January 26, 2017

"A University of Wisconsin-Madison professor has apologized after showing a picture in class on Monday that showed a black woman above the word 'animals.'"

How does something like that happen?!
Professor Caitilyn Allen, who teaches the Plant pathology and Botany 123... [t]he image was shown during a class discussion on the Irish potato famine, caused by an oomycete organism. The rough tree-of-life diagram included images of bacteria, fungi, plants, animals and oomycetes. Allen said she attempted to use an image of an African woman farmer to illustrate the animal kingdom....

"I explained that too often, scientific images represent all humanity as a white male, and I wanted to give a more representative image, and especially to use a farmer because this class is about agriculture," she said....

"I told my class that it was a mistake to use that image because in addition to my intended inclusive biological meaning, the image also communicated a negative social message. This was the idea that women of color are 'animals' (in a derogatory, non-biological sense: less than human). I thanked her and regret this error. The image will be replaced in future version of this lecture. As I told the class this morning, I appreciate their feedback," she said.
But we are animals.

Is it too much to expect that the word "animals" be understood in a "biological sense" in a biological science class?

And I'm sure a teacher who does a slide like that and uses an image of a white man to represent the human animal risks criticism for perpetuating the assumption that the white man is the exemplar of humanity and for rendering women and minorities invisible. 

112 comments:

Original Mike said...

"I explained that too often, scientific images represent all humanity as a white male, and I wanted to give a more representative image, ..."

You can't win. The only winning move is not to play.

rhhardin said...

Two great sexes animate the world.

That's how you start the top level analysis.

MadisonMan said...

I think the professor handled it correctly. The problem was the involvement of twitter.

It is a mistake to assume cruel intent.

n.n said...

A clump. A clump of cells. A clump of interior cells free from chromatic aberrations and sex chromosomes. Humanity, progressed.

Bad Lieutenant said...

But we are animals.

But blacks do have an average 86 IQ.

Owen said...

Send them all back to kindergarten. They're not ready for science.

AJ Lynch said...

Awkward

Big Mike said...

I can understand the concern. Above the word "animals" you need a picture of a Norwegian.

Meade said...

"It is a mistake to assume cruel intent."

I'm assuming the cruel intent was that of the student.

Bay Area Guy said...

A-hah! A closet racist! I knew it, I knew it!

Off with her head.

n.n said...

She's trying too hard. Free yourself from [class] diversity. That way lies (sic) bigotry, hate, confusion, dysfunction, madness, and lawsuits.

rhhardin said...

But we are animals.

But blacks do have an average 86 IQ.


Go by good character. That's what defines human.

IQ isn't a defense at any level.

Ambrose said...

She should have used a Wisconsin Badger.

Meade said...

Or probably the cruel intent of the student's other instructors who the student is simply trying to please.

Curious George said...

He should apologize for not having pancakes.

mccullough said...

Maybe the woman in the photo was black Irish

Ann Althouse said...

That IQ meme really is racist. The question of the average isn't even relevant to anything here. You're embarrassing yourself.

Ann Althouse said...

It's not very smart.

Bad Lieutenant said...

No, rh. Lord love you, you miss the point as always. The IQ piece, which I got from you by the way, is I imagine a statement of fact and therefore it isn't an insult and can't, or shouldn't be taken as one. Just as "we are animals" is a statement of fact and shouldn't be taken as an insult. If people played it straight.

Gretchen said...

It was a poor choice, however, everyone in this day and age assume the worst intentions of everyone when they make a poor choice.

Paul Snively said...

OK, yes, we're animals. But the whole "homo sapiens sapiens" thing might be a bit of a stretch.

n.n said...

But blacks do have an average 86 IQ.

Nature or nurture? The emergent evidence suggests the latter, and thus that intelligence statistic will change with adoption of common principles.

Bad Lieutenant said...

It's not very smart.

Oh God, and you wonder why they sprang into action on the professor? Hook up a generator to your knee jerking, Althouse, and we could solve the energy crisis.

Just let me say, cuz otherwise you won't sleep tonight, that I borrowed that factoid from rhhardin, and will not attest to it, perhaps it is not true if you have other data - but you see its effectiveness at driving people crazy.

By the way, if you were trying to affect me by targeting my intelligence, you should consider that to be about as effective as if somebody targets you on your looks.

