The maintenance of an anglocentric mindset in a so called post-colonial multicultural society. LOL OK this isn’t a thesis just frustrated reflection on the bloody obvious.
There appears to be a fad now of advertising in shop windows that attempts to capitalize on concepts of ‘community’. Besides finding it particularly creepy to have giant images of people’s faces looming down on me, it is also very obvious that the vast majority of the faces are white. Entering any shopping complex I already experience a kind of shock at the overabundance of posters and manikins depicting white or slightly tanned sexy models, used to promote the myriad of useless products. They are now trying to capitalize on creating an illusion of community.
|Dr Seus 'The Sneeches and other stories'.|
I think the idea is that by having images of ‘ordinary’ people’s faces thrown up on every wall and window it will make us feel comfortable and included. Personally I find that stuff creepy. I go to the chemist and I’m confronted with an oversized image of some white person in a white coat smiling at me... (Seriously! Is that you Nurse Ratched?) I think the idea is that we can look at the images and think, hey that picture of a person in a natural pose with imperfect features, yet also kind of good looking..., is just like me... (I’m guessing that’s the plan) Only they’re not. Are they? We’re not all white people, in fact I reckon on any day you visit my local mall you would easily find that white people probably make up a less than a quarter of the population.
The reason I’m drawing attention to this practice at the moment is because of the completely overt nature of the prejudice revealed by these seemingly innocuous images and the effect I am sure it has on our community. I believe it is the continued saturation of media with ‘white faces’ white values, white lives that is responsible for the perpetuation of an inequitable, unbalanced, fearful country bent on turning neighbour against neighbour, making it impossible to build a mature self aware community.We are afraid to build honest trusting relationships with those who fall outside our own ethnic, social profile. Ergo we’ve been sold that same lie Dr Zeus’s tried to warn us about in 'The Star bellied Sneeches'. Why? Well I think it actually serves a commercial purpose…. And just like in the book there is a profit to be made by social inequality. I am sure we are living in a world not guided by any sense of social consciousness but dominated by the politics of fear and the careful manipulation of that fear into marketing leverage as was displayed the character Sylvester McMonkey McBean. The world is full of them and they call the shots.
|Dr Seus: 'The Sneeches and Other Stories'.|
Living in a town which is by no means predominantly white I find the contrast between the ‘ideal’ images we are confronted with in the media and the actual demographic makeup of my community so absurdly obvious I wonder why they aren’t dragged down in disgrace as soon as they appear. It is shamefully telling of the attitudes which continue to dominate our society. At the mall recently they installed some very large posters to display what the current refurbishments would look like when work is done. The posters contained images of people plonked in various locations throughout the predicted new environment to simulate how the space will be used… This wasn’t even to sell a particular product, just an image to reassure people that the final product will be worth waiting for… once again the images were full of white faces which bore no resemblance to the people I saw around me.
Having recently attended my child’s graduation ceremony, and having seen her and her school friends enjoy the celebration of their final year of primary school I wondered what kind of world were they about to step into? In this particular year only about a fifth of the kids were Anglo, the rest were from a variety of ethnic backgrounds a large proportion aboriginal. These were all bright kids, intelligent, capable people with many talents. They should all enjoy the same opportunities in the life that awaits them, yet as I looked around I knew they will not! The dice is already loaded against the majority of my children’s friends and it makes me furious! It’s outrageous and disgusting that our society should be split along racial lines (subliminally or overtly) as it is. After all that we’ve learned about inclusion and equality, we continue to be fooled into perpetuating a lie which will only serve to divide our community and set us against each other!
My children are not aware of how marketing has manipulated their own perception of themselves or their friends. They don’t yet feel the wedge that is being driven between them, deciding who it is acceptable to be or not to be! They don’t get that the images asserting white supremacy and the assumption of black criminality and deviance will sculpt the future for them and their peers. The messages broadcast by contemporary media and silently endorsed by a compliant population are, on the one hand over inflating the confidence of whites while devaluing and undermining their non-Anglo friends. We flood the airwaves and every form of media brainwashing society to believe that dark skinned people are inferior (with 10,000 subtle innuendos) then create special awards designed to encourage indigenous students to perform better in school, to assimilate and attempt to earn acceptability by mimicking their white friends. Forever reminding them that by virtue of being born black ‘we’ (society in general, including their own families and friends) will always have lower expectations of them. I saw one of the cleverest students at that school win an award simply for being an indigenous person who had set a good example and worked hard! What a fucking insult to the girls actual intelligence and to her family!
We have allowed ourselves to slide so far backwards I doubt many people have even stopped to consider how insane our perception the norms of civil society actually are!