Picturing Change

I know this blog can often be a downer. Especially during the Trump years, there has just been so much damage, so much polarization, so much hate–it’s sometimes hard to focus on areas of actual improvement.

Today, however, I want to do just that.

Social and cultural changes are almost always slow, but I am not the only observer who looked at the people protesting after George Floyd’s murder and saw multi-racial, multi-ethnic crowds who weren’t there during previous era protests. And much as I worry about disinformation in today’s fragmented media landscape, I firmly believe that certain of the changes in that media have prompted social change for the better.

Pictures matter.

Until he retired, I team-taught a course–Media and Public Affairs–with Jim Brown, then Dean of the Journalism School. We created the course, which was offered to both journalism and public affairs students. Thanks to Jim, I learned a lot–probably a good deal  more than the students.

Jim was a photojournalist, and thanks to his insights, I learned to appreciate the impact of pictures on social attitudes, and to see how photojournalism practices of the country’s newspapers had fed and supported racism. For years, the old media truism–if it bleeds, it leads–led to the publication of (often dark and grainy) photographs of people accused of crimes.  Those photographs tended to be disproportionately of Black offenders. Worse, in the early days of television and in rural areas of the country, those were often the only portrayals of African-Americans that white Americans saw.

There weren’t interviews with Black scientists or doctors, no “human interest” pieces about Black educators or successful businesspeople. Aside from sports, television didn’t feature talented Black performers. A recent “Sunday Morning” interview with Leslie Uggams included the story of her hiring by Mitch Miller; she was the first regular Black performer on a nationally-syndicated show, and a number of southern stations threatened to stop airing it if she remained. (Miller, to his credit, ignored the threat.)

Today, our televisions and newspapers, as well as our workplaces and other parts of our environments, are far more representative of American reality. There are African-American newscasters, entertainers, scientists…And that increased representation isn’t limited to Blacks. Women are now news anchors, weather-people and even sports commentators. Figures with Asian and Latino names are prominent.

For the past decade or so, the media has been delivering a far more accurate picture of America and American diversity.

If you look at the names on the list of credits accompanying a television drama or movie, you will see a wide range of ethnicities represented. Actors no longer feel the need to “Americanize” their names in order to be acceptable to folks who might be put off by anything stranger than Smith or Jones.

And then, of course, we had a Black President.

Granted, the response from the hard-core racists to all of this has been hysterical. When Obama was elected, the rocks lifted and the cockroaches crawled out in force. But for eight years, the rest of us saw a class act–a cultivated, brilliant lawyer with a great sense of humor, an impressive way with words, an equally accomplished wife and an impeccable family life–a vivid contrast with his crude, inarticulate and ignorant White successor.

This forced encounter with the reality of America’s diversity has been anything but smooth or easy. Those old White guys of a certain age (and plenty of younger ones) have looked at the pictures that are everywhere–uppity women executives, newscasters of all races and genders (many with Latino or Asian names), Black people famous for something other than sports (and uppity women who are famous for sports!)–and seen only their own loss of dominant status. They’ve resisted. Some violently.

But the pictures are there, not just in the traditional media, but in the viral testimonies captured by those ubiquitous cellphone cameras. The visual environment has changed, and with it, the broader culture. Americans are talking about privilege. We are talking about injustice. About representation. We’re seeing the world–and ourselves–far more accurately.

We aren’t nearly “there” yet. But we’re picturing it.

 

 

39 thoughts on “Picturing Change

  1. Very insightful piece, Sheila. Media, through the eyes of journalism and advertising, reflects both our aspirations and changing reality. Political rhetoric to the contrary, claiming “fake news”, has no enduring value for social and economic progress or contribution to sustainable prosperity.

