For white people, the only representation of humanity that exists, is white
(...) This line of thought demonstrates a real struggle to identify with black humanity in any conceivable way. To them we are an unidentifiable shifting mass, a simplistic, animalistic herd. They [white people] don’t believe that black characters have the capacity to be sophisticated like James Bond, or intelligent like Hermione Granger. But those of us who aren’t white have been subjected to having to identify with the lives of white main characters since film began. Fear of a black planet destroys good fiction, and it demonstrates how racism gets in the way of human empathy. Seeing non-white characters relegated to sidekick or token status has been routine for so long that, for some, attempting to try and relate to black skin in a main character is a completely alien concept. We’ve been positioned as the ‘other’, only taking centre stage to portray subjugation or provide comic relief. White people are so used to seeing a reflection of themselves in all representations of humanity at all times, that they only notice it when it’s taken away from them.
In an event such as the Soccer World Cup, the phenomenon of increased identification with the team and greater national pride has been referred to as the “feel-good effect at mega sports events“. Such events facilitate social connections and have an influence on our emotions: they are sources of joy and frustration, anger and pride, depression and enthusiasm; and ultimately affect what psychologist call the “subjective well-being” – which is, as a key concept in positive psychology, our own appreciation of one’s life in global terms.
It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success. It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention. And it’s the biggest nine- and ten-year-olds who get the most coaching and practice. Success is the result of what sociologists like to call “accumulative advantage".
Our ideas about institutionalizing the aged, psychotic, retarded, infirm are based on a pattern of thought that we might call ...