13575, With a grain of salt|
Posted by Nettrice, Fri Jun-01-01 06:28 PM
Okay, so I dusted off my copy of "The Isis Papers" and took another look at some of what she asserted about white supremacy. The book was actually helpful for me to reject some of the images portrayed in the media.
I am a sometime conspriracy theorist and I am a visual artist so I see symbols of white supremacy in lots of instances, especially in the media. I agree with white supremacy as "the basis of a negative self image and concept of the self..." I also believe that these images are so ingrained in the psyche that it hard to separate reality from the "white" socio-political dream.
I also strongly agree that "the length of time required to neutralize global white supremacy will be inversely proportional to 1) the level of understanding of the phenomenon; plus 2) the evolution of self-and group respect, the will, determination and discipline to practice the appropriate counter-racist behaviors- on the part of the non-white victims of white supremacy."
I take some of Welsing's other assertions about symbols with a grain of salt. The cross and male genitalia concept is interesting if unimportant. The point is to reject or re-assess all the of the images we are bombarded with by the media.
"The Neurochemical Basis of Evil" may be contrived but the overall point is that the enslavement and oppression of African people and their decendants is insidious (even more so because racism thrives). I was especially interested in "Black Fear and the Failure of Black Analytical (Idealogical) Commitment". I was looking for a way to explain the behavior of some of the Black people I interacted with as a college student activist.
The cross and balls theories watered down the overall book but was interesting to read about, nonetheless.
Back to images and symbols:
I presented an illustration in class about negative or false images in advertising and it was a recreation of an 1920s advertisement featuring a watermelon-eating Black man with saucer eyes and exaggerated lips. I was determined to prove that the white people in my class would not recognize the ad as a negative image. I was successful. The professor and some in the class asked me what the negative image was. I had just read "The Isis Papers".
One of my recent paintings features dancers with dark skin and "natural" hair (afros). One of my older white co-workers saw it and said she loved the piece and she, too, collected monkeys. She saw African dancers and equated them with monkeys.
Part of my activism is creating images that address some aspect of the legacy of the African diaspora- from heritage, to the middle passage, to heroes and I have had to explain to some Black people why I paint only Black people. The way people respond to these images supports Welsing's theory about "symbols and brain process". It helped me to understand that people are brainwashed to reject, or resist any image that counters the ones created in the "white supremacist system".
I am glad I read the book.
"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you or forsake you". So we may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
-- Hebrews 13:5,6
"There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path"
--Morpheus in "The Matrix"
"It's our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities"- Dumbledore to Harry Potter "Chamber of Secrets"