  2. The same applies to gay folks. For most of my life, the ONLY time gay folks were in the news it was an unpleasant story. Never anything good. The pictures selected were mostly selected for the ICK factor. And in Indianapolis, the story was always about the ANTI-Gay response and not the gay event. The Anti Gay church protesters got far more tv time than the actual PRO-Gay celebration. They would MAYBE show a guy with a beard wearing a dress. Something ODD – NEVER the average gay citizen/taxpayer.
    One year, I was involved in the organization that put on the yearly gay pride picnic in downtown INDY. It was directly across the street from the Indy Star (Our “Newspaper”)
    I called the paper that day and let them know there were 10,000 civilized gay people out in the sunshine. The guy on the city desk that day (a man who passed for a liberal in indy news and later in other organizations) told me that “We already did a gay story this week”. CLICK. Also, I personally called and FAXED (That tells you the era) all the indy TV Stations… before the event. Event day: NO COVERAGE. I called them Sunday night and was lied to. “Nobody told us about that event” . It was a frustrating time. NO POSITIVE COVERAGE in this town. There has been some progress for sure. Thank goodness for that.

  3. Nice essay with a positive slant on current events. Thank you.
    I have often felt that what we are seeing today is the last desperate gasp of the White Male power structure, and when a group is in danger of losing power it is most desperate, and most dangerous. I believe in time we will get to a place of equality for all in our country, and this essay is a reminder of how we have changed in the last few decades. There is much work left to do, so much that it sometimes seems overwhelming, but by organizing and continuing to strive we will get there. The sooner, the better.

  4. I would have hoped that our first black president would have been more impactful, but I can certainly understand why he wasn’t. Louis Farrakhan didn’t pull any punches in one of his finer speeches. Louis can preach too.

    Obama was a great orator, but that was about it. He was a puppet for the oligarchy, just like the rest of them. I believe Louis referred to him as a sellout to the black kids in Chicago’s inner city. Rahm went there just to stamp an exclamation point on it. No wonder the kids are angry. They finally saw MLK’s dream come true, but vanish within the first two years.

    Funny thing, Obama just went on a speaking jag (what he does great) to inform the BLM and Antifa folks that “snappy slogans” like “Defund the Police” hurt their cause. Imagine that!

    Mr. “Hope and Change” delivered status quo neoliberal policies while telling young black people to simmer down to help Mr. Biden’s “Build Back Better” snappy slogan.

    It would be funny if it weren’t so damn sad. Barack even told the Occupy group to settle down and worked with Wall Street Banksters to kill off that movement, which later lifted Bernie Sanders, only to see the DNC thugs throw him under the bus as well.

    However, the worst two acts ever besides letting Banksters off the hook were Obama’s embracing the international war criminal named GWB and campaigning for DWS against a progressive in FL.

    As Sheila pointed out, the American people didn’t see it because of the yellow journalism.

  5. Some kindly thoughts and warm memories of past pictures superimposed over the realities of the past week’s news films of the protesters outside their shut down favorite bar on Staten Island, the armed protesters who planned to kidnap and kill the Michigan Governor and those who surrounded and threatened the LT. Governor’s home as she and her 4 year-old son decorated their Christmas tree and the Health Department meeting which had to be ended so members of the committee could return to their homes surrounded by protesters. And Trump’s promise to “win this 2020 election” amid shouts of “four more years” at one of his planned holiday parties this week.

    My thoughts returned to, not a picture but a song from 1966; Simon and Garfunkle’s “Silent Night” behind the 7:00 newscast of the Viet Nam war.

    Sorry, but I need to do some shopping today and can’t ignore the realities of what is happening throughout this country to daydream and muse of past times and try to picture a better American beginning on January 20, 2021.

    patmcc; my fears have increased hundredfold for my 17 year old granddaughter who bravely “came out” on Facebook two months ago.

  6. Yes, Sheila is correct some ways!

    There were 2 shows that I can recall people watching in the early 70s, one was American Bandstand (1952), and the other was The Soul Train (1971)! Bandstand was out when my mother was a teenager, Soul Train couple of decades later, started in Chicago!

    Both of these shows were syndicated and the stations that carried them, especially in Chicago like WGN, reached deep into the South. Hence the popularity of the Chicago Cubs in a lot of those southern areas. These shows actually brought a vision of color and ethnicity that was not readily available anywhere else.

    Surprisingly the shows were popular even amongst many in the South who had issues with racial mingling or the music that was showcased.

