Through With Causes


Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

I have been away from Redstate for a few days working on something with a friend of mine who works in the state department of education.  It started as a joke between us- the term “spatial ambiance-” but the powers that be in the state of New Jersey liked the term and we have been working on, for lack of a better term, classroom designs.  The idea is not student comfort, but a classroom set up conducive to better behavior and learning.  I know it sounds weird and touchy-feely, but trust me: there is actual science behind it.


One of the things we noticed (he did the observations and such) was that certain colors had a more calming effect on students, especially those in the lower grades (K through 4th).  Generally, kindergarten classrooms and 7th-grade classrooms are perhaps the most unruly.  With kindergarten, it is likely attributable to separation anxiety and a lack of socialization skills.  Hormones explain seventh and perhaps sixth grades.  Regardless, most kindergarten classrooms, if not all bland and generic white- have happy vibrant colors: red, yellow and orange.  We noticed this tendency although there were exceptions.  Without going into details of the research aspect, we noticed that in classrooms that had more pastoral colors (blues, greens) there were better-reported classroom behaviors.  Longitudinally, we also discovered that the more pastoral-colored rooms had better grades when those students advanced to a later grade.

All of this is not to say that the happy, vibrant colored rooms cannot be successful.  There is still a lot of data to go through and analysis, but this got me to thinking about colors.  In particular, I started to think about those ribbons celebrities wear to awards shows to signal their virtue and those colored wrist bands people wear to signal their awareness or virtue.

Recently, some have taken to wearing orange wrist bands and they are the ones in favor of gun control.  My only guess is that the selection of the color orange has something to do with the color hunters wear… get it?  Hunting…guns?  At one time, people “tied a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree.”  This trend started in 1979 during the Iranian hostage crisis where people literally tied ribbons around trees until the hostages were home.  Today, yellow ribbons are a sign of a desire to bring Americans home safely.


However, I was also surprised to learn that wearing a yellow ribbon or wrist band supports the cause of missing children (I thought that was the role of milk cartons), bladder cancer, liver disease, spina bifida, and obesity.  I get the liver disease part (jaundice), but obesity?  Perhaps that is the color of fat cells in the human body.

Red at one time was used to signify AIDS awareness, but AIDS is so 1980s.  That’s a generation ago and no one really cares or talks about AIDS outside the gay community.  But…wait!  Isn’t the color of blood red?  In fact, it is and red is often used to signify one’s awareness of any number of cardiovascular diseases and ailments.  Of course, other diseases tangentially related to the cardiovascular system have adopted red also.  As has the DARE program.  What drug abuse resistance education has to do with either AIDS or cardiovascular disease and ailments, one knows not.

Confusing the whole color system, there are other shades of red.  For example, take the case of pink.  Everyone knows that pink is for breast cancer.  It makes intuitive sense: breast cancer is primarily a woman’s disease and all women like the color pink.  So why not use pink to symbolize breast cancer?  But, it is estimated that about 3,000 men develop breast cancer every year, so perhaps some blend of pink and blue (it is supposedly a male color) should be worn to draw awareness to male breast cancer.

Remembering basic art class, red plus blue equals purple, so male breast cancer awareness cannot use that color.  Alas, the poor male sufferer of breast cancer cannot use purple because that has been stolen by ADHD sufferers, those in chronic pain, cystic fibrosis, trisomy 18, premature births, domestic violence, and elderly abuse.  Even the various shades of purple like violet (Hodgkin’s disease), lavender (a multitude of cancers), and periwinkle (eating disorders) are taken.


What about good old blue?  Sorry- drug addiction recovery awareness has a dibs on that color as do many other forms of cancer.  In fact, even a blue wrist band or ribbon may signal awareness of Restless Leg Syndrome.

People suffering from mental diseases, mainly depression and bipolar disorder, are color hogs.  They have not only claimed green virtue signals, BUT ALSO GRAY.  Talk about privilege?  Also associated with green are cerebral palsy awareness and even Tourette’s Syndrome awareness as if the scatology did not give it away.  Lime green signifies…you guessed it…Lyme Disease awareness (note: no ticks wear this color) while jade signifies some liver disease and mint green means a genetic disorder (which must really confuse those aware of trisomy 18…see above).

We can always mix colors like autism awareness which uses the three primary colors in a jigsaw puzzle fashion.  However, those suffering from a dissociative identity disorder- which translates into confusion- may be further confused since an identical design to autism is utilized.  And of course, black and blue signals not your average bruise, but solidarity with law enforcement.

This is intended in no way to disparage the sufferers of any disease or ailment.  It is meant to draw attention to the fact that there are soooo many causes and only so few colors to go around.  Realistically, there are only six colors in the visible light spectrum (sorry…indigo in ROYGBIV does not exist).  Combinations and shades have to be utilized given the number of causes that seem to necessitate all the awareness and all the signaling.


As for me, I signal my virtue by flying an American flag on my front porch and the Gadsden flag and Second Amendment (word-for-word) on my car.


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