Unit 4 Post
The illustration of the assault perpetrated by white southerners is a powerful one. In the second picture, it can be observed that only the white activist in this shot is paying attention to the harassers. This made me think about the purpose of this choice. I thought, perhaps it was to show that this man had not grown accustomed to the harassers as the protestors of color had, showing perhaps his privilege. This was met with a contrast in action and picture. The bottom half of the page contains photos primarily colored darkly compared to the top half, indicating a sinister presence and moral fog. The restraint showed in the last photo was especially affecting, as the illustrator was extremely successful in indicating the facial expression outlined by gritted teeth and a struggle to fight the instinct to lash out at an offender for a greater cause. Additionally, I assumed the illustrator chose to depict the primary thug in a sports jacket and appear relatively young, like a high school student. I interpreted this choice to indicate that age was not even a factor in this movement; young and old were on both sides, fighting for change, or fighting to keep things the same.
I felt this stuck out to me particularly because most of the focus, and rightly so, was on harassment that black people endured. The utter hatred it takes to spray a human in an effort to “discolor” or dehumanize them is infallible to me. To me, it showed that this was deeper than race, as the demonstrators were just as willing to harm white protestors. This act showed that there were people willing to not only hurt people because they looked different, but would hurt anyone who tried to ally themselves with anyone who looked different. The automatic classification of allies as trying to identify with a group is prevalent still, as can be seen with any group fighting for rights and those not directly affected attempting to use their privilege to give support to a message or movement.
Revision: Further analysis following more scholarship regarding social movements in my class this semester brought to mind the deeper psychological ramifications of hate crimes like the one depicted. The alliance, I’ve studied further, between black protestors and white allies is a tedious one. The balance between allyship and a well-intentioned attempt to control the narrative via paternalistic attitudes remains a delicate one even today. The assailant’s desire to drive a wedge between this alliance reveals the fear this alliance instills within segregationists which they mask with violence.