Study in black and white...

yardman5508's picture

Okay, so I am going to visit this topic yet again, but from a different angle.

We got to talking in Sunday School this morning about being black and being white in today's society. Actually, we got to talking about perceptions. The questions arose about the perception of good and evil and the colors identified with them. Since things bad are represented by black and things good are represented by white, what does this do to black people? How do they perceive themselves in terms of good and evil?

While this is not a new argument {seems to me that it formed one of the bases of Brown v. Board of Education}, it came back to me as we were talking about it this morning. How does it play out if someone is reminded constantly that their skin color stands for all things bad in the world? Or, equally, how does it play out that someone's skin color represents goodness and light in relationship to others? I don't know what the impact would be, but I can only imagine that, sub-consciously, it would have to have an effect on one's perception of the world. Just a thought. Keep the faith.

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Submitted by wildcat on Sun, 05/04/2008 - 4:17pm.

I believe I'm familiar with the study you're referring to (the dolls?). Do you really think that parts of society continue to hold that view? I hope not. All the crimes that have been committed against me have been by white people. I suppose I should equate white with evil and black with good? I remember when my daughter was in high school and she started dating a black guy. I flipped-out. I called him and asked him if his parents knew he was dating a white girl. He said his mom was white. I had to reassess my philosophy on interracial dating. I didn't flip-out because I thought he was "bad," I flipped-out because I was raised to believe that it was wrong to date across races. My parents were brought up to believe that it was wrong to date across nationalities. Eventually, the old ways will die out and everyone will get along. Don't you think so?

yardman5508's picture
Submitted by yardman5508 on Sun, 05/04/2008 - 5:09pm.

I really don't know. That is what I am trying to figure out. {Yes, I was referring to the dolls}. I tried to put myself in the shoes of other folks and tried to think how I would feel if I was getting bombarded by good/bad images and ideas. I agree with you that at some point we, as a people should get past that. But on the other hand, I also think that it is easy for me, as a white male, to think that way. "Get over it" is such a convenient thing for us to say when we are the ones who are supposed to be "gotten over". Keep the faith.

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

carbonunit52's picture
Submitted by carbonunit52 on Sun, 05/04/2008 - 8:54pm.

I don't see this as an issue. I believe that the good vs bad imagery is "light" vs darkness" rather than white means good and black means bad. At least, I never felt that I was more good or less bad depending on my degree of tan.
Subconsiously, maybe it is little guilt on the white man's side, or maybe it is a little jealousy because gold (which IS good) looks better on a brother man.

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