Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Sanford, May 21, 2020.
“Black lives matter” = “Black lives matter too”,
“Only black lives matter”.
Yes! I couldn't agree more. The vehemence of your responses illustrates my previous point. It does not matter how much I agree with anybody, if my statement is construed as undermining the issue at large. I'm about as much of a WASP as one could ask for, and if one needed to categorize me. Yet, I've lived in places where I was harassed, spit upon, threatened, and physically attacked, not for any behavior I exhibited or words I uttered, but for others' association of me with positions or issues based solely on my physical appearance. Sounds far fetched, I know, but Argentina was not a good place to be an American in 1982. So, to at least some degree, I have real empathy for those who suffer due to prejudice. I still believe strongly that responding to hate and prejudice with more of the same is not the road to fixing what's wrong with our society.
If you express yourself clearly, you're more likely to be understood. If you reduce your own position to a statement like "all lives matter" then the fault is yours for the response you get. You have ample opportunity to speak and explain yourself here. You brought up "all lives matter" when the topic of race wasn't even being discussed. Those three words have been adopted by many racists and people unsympathetic with black equality and recognition. If you have a more nuanced view on the subject of race, then simply bringing up "all lives matter" out of the blue does yourself a great disservice. As you advised the professor, think before you write. If you don't want to, fine, then don't blame responders for making conclusions based on the words you've written.
By the way, the fact that one has suffered a form of discrimination does not show empathy. The words we speak and the actions we take do.
Does this apply to all equally? Should the protesters be carrying signs worded as suggested by Supriyo? I'm NOT saying they should, but there seems to be an assumption that anybody who looks like me has a burden to be more thoughtful and considerate than the overt, recognized victims of oppression, which is at odds with your position of saying exactly what one thinks without overt self-editing. Must "all lives matter" only be interpreted as depreciating the message of black lives matter? Certainly it's been used by some (even many) as a taunt, but that is not it's only meaning, any more so than assuming that "black lives matter" means that "only black lives matter".
Since you used the pronoun "you" I assume you're addressing my statements specifically, and not a hypothetical? I thought I was careful and considerate in my personal expression. Please recall I said:
An assumption of racist intent is just as prejudiced as actual racism. We should all give one another the benefit of the doubt.
What in the hell are you talking about? Which protestor assumed something about YOU? Were you in the presence of a protestor who made an assumption about you or people who look like you? You’re telling fictions and projecting assumptions. As far as people who look like you, what my tv has been showing me is that many if not most of the protestors are WHITE! I’d suggest most of them would be happy for you to join them and don’t particularly care about the words you might write in a photography forum.
No. But if you say it in response to someone chanting "black lives matter" and don't add that you also understand that they have, as a race, been treated particularly badly in this country and that you'd like that to change, then they have every right to assume by your omission that you're not empathetic to what they're trying to tell you. Again, coming back to an oppressed person with a platitude about how you love everyone equally without acknowledging that you understand why they feel the way they do and that they have been made to feel less loved and equal in this country rings very hollow.
In any case, words of love are important and a good start but also only take us so far. What the protestors and George Floyd’s family (and I) want is structural and policy change. So, without an accompanying support or demand or vote for such change, professions of love for all mankind sound nice but are more often abstract rather than concrete. The mother whose son may be detained or not come home alive because a policeman saw him driving late at night wearing a hoodie while black wants something concrete. A change in police policy needs to accompany words of love.
Moderator comment: Gents, I have not been aware of where this went. As you all well know photography site. This has not a darn thing to do with that avocation. Please drop it or take it outside of photo.net. Continue and I will lock it down.
Consider it done.
"But when "all lives matter" comes as a response to "black lives matter," I find it much more suspect a phrase. Context is important with all kinds of utterances." Sam.
Context, reveals quite whispers of thought.
Of course data and photographs should not be feared....and thoughts should not be hidden under a cloak of fear.They offer truths, like the massacre and abasement of native folk in so many countries as an example.
Anyway enough starting to get too heavy.
So, us and all, being photographers....time for a photo to reflect our thought.
Separate names with a comma.