    And yes, a picture is worth 1000 words as they say, but is that enough? Black lives matter, the protests in Kenosha, way more than 50% of those black lives protesters were white! As a matter of fact, in certain areas, white youth made up huge portions of black lives matter protesters. But, an interesting factoid, many who actually watch those protests, colorized the coverage to suit their belief about black lives matter. The white youth, well, they were an inconvenient truth.

    This blog is a fairly liberal one, there is discussion on Religion, there is a lot of discussion about Gay rights, Civil rights, Equality, Bigotry, Racial Ethnic demonization, Prejudice (prejudging) and the like!

    One thing I would like to mention, there should be no room for commenters to use ethnic slurs here!

    Before I ever appeared on this blog, I used to moderate for a blog called News Views! It was a take no prisoners type blog! But, as seen on this particular blog, Sheila’s blog, you have commenters using the term Sissies, JAP, Gooks, and the like! Using these terms, the purpose for using them, is to demean and injure! Slurs are designed elevate one above the other!

    You can say someone is a Nazi, and that’s an ideology! You can say someone is a Kraut, that’s an ethnic slur! I’m passionate about those sort of things because I was called the -N- for most of my youth. My wife, all of her life! It didn’t matter that she actually has 6 college degrees. She was still a -N-!

    The racial slur about those of the Jewish ethnicity had nothing to do with religion or ideology, it was done to demean! It was done to lower an ethnic group below those doing the demeaning!

    In my running conversation with Sheila, I talked about how this was “Ignorant” all forms of demeaning and/or ethnic slurs, that are designed to injure. Ideology is one thing, that’s a learned and developed thing, ethnicity, gender identity or gender, are not!

  7. Cultural change is long and hard. In a 1965 graduate class called “The sociology of race” our professor predicted that it would generations before real change on race would occur. He went on to say that civil rights efforts would very gradually provide for more whites really “mixing” with people of color – in school, at work, in the world. And then the whites would see that the old stereotypes that people of color are dumb, lazy, smell, whatever…are not true.

    And it has, and is, gradually happening. It would be happening faster if we had better public education to counter prejudicial teaching by parents, a different GOP not implicitly endorsing white supremacism.

    Asking for patience now seems very hard. Changes like a new voting rights act, government initiatives to reduce disparities in wealth accumulation, etc. can, over time, make change.

    But to this classic “liberal”, getting beat over the head every time I open the NY Times with a preponderance of articles in every section, fashion, arts, business, sports about people of color or LGBT does not create more empathy – it further divides the “us” into “we” and “they”.

    IMHO, this country will never live up to its supposed values of life, liberty and happiness for all unless we become, at some level, a community and not tribes, like so many hyphenated music genres.

  8. It was great to see the poll workers and ballot counters on daily TV. They were true heroes in the face of screaming idiots. The idiots are now screaming at those who would try to help people from getting sick and dying from an out-of-control, completely mismanaged pandemic. What sort of photojournalism fixes that?

    We already know that there are 25% of Americans who will become increasingly violent as the truth and facts collide with their fever dream delusions. Who will be the photojournalist that records the first deaths from mob violence over wearing a goddamned mask?

    Yes, much progress is being made, but those corrupt Senators still got re-elected, and Republicans continue to try every so much to destroy a safe, well-secured democratic expression of the people. Why are they doing that? Where is the positive spin there? Is it just a final death spasm of a dying political party?

    If/when that party dies, I will be dancing in the streets. THAT will be a positive news day.

  9. Heather Cox Richardson writes on her blog:

    “The Republican attorneys general of seventeen states supported a lawsuit Texas has asked the Supreme Court’s permission to file against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, suing them over their voting processes. A majority of voters in those four states voted for Biden, thus giving him their state’s electoral votes and the presidency. The states that want to sue are all Republican-majority states.

    They are hoping they can get the Supreme Court to allow them to sue, and that it will then agree with their complaint and throw out the votes from those states so the Republican legislatures there can then choose their own electors and give the win to Trump.

    Astonishingly, this argument comes from the party that claims to oppose “judicial activism.”

    The states that have declared their support for Texas’s lawsuit are: Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia. They are essentially asking the Supreme Court to disfranchise the majority in the United States and to let them put their chosen president in the White House. This assault on American principles is breathtaking.”

