what it means to be human.