When it comes to shapes and colors in English writing, there is a specific order. In any book we read, we can expect words related to shape and color to appear in sequence when describing something, or someone.
One does not write: "The black, fat cat sat on the fence". This would imply there are more than one fat cat, but it was the black one which sat on the fence.
If this isn't the author's intention, the corrected order for the shape and color adjectifying the cat would be: "The fat, black cat sat on the fence". Here we interpret no more than one cat sitting on the fence, and we establish a clear image of the animal's appearance: fat and black.
A nation raised on such mechanics of writing institutionalizes that shape and color are important. We simply cannot think, speak, or write without shapes and colors.
The problem is that once this idiom is engrained in our brains for generations, we cannot see or hear without shapes and colors anymore either. We expect everything to be interpreted into our minds with a basic formula: Shape-first. Color-second.
Now we start to look for this formula in our daily lives. We want fast, black (red, blue, etc.) cars. We want big, white weddings. We want to live near vast, green fields.
Once our environment has a developed a status quo for how it should look, it's only natural that the people there should adhere to the same principals.
As a society we can only think, speak, write, see and hear shapes and colors related to one another.
Shapes and Colors: Insight into Intolerance and Racism through the Mechanics of English Writing by A.E.H. Veenman.
(c) July 2013, A.E.H. Veenman, Exobia.