    I do not believe if someone back in the 1970’s had written a book or made a prediction of The Trumpet and GOP as it exists today it would have been taken seriously. You could not have pictured it.

    Seventeen states want to throw out the votes of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

  10. Speaking of demeaning terms and descriptive adjectives, there was once an attack on me using less than kind words and it nearly cost the writer access to this blog.

  11. I rarely comment. Perhaps the last time, quite a while ago, was to ask a question.
    And you did address that question, in a subsequent post.

    I rarely read the comments, since I came to the conclusion that they were primarily (1) lengthy monologues, (2) repetitions of your article’s points & (3) other back-and-forth discussions in which I was – & am – not interested.

    However, I do read your blog daily. And today I simply would like to say Thank You.
    Thank You so much!

  12. Thanks for your inputs today, John Sorg. Even today, one of our bloggers went full anti-Obama/Democrat for things that happened more than 4 years ago. The 2016 election was America’s fall through the rabbit hole to the fetid swamp of fascism filled with eager, Nazis like Stephen Miller, who have been harboring grievances for decades.

    Hitler used grievance too. Guess what happened to the German people. I was thumbing through one of my WW II history books and saw again the utter devastation of German cities and the abject horror of the concentration camps. The allies used bombers to destroy the cities and the Germans used gas and ovens to destroy as much Jewry as possible.

    Our Nazis are caging immigrant children. Our Nazis are letting a pandemic kill thousands without raising a finger. Our Nazis are trying to burn down our Reichstag, aka the Constitution. Our Nazis are trying to intimidate the populace who don’t agree with them. Our Nazis are behaving ever so much like the brown shirts of Nazi Germany.

    We’re supposed to be the champions of democracy, not the harbor of white grievance. How could we let one men do what he’s done? How could the Republican party – in its virtual entirety – roll over for this political atom bomb? How could the Republican party simply eschew its traditional platforms and so eagerly embrace the destruction of the democracy that allowed their donors to get so rich?

    I’d love to see that photo essay.

  13. Thanks, Sheila.

    Your piece prompted this thought: It strikes me that like never before more Whites are recognizing and grappling with their/our undisclosed/unrecognized racism. The fact that White supremacy and bigotry has been on its full, raw, ugly, violent display has pulled back (forever?) the veil of silence and denial. Its repugnance is causing inward soul searching and decisions for personal and social change–in the voting booth and on the streets–for many.

    That, to me, is cause for some hope.

  14. A picture is worth 1000 words. All of America saw on a video the murder of George Floyd which led to a huge rise in the protests of the Black Lives Matter civil rights group. That video proved that police brutality against African-Americans is a fact. And it is my hope and prayer that this will create the reforms America has needed for decades.

    As a lesbian woman born in 1951, I never thought I would have the right to get married. I never thought I would see myself represented in our state legisature. I never thought I would see a gay man run for president. Now my gay nephew has the right to get married.

    What Trump has shown us is that there is still a large group of Americans who are threatened by the loss of straight WASP male power. They are threatening those who challenge their long standing abuse of power. Once upon a time, no such challenge existed.

    Jupiter and Saturn are coming together on Solstice this year. I will starting looking to the South west to watch this amazing event in our solar system. The ancients would have believed it an omen. Who knows ? If it were an omen, I would pray it’s an omen pointing toward the creation of a world filled with justice and peace.

  15. lotta happen in the last 12 years,, ive combed over some photos of the minneapolis protests that went on daily, i was counting the white/black/other people in the photos. along with charlettsville. being i was raised in newark,n/j. during the fifties and sixties, the turnover in race backing is quite amazing,considering the movements,and past photojournalism from the past(targeted,and air time restrictions,editorial excuses). gay and mixed race couples are now commercially acceptable,as what we now have advertised on the tube. being in whitey land here in nodak, its still,white. i now see more diversity to the streets here, im smiling behind a mask, but i believe the newcomers see it. high five for a bump now. theres a move in some history to show and herald the black movement and why,and the guy who is in the same foxhole covering ur ass, isnt always,black and white. im fixin up a few old bicycles for kids, and donating them to the second hand store,where the manager gets a donation from me,to seek the single parent,and give them a free bicycle. this is my santa regime. im freeing up my big 4X4 back window for some sites that may inform the uninformed,where they may find answers instead of bubbas drivel on saturday nite maskless in a bar here..imagine that eh? its not manditory,and a few sheriffs have publically said, were not enforcing living. were indoors now, and the public is getting clobbered. ill hope for a vacine so i might be able to sit across a table and,enjoy some diversity soon. keep counting the photo images subjects, they are Americans,who see the light..

