May 2017 Oprah Magazine, published a photo essay titled “Let’s Talk About Race.” An article in the business website Quartz by Aamna Mohdin explains that the photographer, Chris Buck, explores stereotypical representations of white and non-white girls and women – and flips it “in order to illustrate the yawning gap of inequality between white women and women of color.”

The first photograph shows a group of Asian women laughing in a nail salon, while white women give them pedicures.

The second shows a Latino woman on the phone, ignoring the white maid pouring her a cup of tea.

In the third a cute little white girl is looking at a row of black dolls in a toy shop. Mr. Buck intends to spark a conversation about race and class among women. “It’s fine if it begins online, with social media, and comments sections,” he tells Aamna in an e-mail, “but more importantly, they should be carried out in the real world, between friends, co-workers and neighbors.” He wants everybody to feel welcome participate in this discussion.

I don’t know Chris Buck and don’t expect ever to become his friend, co-worker, or neighbor. I’m prepared nonetheless to make a contribution to his “conversation.” It’s pretty well known that recent female Vietnamese immigrants have gravitated to nail salons. It would be unusual, even odd, for a white woman to start a nail salon. So what?

It’s another cliché that recent Mexican and other Latin American immigrants gravitate to menial domestic jobs which do not require technical skills or proficiency in English. Some leftists deplore the fact that these people don’t move briskly into the middle class as soon as they cross our borders.  Some rightists curse affluent leftists who they accuse of favoring open borders so they can hire cheap help. Members of both factions sometimes find it convenient to employ these new arrivals.

As for the cute little white girl looking at the vast array of dark-skinned dolls, she may not know that Blacks make up 13% of America’s population so she would have no reason to expect more than 13 dark dolls in a 100-doll array.

I don’t have any idea how many dark dolls are produced in the United States. Nor does Chris Buck. (Don’t ask me how I know this.  I just do.) “In a way the best pictures ask questions but don’t necessarily answer them,” Chris tells us. “At best these pictures do that.” No, they don’t.

According to Awmna Mohdin of the top 500 films of all-time, only six feature a protagonist who is a woman of color, according to the Representation Project.

“In a way the best pictures ask questions but don’t necessarily answer them,” Buck says. “At best these pictures do that.”  No, they don’t. “Conversations” about diversity, inclusion, systemic racism and all the allied rituals normally consist of the Accused confessing to their guilt when confronted by the Marginalized specimens who accuse them. Napoleon’s dictum that the best defense is a good attack does not apply to these conversations. All counter-attacks are immediately denounced as racist. And that’s when the “conversation” ends. The pictures may be found at https://qz.com

John Frary of Farmington, the GOP candidate for U.S. in 2008 is a retired history professor, an emeritus Board Member of Maine Taxpayers United, a Maine Citizens Coalition Coalition Board member and publisher of FraryHomeCompanion.com

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