using the term "black"
In all oppressions there is a victim. Some societies
bring up their children to see the existence of such
victims as "society's fault" (so society much
constantly change!) - and thus view the people in my
pictures with a sense of solidarity.
However, the Internet also reaches into very racist societies, where people are brought up to unconsciously put the blame on the victims themselves. Concerned people in those societies will generally try to avoid the use of such pictures for fear that they will cause negative stereotyping. Instead they will focus on what they call "positive images" - that is to say - images of those who "succeeded" in spite of oppression.
I believe that (in an educational context) it is important to use pictures that can help enlighten us about our responsibilities towards the "least of our brethren" through a deeper insight, understanding and subsequent change of the oppressive sides of our own behavior.
The opposite - for all its good intentions - ends up
as just another "sweeping under the carpet" -
the type of evasive guilt-ridden racism which silently
forced millions of people into rejection, ghettos and
eventual despair and anger.
Besides, in a society such as the U.S. where negative thinking about blacks now runs so deep that pretty much no taxi driver will pick up a black man at night, it is pretty safe to say that you can't possibly reinforce people's negative thinking. Fear is running so deep in white Americans now, I sense, that no amount of Bill Cossby-type "positive" shows on prime time TV will do the slightest to decrease the negative thinking and fear generated by un-ending reports of black men in handcuffs on the evening news.
Only personal social interaction with blacks will. Or
a more honest form of education about the oppressive
social forces which daily mould and create people who
actually look and behave like "negative
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