Skin Color Is A Pigment Of Your Imagination

Atlanta’s Race Riots In Infrared

A year has passed since Mike Brown was fatally shot 6 times by Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, yet the consensus remains the same. The myriad of eyewitnesses, cameras and notepads found at the front lines of this nationwide movement reported on the basis of racial discrimination. This limited perception stems from a major flaw of humanity that even the most objective of journalism cannot escape: Your eye is a tool; Every tool has limitations.

While the rest of the world focuses on separating fact from conjecture, we would like to focus on the debacle through the lens of an infrared camera that renders skin color obsolete.

August 9th, 2014

Mike Brown, a black, unarmed teenager was fatally shot 6 times by a white Police officer, Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. What started as a candlelight vigil in memory of the slain teen soon erupted into multiple days of full-blown civil unrest, rioting and looting [Not pictured]. Overnight, hundreds of protests calling for justice and equality sprung into action around the US.

August 18th, 2014

Coordinated via social media using the hashtags #HandsUpDontShoot & #ItsBiggerThanYou, thousands of protesters gathered in Downtown Atlanta at the onset of a flash thunderstorm to march in solidarity with Mike Brown. “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “No justice, no peace” were the battle cries used to highlight issues of excessive brutality and racial profiling within the police force.

The passionate demonstration came to a standstill outside the doors of CNN’s Atlanta headquarters where the protest organiser, 19-year-old Elle Lucier, took the opportunity (and the megaphone) to vociferate her desire for social change with the clamoring crowd.

Since the discovery of the electromagnetic spectrum in the 1800’s, we know that what we can perceive with our 5 senses is less than one millionth of reality.

Our Sun radiates electromagnetic radiation most strongly between the wavelengths of 390 and 700 nanometers. Courtesy of evolution (or perhaps divine intervention), our eyes have developed such an advanced sensitivity to this particular array of energy that our brains can form vivid images based on the wavelengths they receive. The energy in this spectrum is known as visible light and it forms the basis of human sight.

If you’ve ever been sun-burnt (ultraviolet light), used WiFi to connect to the internet (radio waves) or had a broken bone scanned (x-ray radiation), then you’ve experienced/harnessed forms of energy that lie beyond the limits of our perception

As melanin developed in the human body as a natural barrier to protect us from harmful rays of invisible ultraviolet light, it should come as little surprise that infrared light is able to pass through the skin coloring pigment unobstructed as though it were made of glass.

Looking at the world through a camera that has been specially modified to allow the transmission of infrared light ONLY (i.e. Electromagnetic energy above the wavelength of 720nm), we can see that a diverse array of races immediately lose their skin color in lieu of a translucent epidermis. Even superficial vascular systems found several centimeters beneath the surface of the skin are revealed.

This means whether you are a dark-skinned Nigerian soccer player or the pale bassist of a Norwegian death metal band, you will have little to no perceptible difference in your epidermal complexion.

As it turns out, skin color is a pigment of your imagination…