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02/28/2007 12:56:21 PM · #1
In an effort to keep Sherwin's comment section clean i am moving a discussion that was being had to this thread.

Originally posted by from image comments:


Originally posted by Elvis_L:
Originally posted by organic:
I think the message was a little contrived, but then again I don't understand why we associate hanging with racism. Hanging is a method of execution that has wrung the neck of every race. Granted, I'm the one who is mentioning racism at this point, but I think traditionally the symbolism is there to support my conjecture. For all I know there could be a black executioner, but without other symbols in the picture I believe the imagery for the average American represents racism. If the message is racism, I don't think this extreme form of it is relevant today. Currently, I believe racism is multi-directional and is expressed in other forms than lynchings and hangings(a tab cliche). However, if it is a message about the evils of murder, then it is an effective photograph. Murder is wrong and the subject express adequate sadness is their expression. Good Job!

I don't know where you live but as someone who has lived in the south my whole life that this is not cliche. btw in the background is a KKK person.

Originally posted by organic:
I too have lived in the south all of my life (excluding the few years I lived in Japan, where I was often kicked out stores for not being Asian). The suggestion that only "The South" has racism is cliche in itself. Racism is not bound by a geographical location. It's an innate reaction in everyone to fear the unknown and attempt to harness it. That being said, I recognize that history shouldn't be forgotten and we need to preserve our cultural lessons to enhance our humanity. However, lynchings are not common practice today, which is why I question the relevance of the message. Without doing any research, I'm willing to bet the number of same race assaults far out weigh assaults involving 2 or more races. I live in Atlanta where we enjoy a diverse population consisting of more than just black and white. By limiting our focus on past events we avoid making difficult analyses on our future challenges ( I suspect we do this due to the clarity of hind sight. Why present untested solutions for current and future problems when a person can always be correct and look only at the past).
What I do think is great about the photograph is that it has spurred a debate. Dialogue creates the opportunity for an exchange of ideas and it is with this exchange that we have the opportunity to increase our wisdom. Kudos to the artist for his impact on the forum!


While I agree that racism is not bound by geography (hell many parts of the world still have much worse forms) i mention the south because it has a more violent history of it (in America) I only live a few hours from you in a small town (14,000) in south Ga. and here it is not culturally diverse. I too often have to have customers removed from a store for calling one of my employees the "n" word.

While i am not particularly young i would not call my lifetime history, while i was in high school (in Louisiana) there were 5 people hung, one guy hit in the head with a hammer at the school. numorous crosses burned and that was just the stuff that made the news. My car was painted, keyed and had the windows broken for having a "nuke Duke" bumper sticker. While I think the country has gotten better I don't think this idea is complete history.
02/28/2007 01:22:09 PM · #2
I'm not so sure everyone will agree, but this is how I see the image. This image, in every interpretation displays hate. Whether you agree or not, this is a form of racism that did, and to a lesser degree still does exist. Hangings did happen, under the name of lynching... Another interpretation is that hate exists within, many people still hang themselves simply because they hate what's inside. This image displays whatever you make of it. Despite whatever the author's intent may have been, in the end, the viewer decides what to make of it. There's no point in starting nothing less than a war of viewpoints based on a contrived photo.

My 2c.
02/28/2007 01:32:03 PM · #3
Someone post the pic that started this discussion, for those of us who are wondering...
02/28/2007 01:32:34 PM · #4
I'm not quite sure why the relevance of the image would come into question. Since when does something have to be in present tense, or all- inclusive to be relevant? Just because the hangings have physically stopped doesn't mean that the hatred is gone; nor does it mean that the perpetrators of such hateful acts are gone. The intention is still there, and if you wish, I would be happy to point you in the direction of those who would be thrilled at the opportunity to hang a black person for no other reason than the fact that they were born with more Melanin.

Honestly, it's like saying that a photo of a person wearing a tophat doesn't portray wealth and class since people no longer wear tophats. It's also like saying that a photo of a man wearing a tophat shouldn't represent wealth and class because a tophat is not the only way to portray these things. It's as silly an argument as "tophat" is a word.

Sherwin's image struck me like a punch in the stomach. So powerful and emotional that it made me squirm because of it's relevance.

Message edited by author 2007-02-28 13:38:06.
02/28/2007 01:35:26 PM · #5
Originally posted by strangeghost:

Someone post the pic that started this discussion, for those of us who are wondering...


it is the blue from the hate challenge

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Message edited by author 2007-02-28 13:35:48.
02/28/2007 01:36:12 PM · #6
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/637/thumb/471362.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/637/thumb/471362.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' oops, too slow


Message edited by author 2007-02-28 13:36:22.
02/28/2007 01:36:40 PM · #7
Yep, got it now. Title of the thread. Duh.