  16. Progress is a process, not an event.

    Humans are a diverse lot not because of our common ancestors but because before we all connected we wandered all over the world but then forgot about those days so when we reunited we acted like differences created by where we each settled made a difference in what we were (plus we wanted to steal from each other). Those processes took about 150,000 years.

    Now we are returning to the early years when we were all more alike so we are undoing what we did over those many centuries. Hopefully, that will go quicker.

  17. John Franklin Hay – not sure what you have been imbibing, but didn’t you notice that 74M+ voted FOR racism at the top and that ALL the most fervent supporters of same in the US House and Senate were re-elected and that the “somewhat better” DEMS lost all key Senate races and at least 8 House seats in a year when they won the presidency?

    You must be another person who drank the Hope Kool-Aid in 2008…and here we are…

  18. Lester:
    your right, but ive seen where the trumpers,lost intrests in trump, and uncertainly. they just have the power now to show us, they are still here,and out of the closet.

  19. Joan, 9:40 a.m.
    “I rarely read the comments, since I came to the conclusion that they were primarily (1) lengthy monologues, (2) repetitions of your article’s points & (3) other back-and-forth discussions in which I was – & am – not interested.”

    Joan; this is an open forum on which we exchange thoughts, views, ideas, information, knowledge, sources to research, agreements and/or arguments and at times insults. If Sheila Kennedy wasn’t interested in our comments and responses on her blog; she would not have had her son set up the web site to post them.

    Vernon, 9:17 a.m., thank you;
    “We already know that there are 25% of Americans who will become increasingly violent as the truth and facts collide with their fever dream delusions. Who will be the photojournalist that records the first deaths from mob violence over wearing a goddamned mask?”

    I have this habit of writing down quotes from movies and TV which have struck me as worthy of sharing; this one is a quote by Artemus Ward who fought in the French & Indian Wars, was an American Major General in the Revolutionary War and served in the House of Representatives from 1791-1795. “It ain’t the things we don’t know that hurt us; it is the things we do know that ain’t so.”; proving, as we watch Trump destroying trust and faith in democracy, that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Vernon posted a vital question as we watch post-election conditions deteriorate and the Pandemic accelerates at frightening speed.

    John Franklin Hay, 10:27 a.m.; a fitting Pogo quote supporting your words; “We have met the enemy, and it is us.”

    Theresa Bowers, 9:43 a.m.; we can’t help Texas pack today, Mexico would fight to repel their return.

  20. ML, as much as the Republicans have clamored against “judicial activism,” their real stance is “Whatever the hell will help us gather, and retain power, is a good thing.” Hypocrisy must be their friend, given how much they happily embrace it.
    Societal change does come slowly, and it indeed appears to be happening.
    The cell phone has proven to be a boon to same, as it takes the capacity to report on real things in real time.
    I believe there was a surge of anti-war sentiment, after the photo of the execution of the North Vietnamese fellow, with a gunshot directly to his head, made the papers on 2/1/68: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/01/world/asia/vietnam-execution-photo.html
    GWB, in his need to cover his idiocy, would not allow photographs of the unloading of the coffins of our soldiers at Dover AFB, as had been done during the Vietnam era.
    And, while it may, indeed, be an echo of Sheila’s point, yes, we are in flux, in good flux, to paraphrase John Lewis, while the “deplorables” fight a rear guard battle as they sense their ill gotten eminence slipping away.
    If you read “A People’s History of the United States,” by Howard Zinn, you will find that the elites of the colonial period used bigotry to manipulate the ordinary citizens even before we were the U.S.A.
    If you read “The Color of Law…,” by Richard Rothstein, you will find that racism has been used far beyond redlining, to intentionally create American ghettos, and the stereotypes theses had furthered.

