We have shifted from biological racism to cultural racism. Sixty years ago most people in America believed that Blacks were biologically inferior, made-by-God inferior. Today there is a cultural racism that says that Black parents are not giving their children the right values, and it’s often offered as the reason for why Blacks are not doing as well as other groups. It associates ‘Black’ with a range of negative assumptions that are so deeply embedded in American culture that people who hold them are not bad people. They’re just ‘good Americans,’ because it’s what American society has taught them. Researchers put together a database of ten million words from books, newspapers, magazine articles, various documents. They found that when the word ‘Black’ occurs, what tends to co-occur is not only ‘poor’ and ‘violent’ and ‘religious’ but also ‘lazy’ and ‘cheerful’ and ‘dangerous.’ Being violent, lazy and dangerous, other research shows, are widely held stereotypes about Blacks. All racial ethnic minority groups are stereotyped more negatively than Whites, with Blacks viewed the worst, followed by Latinos, who were viewed twice as negatively as Asians. Southern Whites are viewed more negatively than Whites in general. There is a hierarchy.
― Dr. David Williams, “No, You’re Not Imagining It,” from the September 2013 issue of Essence. (via digital-femme)
I’m interested in confusion, and confusion is obviously a nonlinear state. In a confused environment the unexpected can happen at any time. It’s a very productive and beautiful state of mind to me, yet it’s something that we often have difficulty appreciating. In fact, because it can connote danger, there have been great efforts to keep confusion to a minimum. But maybe that’s what we need right now - not danger per se, but the possibility of exploring confusion’s benefits. If you’re able to give in to it and appreciate its beauty, it can be quite a fruitful ground for change. It doesn’t have to mean total confusion. It can mean succumbing to a specific form of confusion where you don’t know as much as you did before. Paradoxically that can be very productive.
― Carsten Höller