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Incredibly appropriate and relevant image, IMO. Racism is a blemish on our society and it's good to see art reminding us of the realities. Very powerful image. Sorry I didn't see this before!

Message edited by author 2007-02-28 13:38:21.
02/28/2007 01:39:03 PM · #8
Originally posted by greatandsmall:


Sherwin's image struck me like a punch in the stomach. So powerful and emotional that it made me squirm because of it's relevance.


me too. I was 90% sure that it was his. and it made it more impactful for me knowing that it was most likely personal for him.
02/28/2007 01:47:31 PM · #9
Originally posted by greatandsmall:

The intention is still there, and if you wish, I would be happy to point you in the direction of those who would be thrilled at the opportunity to hang a black person for no other reason than the fact that they were born with more Melanin.

Racism is rarely so simple as color. Color is simply the easily identified factor. Please don't over-simplify a sad disease by blaming it on color.
02/28/2007 01:48:28 PM · #10
Originally posted by Elvis_L:


While i am not particularly young i would not call my lifetime history, while i was in high school (in Louisiana) there were 5 people hung, one guy hit in the head with a hammer at the school. numorous crosses burned and that was just the stuff that made the news. My car was painted, keyed and had the windows broken for having a "nuke Duke" bumper sticker. While I think the country has gotten better I don't think this idea is complete history.


Wow....
I moved to Panama City FL from Oregon in 1998. Mind you I had 'no clue' that Florida (panhandle) was sooooo southern. I had never really encountered racism that much until I moved south ...mind you not that long ago! People may not be 'outwardly' obvious with their racism...but since I'm 'white' I hear everything that is said when the 'blacks' are out of hearing range.....vveerrryyyy prejudice, still, in the South. Sad but true :(

(edit to add FL)

Message edited by author 2007-02-28 13:48:47.
02/28/2007 01:56:53 PM · #11
Originally posted by greatandsmall:

I'm not quite sure why the relevance of the image would come into question. Since when does something have to be in present tense, or all- inclusive to be relevant? Just because the hangings have physically stopped doesn't mean that the hatred is gone; nor does it mean that the perpetrators of such hateful acts are gone. The intention is still there, and if you wish, I would be happy to point you in the direction of those who would be thrilled at the opportunity to hang a black person for no other reason than the fact that they were born with more Melanin.

Honestly, it's like saying that a photo of a person wearing a tophat doesn't portray wealth and class since people no longer wear tophats. It's also like saying that a photo of a man wearing a tophat shouldn't represent wealth and class because a tophat is not the only way to portray these things. It's as silly an argument as "tophat" is a word.

Sherwin's image struck me like a punch in the stomach. So powerful and emotional that it made me squirm because of it's relevance.


In no way at all is this related to what 'should' and 'should not' be. The fact is that all of these interpretations are useful to the viewer. The discussion should not be about what the image does and does not represent as this is subjective, making all points of what is and isn't null and void. Discussions like this involve opinions, which although founded in the speakers mind are not always relevent to the listner. Sure enough the person in the image is a coloured/dark/black person, whatever you wish to call this person, the image portrays a PERSON, however you look at it.

Take this image how you will, but as many have said it is a very powerful image, reguardless of history. Here and now, this not only serves as a reminder of history and a lingering past but of a current societal issue.

Congrats to Sherwin on a wonderful capture.
02/28/2007 02:48:13 PM · #12
I think the fear of racism has removed objectivity from our everyday thought processes. I treat a person in response to their own merits. I don't try to compensate for actions of past people ( which to me is a form of racism). To often people kowtow to the imagery of racism, for fear of being a racist, and assume a bathetic position (as in bathos). Many of the posters have stated they felt like they were punched in the stomach upon seeing the picture, Why do you feel this way? Examine your feelings? Introspection is a tool that calibrates our moral compass and we are doing ourselves a disservice by only examining the surface of our feelings. Atrocities, regardless of severity, have occurred to everyone. The sooner we as a people forgive the sins of the past, the sooner we can end the segregation guilt and righteousness have created.
Prior to the military, I took pride in believing that I wasn't a racist. Generally speaking, I did not exude the characteristics of a racist ( you know white sheets and stuff). However, I realized that I had separate expectations for people of differing backgrounds. In other words, my expectations varied for individuals due to my preconceived expectations. After I had been in the military for a few years I learned to build expectations from the individual. Racism doesn't mean you have to burn a cross in a person's yard. Racism is not so simplistic that it can be explained with the following equation: white + black + noose = racism. This is why I originally questioned the relevance of the perception. The behavior that produces racism is the same when I distinguish a person as a jock, emo kid, a banker, etc.
02/28/2007 03:59:15 PM · #13
No, racism is not simplistic, nor is any other form of categorization based on judgement. I do not believe it can be explained by a single equation. Nor do I believe that this image should be tasked with explaining the subtleties of racism; but rather appreciated for it's success in stirring the associated emotions.

