Saturday, August 02, 2008

Racism is Color Blind on CNN's Crossfire

A black commentator tried to convince panelists of the subtle racism in John McCain’s ad that juxtaposes images of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears ad with that of Barack Obama at a large rally. The juxtapositions are intended to cast doubt on Obama’s experience to be president. They also create subtle impressions of the classic American fear of black men harming defenseless white women.

Mike Barnicle, filling in for Chris Matthews on Crossfire, and Michele Bernard, expressed shock that the black commentator could say such a thing. “I don’t see it,” one panelist said.

The black commentator was unable to express the notion as accurately as he might have. Nor did he bring up the cognitive tests we now have about people group and assign meaning to images that reveal subtle racism.

The racism in the ad exists at a subliminal level. Like the panelists on Crossfire, people find the idea unbelievable when it is explained as conscious processing. None of us like to admit to these hidden pockets of racism deep within our unconscious. We cannot see it, as the panelist said; it is an unpleasant look at oneself.

1 comment:

Sylvia K said...

Thank you for saying it so well! I feel the same way. It's there, the racism, I'm not sure it will ever go completely away as there are far too many people who cling to it, for whatever reason.