What Were They Thinking . . .

February 10, 2012
Posted by Jay Livingston
(Cross-posted at Sociological Images - with some interesting comments)

 . . .  or not thinking?  

Being in the dominant majority allows you that comfort of not thinking.  People in that majority can assume that everyone shares their views, ideas, and even characteristics, and much of the time, they’ll be right.  “Flesh colored” in the US, sometimes even today, means the color of white people’s flesh.

White is the default race, the American race.  It’s easy to ignore that African Americans might not see those Band-Aids as flesh colored.  Similarly, Christianity is the default religion, and those who are in the majority can make those same flesh-colored assumptions.  Justice Scalia, for example, seemed unable to understand that the Jewish families of Jews killed in war might not feel “honored” by a cross placed on the grave of their son or daughter. (My post on this is here.)

The latest example:  this Hannukah card sent in South Carolina, presumably to Jews, by Rick Santorum
s local team.  First tweeted by political reporter Hunter Walker, it’s rapidly making the rounds of the Internet. 

Whoever created and sent this card, it just did not occur to them that Jews might not feel the holiday warmth of that New Testament message from Jesus.

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