This article was prompted by the many thoughtful hours I can sometimes spend at abagond’s site diligently responding to his written posts and other commentators on the subject of racism. One of his last posts, in particular, – The hearts of white people, part II – produced such an avalanche of comments that even abagond had to admit he, uncharacteristically, found himself getting caught up in it too.
And this made me wonder why shining a spotlight on any controversial topic or subject should surprise anyone of the potential it can have for revealing deep dark secrets.
Its true that turning a spotlight on another person can act like the reflection in a mirror. Subjecting that person to detailed questions and analysis, as you observe them, can provide unique insights into their hearts, character and soul – what makes them tick.
But this is not all it can provide. It can also reveal to the person shining the spotlight those same reflections in the opposite direction. – a mirror of their own hearts, character and soul.
It can do this but only if they choose to watch, observe and honor that reflection. Not all of us are readily aware, comfortable and willing to do this. As it may easily bring up and reveal parts of ourselves we would rather not deal with just yet.
This is the mirror of contrasting Black and white reflections which can be routinely observed in the comments of the many posters to abagond’s blog. Many reflections about the pervasive underlying nature of inferred white superiority reveal the spectacular breadth of knowledge and insight gained first hand from commentators. And this can be an excellent source of study material for both Black and white readers alike.
However, as I stated before, there is another equally valuable source of material to be had as well. A mirror or spotlight to the respondent or commentator about their own personal insight into what they view about the topic they are busily commenting on. This should not really be a mystery or great revelation to anyone. There is always a two way relationship automatically set up when you look straight into any mirror.
But how many of us are aware or sufficiently brave enough to confront those reflections shining back to us? Again. The last post– The hearts of white people, part II – showed how this can be a really quite challenging journey to embark on.
The following comment taken from that debate represents my main contribution to this topic. And this is what prompted me to write this up in my own posting… Analysing and reading the various links provided, in my view, can provide some of those reflections.