Meanwhile, On The TumblR: Breaking The Kumbayah Myth Down

By Arturo R. García

This picture has garnered more than 17,000 notes since Andrea curated it Tuesday. It’s easy to see why:

But the analysis posted alongside it points out the fallacy behind the seemingly hopeful image:

Let’s talk about The Kumbayah Myth.

In the Kumbayah Myth, racism will just stop if everyone just started acting nice to each other, and the only reason we still have racism is that people are silly.

Part of the Kumbayah Myth is the erasure of history, violence and power.  In this falsehood, either no one is really at fault, or, actually, EVERYONE is at fault, so everyone is equally bad.   This actually exists only to make white people feel better and never have to change their behaviors.

Go look at Without Sanctuary and maybe read up on The Reconstruction and come back and tell me it’s all equal and IF ONLY Black people were nicer shit would have been different.

Now, let’s talk about this picture I linked.  It says, “Love is Blind” and has a blind black woman and a blind Klansman walking across the street holding hands….

You can read the whole explanation, along with more great content, at the Racialicious Tumblr today.

  • Mullinso

    Im not sure this picture is equating a black womoen and a klansmen, but it is somewhat insulting that this image seems intended to be somewhat sweet when it is of a women unknowingly holding the hand of a man who would like her not to exsit. Would this be cute if the image was of a nazi and a jewish person?

  • http://diceytillerman.livejournal.com/ rebecca

    And on top of all that excellent analysis, here’s another thing: blindness as a metaphor for not knowing something is pretty obnoxious.

  • http://www.metalorganic.wordpress.com/ metalorganic

    I wish the post would have touched on the ableism of the image instead of further engaging in it.  Can we please stop using “blind” as an insult or synonym for “willful ignorance?” 

  • Jonathan

    To me the biggest WTF about this image is how the white person is shown as being a member of a hate group, and the black woman is… just an ordinary person. She’s not even wearing an “I Hate Whitey” T-shirt or anything else to suggest why she should be equated with a member of a hate group. So we are forced to conclude that the artist believes just being black is enough for us to understand that she is a hateful person who needs to learn a lesson about being kind to our fellow humans, just like a Klansman.

    Of course, if it were just a blind black and white person crossing the street, it would still be playing into the myth that “everyone calming down and being nice” would be enough to end racism, which is still bullshit anyway.

    Has it already been discussed how this image is also ableist, as it uses blind people as a symbol to get this message across?