My objection was to the suggestion that the image is not relevant because it is not a literal depiction of a current practice. Perhaps I misinterpreted this assertion, and if so, please forgive me.

It affects me like a punch in the stomach because I tend to be very empathetic and have a physical reaction to the thought of other peoples' suffering. It's not very profound, but I have tried to analyze it; and that's all I get. I agree that we should forgive the sins of the past. Unfortunately, the actions of racists are not, and never will be, in the past.

Here is a conversation that I've had with many racists, including at least one member of the KKK; which always begins with their repeated use of the N-word:

Me: Why do you hate black people?

Racist: I don't hate all black people, just "N*##@&s". There are white "N*##@&s", and there are black people who aren't. (Then they begin to describe the pysical characteristics and personality traits defining these people).

Me: So, when you are walking down the street and you see a white person that fits your description of a "N*##@&" do you call them that name? I've never heard you use that word to describe a white person.

Racist: No, I call those people "White Trash". (Then they usually proceed to tell me that it's no big deal, because they have relatives who fit their description of "White Trash".)

Me: So you use a particular word for black people, specific to their skin color?

Racist: (After much hemming and hawing) Yes, just the ones who are garbage.

Me: How do you know which ones they are?

Racist: I can tell by looking at them.

Me: What if your daughter married a wealthy, attractive, successful black man and was happier than she could ever imagine?

Racist: I would disown her.

Me:
What if that very same man were able to genetically change the color of his skin and the texture of his hair?

Racist: Then it would be OK, with me.

I apologize if any part of this post offends anyone. Unfortunately this mentality still thrives in the South; and I've yet to get a more in depth explanation for the reasons behind this attitude from these people.

These conversations are the basis for my reactions to racism, and are the reason for my statement "The intention is still there, and if you wish, I would be happy to point you in the direction of those who would be thrilled at the opportunity to hang a black person for no other reason than the fact that they were born with more Melanin."
02/28/2007 04:07:26 PM · #14
I've heard similar conversations on TV several times from klan members...guess they all DO say the same thing. Sorry you had to even talk to them.

Originally posted by greatandsmall:

Here is a conversation that I've had with many racists, including at least one member of the KKK; which always begins with their repeated use of the N-word:

Me: Why do you hate black people?

Racist: I don't hate all black people, just "N*##@&s". There are white "N*##@&s", and there are black people who aren't. (Then they begin to describe the pysical characteristics and personality traits defining these people).

Me: So, when you are walking down the street and you see a white person that fits your description of a "N*##@&" do you call them that name? I've never heard you use that word to describe a white person.

Racist: No, I call those people "White Trash". (Then they usually proceed to tell me that it's no big deal, because they have relatives who fit their description of "White Trash".)

Me: So you use a particular word for black people, specific to their skin color?

Racist: (After much hemming and hawing) Yes, just the ones who are garbage.

Me: How do you know which ones they are?

Racist: I can tell by looking at them.

Me: What if your daughter married a wealthy, attractive, successful black man and was happier than she could ever imagine?

Racist: I would disown her.

Me:
What if that very same man were able to genetically change the color of his skin and the texture of his hair?

Racist: Then it would be OK, with me.

I apologize if any part of this post offends anyone. Unfortunately this mentality still thrives in the South; and I've yet to get a more in depth explanation for the reasons behind this attitude from these people.

These conversations are the basis for my reactions to racism, and are the reason for my statement "The intention is still there, and if you wish, I would be happy to point you in the direction of those who would be thrilled at the opportunity to hang a black person for no other reason than the fact that they were born with more Melanin."
02/28/2007 04:56:51 PM · #15
Originally posted by greatandsmall:

I apologize if any part of this post offends anyone. Unfortunately this mentality still thrives in the South; and I've yet to get a more in depth explanation for the reasons behind this attitude from these people.

These conversations are the basis for my reactions to racism, and are the reason for my statement "The intention is still there, and if you wish, I would be happy to point you in the direction of those who would be thrilled at the opportunity to hang a black person for no other reason than the fact that they were born with more Melanin."

No offense at all here.

However, do you really feel that someone with an intellect that causes him to hate someone "just because they are black" qualifies to analyze his own psychological makeup? I don't think so.