  21. Take a look at this. In Berrien County, Michigan, a great story. Ray Bell, 22 years old, an African American student at Lake Michigan College, challenged Bruce Gorenflo, a 63 year old white man, for the Berrien County Commissioner seat in my Fifth District. (Fred Upton, Republican congressman, lives here) Ray tied Bruce in the count. A drawing was held, and Ray lost the drawing. An automatic recount by machine was done, and it came back tied again. Ray was entitled to request a hand recount. He won the hand recount by 4 votes!!!! The county clerk, Sharon Tyler, a Republican, appealed to the State of Michigan board of election. She was told in no uncertain terms that the third count was final and could not be recounted!!

  22. When President Obama was elected most on this blog celebrated what we regarded as progress. A barrier had been broken.

    Perhaps we mistakenly assumed that only good would come from that but with the flood gates opened all of the good and bad came through.

    Trump is the cost of Obama and that progress.

    What should we conclude from that? Progress is a process that bends towards good but takes a long time to resolve.

  23. I think it’s important for white people who cherish their sense of supremacy because of the color of their skin to never watch MSNBC (or for that matter, CNN). The brain power, eloquence, academic achievements, powers of logical persuasion, attractiveness, worldliness and career accomplishments of the Blacks, Latinos, Asian Americans, Gays and assorted citizens from all over the world who appear there would make them feel so inferior that they might wish to reach into their holsters, take out their trusty revolvers, and apply their Second Amendment rights to themselves. And given the power of the media, this trend toward revealing the breadth of competence in society will only escalate. Although our system still plays favorites, one day we will all come to acknowledge that I.Q and skills are lined up along a bell curve that favors no one group. Of course Fox is always able to find someone with heterodox opinions from among those groups, but even Murdoch feels compelled to give them increasing recognition.

    And yes, I continue to marvel at Todd’s long running inability to distinguish between the smartest and most articulate president since Kennedy and the most ignorant, least articulate and most traitorous president in American history. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is advertising a Master Class on Scientific Thinking you might find useful, Todd: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kPINNhHGNw

  24. Absolutely to the point, Sheila! During my decades as a print reporter and editor, I was guided by the results of readership studies that taught me that people look first at the picture (maybe the caption, too), then the headline and only then would they turn to my carefully crafted words. But I was able to work with photographers and page designers to set up entire packages that worked that way, and readers responded. What’s in the pictures is truly very powerful.

  25. Thanks for a positive blog post this morning. John, thanks for extending this to the written word.

    Monotonous Langour, funny you should mention the Attorneys General. Our Indiana AG was one of those that jumped on a lawsuit several weeks ago seeing Pennsylvania. I went to looking on how to contact our AG, and there was absolutely nothing. No email, no web page. Maybe I could have written a letter.

    I finally put the time in to enter a “Consumer Complaint” with the AG’s office, complaining he was wasting tax payer money to interfere with the election in another state, and asked for the $10,000 in legal fees to be refunded to the citizens of Indiana. I got a case number, but I never got an answer.

    I now realize that what the AG’s are doing is illegal, because they are using their office and the resources of the state to campaign for their party, since there is absolutely no legal basis and nobody in Indiana has any standing to interfere in Pennsylvania elections. Since the AG would be the one to prosecute this case, good luck getting that to happen.

  26. We, including the old white males among whom I number, are, along with minorities, losers by reason of our racism. In our denial of the basic rights of minorities to be educated, fairly paid etc., we have robbed ourselves of the ingenuity and contributions these folks could have made to the common weal. Everyone loses – brilliant move!

    In such connection it is noteworthy that the German couple who helped Pfizer come up with an inoculation for the virus are of Turkish descent, the sort Trump will not allow to come into our country, a couple who do not even own a car. If Trump had been president in a bygone era, Albert Einstein, an immigrant, would have been denied entrance and thus remained in Germany, there to perhaps aided Hitler in building the atomic bomb (speaking of alternative history). We are all immigrants, even American Indians, who immigrated to an empty continent.

