Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Hanging Tree Of Denial

I finally posted this tome of a comment at PetaPixel basically out of sheer frustration; it's not easy holding off all comers, one brief comment at a time when you're in the pronounced minority. In fact- one commenter actually said that I should give it up exactly because my opinion was in the minority! Not the thing to tell someone who grew up- a minority member (especially when you want to shut them down). 

"Why bother?" I'm often asked, especially when those attacking don't even know the very nature of the fight. Because it's even more ridiculous if one only preaches to the choir...

The photographic image still has power- so does history.
For the record, I do Not think that the Hanging Tree ad was intentionally racist (clear?). That said, when African Americans protested that it was potentially racist imagery, the company had ample opportunity to deescalate the situation, make peace and set things right. Instead, they chose to inflame the situation, almost hilariously so as the Wonkette post so brilliantly pointed out (must read!).

The knee jerk, White indignation and backlash of course, is always... "humorous" to behold. Blatant denials, counter accusations, reminders of all manners and instruments of death inflicted on all kinds of people for whatever infraction, in whatever geographical region of whatever time period imaginable. Funny stuff. And they make no distinctions between lawful executions by hanging, and the acts of crazed and extrajudicial lynch mobs. If I were White, if I were like most Whites, the thought of a noose as a weapon of terror would never occur to me either! I sympathize my White brethren- I really do!

Whites don't associate the threat of lynching with a noose because they weren't the ones being terrorized and lynched. They weren't the ones being strung up for not calling a White man, "Sir" or "Mister;" they weren't the ones having their head stuck in a noose for bumping into a White girl on a busy downtown street; they weren't the ones meeting death at the end of a rope from a bunch of foaming, racist savages because they dared to wear the uniform that they proudly fought in for their country- in their very hometown.

Whites don't have that visceral association of death and terror based solely on someone's mere whim- their families didn't relate those stories of woe, there's no history of this tragedy with them, no legacy of loved ones lost to a national psychosis. They just rather assume that everyone was hanging high back then, all in equal measure. Separate, of course- but equal all the same. That's why they can't bear to hear any of this symbolism, association stuff. That's why this is all a non issue, joke to them.

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