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The colors of dawn

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas (The Freeman) - January 23, 2021 - 12:00am

The color purple continues to have various meanings for people and groups across time and location.

During Advent Season, which celebrates the dawn of Christ’s birth, purple (or violet) traditionally symbolizes repentance and fasting.

From the past till today, purple continues to be associated with women. This hue has been a symbol of the American women’s movement since the early 1900s, when it became an official color of the National Women’s Party (NWP) and the Suffragettes campaigning to gain the right to vote. A 1913 NWP newsletter noted, “purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause.

At present, all throughout the world, purple represents unity against harassment and violence against women.

At the inauguration of the new US president and vice president, a parade of purple was distinctively observed.

Ruth Sofaer-Morse, a fashion historian in California, said “purple is the color of royalty,” generally representing “richness and affluence because it was so hard to make for so long."

Literally, however, the color purple results when the colors red and blue are combined. Was the prominence of purple then during the inauguration done on purpose as a symbol of bipartisanship on that historic day described by many as the dawn of a new day for the US?

Will Biden succeed in uniting the red Republicans and the blue Democrats into what he had from the past described as a “purple nation”? Will a purple US emerge at dawn, when light shines through darkness?

Together, will Biden and the American people master their present rare and difficult hour? Will joy come in the morning for them, after weeping through the night? Biden believes that, they “will get through this together.”

Back home, will there be a new dawn for our country where the dilawan, the red and Duterte loyalists will unite to form the united color orange? In the past, the rainbow coalition easily collapsed, the rainbow turned into balimbings soon as loyalties shifted to the highest bidder!

Can our Filipino youth believe the dawn of democracy, “a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve” like Amanda Gorman, the young 22-year-old poet who shared her poem “The Hill We Climb” during the inauguration?

These reflections for our youth from Gorman’s poem.

“When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry. A sea we must wade. We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always just-ice.

“Do our youth see a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished?

“Are our youth striving to form a union that is perfect, striving to forge our union with purpose, committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man?

“Do our youth lift their gaze not to what stands between us, but what stands before us? Do they understand that to close the divide because we know to put our future first that we must first put our differences aside, that we lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another, that we seek harm to none and harmony for all.”

Gorman proceeds:

“While democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated. In this truth, in this faith we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us. This is the era of just redemption.

“When day comes, we step out of the shade of flame and unafraid. For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

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