    The lesson, aside from the morality of it all? Racism and exclusion are costly; very costly.

  27. Pete, ML, JoAnn, Jack, Robin,

    And last but not least Vernon!

    Every single commentor on this site is not going to have the same opinion! My opinions differ from most folks on this site because I look at things from a religious standpoint in a way. Although, I actually have had more rough-and-tumble arguments with those who claim to be religious than not.

    That being said, there are a couple on here who seem to have a connection with the authority, or, they know how to contact that authority and complain and cry about their troubles!

    My thing is, if you open your mouth, and you spew it out, then be grown up enough to handle blowback! The blowback I received from my comments doesn’t stop me from making them anyway, and, Sheila rips me a new one every so often! So if I disappear, it’s not because it’s my desire, it’s because there are those with bigoted viewpoints, and, I refuse to bite my tongue concerning them.

    A particular Emoji poster loves to try and bait me into getting blocked! He admitted as much in this particular thread today! Now, if that’s your existence, if that’s the most important thing on your mind, it’s juvenile! A bigot is a bigot is a bigot, doesn’t matter if they’re concerned about grandkids or friends, it’s wrong! Ethnic slurs should never be allowed, and, I will never use one! Not just because of what I posted in my previous comment above, but how do ethnic slurs or slurs towards gender and preference enhance the conversation?

    If you’re going to have a discussion, it can be heated, it can have diametrically opposed viewpoints, but, if you’re slurring someone because of their ethnicity, I won’t be quiet!

    You all be the judge, is it appropriate? I still see them on here posting, so it must be tolerated! But if they are called out, that’s somehow bad! I have trouble coming to terms with that! But I still think this blog post is important to get the ideas and opinions out there, regardless if they are long or short, they are all important. Even those comments that tend to be extremely ignorant and biased and racist, they reflect on the owners of those comments! They reveal who they really are! And that speaks more volumes than any picture ever could.

    One picture that I have saved, shows a picture of a young African-American woman in a long flowered dress and an African head wrap! An attractive woman! Large wedding band on her finger, still wearing her smart and simple kicks on her feet. Hanging from a bridge in 1909 Oklahoma! After she was raped in her home because they couldn’t find her husband, they took her out and hung her from the bridge! Not only that, they threw her child in the river to drown! The picture was copyrighted and used to sell postcards for Tulsa Oklahoma! Yep, I think I’d want to go visit.NOT No! And, we all know what happened in 1919 Tulsa and the Juneteenth slaughter! That kind of mentality is the same kind of mentality that allows someone to disparage individuals, and, the comments and other verbiage used to dehumanize those because of their ethnicity! History shows, that’s how it starts!

    It started that way in Nazi Germany, and, people kept their mouths shut! Friends or family stoked bigoted opinion to elicit a response of hatred in a subtle way, until it all blew up! I don’t understand the thought process behind allowing it, that’s a personal choice I suppose, but there should be some soul-searching involved!

  28. Pictures! When newspapers were the only ones printing pictures, intentionally grainy, they could shape opinion. But with the Internet that is no longer possible.

    1984 – Big Brother – cameras everywhere. Orwell got it right except for one thing. He missed that little brother would also have cameras. Bad cops could no longer hide behind the blue line because of little brother’s pictures.

    I love pictures.

  29. It was TV pictures of the attack on marchers in Selma that ignited the Civil Rights movement and motivated whites to join the cause…at least 1,000 words.

  30. Joan: Good on ya! Oh the beauty of scrolling quickly past the monologues! Brevity is the soul of wit! Also the soul of the likelihood that I will pause to read the comment.

  31. Betty,

    Yes, brevity is good if you’re playing pinochle! I can imagine the United Nations conducting meetings and somebody says your speech is too long, these proposals are too involved, where is the wit? Yes, brevity is the soul of wit? Lol, wit is something used when an individual has nothing to add to an intellectual conversation! So might I suggest, let’s save wit for the circus!

    Remember, reading is fundamental! I don’t recall them adding wit to that statement!

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