I didn’t “get” the “what color is this dress” thing.
I read this joke recently. I’d seen it before:
As a man was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife’s voice urgently warning him, “Frank, I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on the Interstate. Please be careful!”
“It’s not just ONE car,” said Frank. “It’s HUNDREDS of them!”
It doesn’t ALWAYS happen, but I do TRY to see things from other people’s perspectives. Sometimes, I get a compelling narrative that butts up against my own.
For whatever reason, I never warmed to the Oscar Best Picture-winning movie Birdman. One of my oldest friends came out of a screening of the film the same day I saw another film, and she had exactly the same reaction as I did.
Yet, in my visit to one of the ABC Wednesday folks, Anita from India, wrote: Five Lessons from Birdman film. Among the observations: not resting on your laurels, and dealing with your inner voice. The piece is a wonderful contemplation, and I liked it much more than the film it touted.
I didn’t “get” the “what color is this dress” thing. Fortunately, my colleague sent me this story from Wired, which describes the science.
Another colleague noted, regarding the picture above: “Put your finger in the middle – Both panels are same color. It is the fact that the angle and highlighting make you believe the top is in the light and must be darker and the bottom is in the shadow and must be lighter.”
As a result of our conversation at church about white privilege in January, led by two of our members who are, not incidentally, white, one of my white church friends decided to engage his work colleagues about the topic; the result of this is that they looked at him as though he had three heads. Perhaps another reason why our white friends don’t talk about race.
The article in Salon with the provocative title Why the right hates American history has some really interesting notations about the change in in the American English language, which were instructive:
Living in the 18th Century, the Founders never would have actually used the word “privacy” out loud or in writing… The reason is simple: “privacy” in 1776 was a code word for toilet functions…
Instead, the word of the day was “security,” and in many ways it meant what we today mean when we say “privacy…”
Similarly, “liberty” was also understood, in one of its dimensions, to mean something close to what today we’d call “privacy.”
These are examples of showing, in a satirical way, how white privilege is so ingrained. As Hayes points out at the end, if you had substituted “black” for “white”, it would sound like normal American media chitchat.
One of the things that many right-wing Americans are fond of saying, and there are variations in the wording, is that there are a bunch of “professional black people” stirring up trouble between black and white people. By “professional black people,” I don’t mean black people who are doctors and lawyers and the like. Rather, their profession is BEING a black person. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are ALWAYS cited, and Barack HUSSEIN Obama has been recently added to the mix.
The general narrative is that, racially, things are FINE in America, that we have a post-racial society. I mean, we have a President who’s black! What more proof does one need? Well, none for the Supreme Court, which decides to gut the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action.