July 26, 2013

video: Do I look suspicious?

The students of Howard University have a experienced a double blow to their spirit these last few weeks. First, there was the murder of a fellow student and then the verdict concerning Trayvon Martin's killing. Their creative and thoughtful responses have been inspiring to observe. I'm glad that our diocese has a ministry presence there.

One of the reasons I try to share something from an artist each week is because images shape us in ways words often cannot. They can often tell us something about ourselves that we otherwise cannot see. The producers of this short video understand that. I'll be honest, in the segment where the young man walks towards the camera with what becomes clear to be an iced tea bottle in his hand, I reacted. I felt something that I hadn't before or after that clip. As I've tried to say in other recent posts, we need to be honest about how stigmatization has worked its way into our culture. It doesn't make me a racist to acknowledge the sensation I had in that moment. I become a racist when I say that sensation is legitimate.

What do you think?

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