My point is that "he" hates black people much for the same reason his father did - because HIS father did. This mentality perseveres because it is generationally passed down in a certain way. To really figure out what I'm saying, you have to think a little deeper, and right now I'm not really "prepared" to get into all that. It's a huge psychological thing. It's not simple. They honestly think they hate them because they are black. But that's not why. They hate them because they want to be in power over them and they are not, at the core, and they hate them on the surface because they are expected to.

At least that's my staunch opinion. I didn't even stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, so what do I know? :)

I'm not trying to be Politically Incorrect by using the word "black", it is not at all intended in a negative fashion and is delivered with the utmost respect.
02/28/2007 05:21:02 PM · #16
Any photo that evokes this much emotion and discussion is powerful.
my first thought when I saw the photo was there must have been so much self hate in this person. Racism was not something that occured to me. reading the comments I can see why this was the thought process of some people. The colour of the woman was irrelevant to me I only saw despair and pain. Well done on a moving image.
02/28/2007 05:23:41 PM · #17
Originally posted by me:

The colour of the woman was irrelevant to me I only saw despair and pain. Well done on a moving image.

Why do you think it's a woman? I'm fairly certain it's a SP of the artist. Someone correct me if I'm off base.

Strikes me as a curious factor of psyche that makes you assume it's a woman.

That's not an insult, just expressing my surprise. Does this pull sexism and repression into the equation?
02/28/2007 05:29:01 PM · #18
Originally posted by nards656:

Originally posted by me:

The colour of the woman was irrelevant to me I only saw despair and pain. Well done on a moving image.

Why do you think it's a woman? I'm fairly certain it's a SP of the artist. Someone correct me if I'm off base.

Strikes me as a curious factor of psyche that makes you assume it's a woman.

That's not an insult, just expressing my surprise. Does this pull sexism and repression into the equation?


I agree. if it is not Sherwin it is a man he has shot before, that is how i knew it was him. he even has some stuble:)
02/28/2007 05:31:56 PM · #19
Originally posted by nards656:

Originally posted by me:

The colour of the woman was irrelevant to me I only saw despair and pain. Well done on a moving image.

Why do you think it's a woman? I'm fairly certain it's a SP of the artist. Someone correct me if I'm off base.

Strikes me as a curious factor of psyche that makes you assume it's a woman.

That's not an insult, just expressing my surprise. Does this pull sexism and repression into the equation?


It is indeed a self portrait. And I don't think I am a woman ;-).
Just goes to show that any photo or writing or piece or music or whatever can be interpretted in a number of different way depending on the viewer's own experiences and bias.

It's funny, but I rarely think in this manner. I rarely even use the word "hate", even when talking about trivial matters. But this is such a strong emotion, and its difficult to refrain from expressing one's opinions about it.

Open and honest discussion about any topic is ALWAYS is good thing.
02/28/2007 06:24:54 PM · #20
Well, I've enjoyed writing and reading every-one's comments about the photograph. It was a perfect way for me to spend my day off. Although I do not have the knowledge or ability to make the same caliber of pictures that the majority of you are able to produce, I greatly enjoy the website and thank you, particularly Dr Jeuss.

Dr Jeuss believes photography should do the following:
1. To present the photographer's view point of a subject or the impact of a subject.
2. To stir some emotion or feeling in an audience.
3. To enjoy the process of taking and preparing a photo

I also have rules for art. My wife taught me literature should entertain, teach, and move one to virtue. I extend these rules to any form of art and depending on how many glasses of wine I have consume, I'll extend it to life as well. Thank you everyone!
02/28/2007 06:43:01 PM · #21
Yep sorry about that typo.
02/28/2007 06:56:08 PM · #22
I'd have to say that this was one of those photos that even if it hadn't got a ribbon here, we would all remember it. It is a very powerful image and Doc got his point across in a big way. This shot strikes a very primal cord in me that kinda met the challenge in two ways.

One - It conjures up images of the hatred that racist people feel.
Two - It evokes my OWN feelings of hatred towards these rascist people.
It also makes me feel guilty for that feeling. Doc captured a great look of sadness in his face. Knowing that this is a self-portrait makes it even better. Not only did Doc demonstrate great photography skills but skills as an actor.

Well done Dr. J!
02/28/2007 06:57:16 PM · #23
I saw history not racism. Yes, there is racism, but to me this shot showed me history of what we do not want again. So the shot, in my view, is a great historic representation of our not so glorious past. It could have been in America or South Africa or even somewhere else.
03/08/2007 08:00:43 PM · #24
Originally posted by Dr. Jeuss:

And I don't think I am a woman ;-).



Let's see you win the cross dressing challenge!!!!
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