Quaestor said...

Professor Caitilyn Allen has done science a tremendous disservice, perhaps the worst since Galileo recanted Sidereus Nuncius. If she has any respect for the basic principles of free inquiry and the scientific method she must publish a retraction of her apology with all deliberate speed.

The STEM departments have done a fair job of keeping the barbarians out of the citadel. Apologizing for identifying a human figure as an animal is tantamount to opening the gates of the Louvre to torch-wielding troglodytes!

Lucien said...

The Badger does sound like a good candidate. Monkeys and apes are too dangerous, and a water buffalo would be a wobbler.

Personally I would choose a cuttlefish.

n.n said...

Bad Lieutenant:

Facts that cannot or should not be spoken, which are in fact spoken but in muted, euphemistic tones. The key, for example, to the intelligence statistic, is to correctly interpret the correlation. This is yet another reason why Trump won his bid to represent Americans, black, brown, white, etc. first.

kurt bermuda said...

It would have been funny if the professor showed a picture in class that showed a white woman wearing $300.00 running shoes above the words "I'd like a latte"

Henry said...

The internet is filled with kitten pictures.

Quaestor said...

It would have been funny if the professor showed a picture in class that showed a white woman wearing $300.00 running shoes above the words "I'd like a latte"

$300.00 running shoes? Shopping at Wally World, are we?

rhhardin said...

The IQ matter comes up once you have laws determinining discrimination exists based on outcome.

That's fatal and is certain to generate two races at odds forever that would otherwise be at peace. The one trying to help and the other convinced that they're being discriminated against, until the one gets tired of helping and being blamed both at once.

In ordinary life IQ does not come up. It's good character that matters. The law brings it up by the law being in fact unworkable, through its inevitable average effects owing to average IQs. That's the law's fault and the law has to be fixed. Look for discrimination based on discrimination.

IQ was one of the arguments used to continue to justify slavery, less than human, once slavery became economically unjustified owing to the free market. A slave contributes more to society working in his own interest.

The sensitivity to animal ro gorilla would not come up at all if blacks, let's say, took up a collection for poor whites. Once you help somebody else, you don't resemble an animal. It works individually and it works as a race.

It's not about IQ but common sense.

Quaestor said...

But the whole "homo sapiens sapiens" thing might be a bit of a stretch.

Anthropology has dropped the subspecies name as unnecessary. It was proposed, but not widely accepted, as a counterpoint to Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. Today all examples of "Neanderthal Man" are classified as Homo neanderthalensis or Homo heidelbergensis.

(fixed. sorry for the f'ed up syntax.)

n.n said...

Bad Lieutenant:

Anyway, you're right. People recognize that you're right. And they voted for a change from the status quo of his predecessor.

rhhardin:

And you're right, too. Judge people by the content of their character (e.g. principles). Recognizing the good character of people is the justification to pursue assimilation and integration.

Paul Snively said...

Quaestor: Fair enough; we'll leave it at "Homo sapiens," "man, the wise." Still seems like a stretch for a hairless variant of chimpanzee to me.

rhhardin said...

The IQ measuring guys know all the nature and nurture stuff and take steps to make nurture not matter. They're interested in genetics.

You'll get more questions right if you've been nurtured well, but you'll also get questions right that measure nurture and not intelligence, and they use those to eliminate the effect of nurture.

Statistics.

Known Unknown said...

Just ask Tom Ford, probably a good liberal/progressive guy.

Sebastian said...

"Is it too much to expect that he word "animals" be understood in a "biological sense" in a biological science class?" Inching perilously close to faux surprise once again. Yes, actually, yes, it is too much to expect.

Just apply Sebastian's Law: anything that can be exploited by prog SJWs, will be.

rhhardin said...

IQ stuff from my bookmarks if anybody wants to look. They don't seem to wish anybody ill. East Asians come out on top, not whites.

https://iq-research.info/en/page/average-iq-by-country

http://www.ttu.ee/public/m/mart-murdvee/EconPsy/2/Lynn_Meisenberg_2010_National_IQs_calculated_and_validated_for_108_nations.pdf

Drago said...

Bad Lieutenant: "Just as "we are animals" is a statement of fact and shouldn't be taken as an insult. If people played it straight."

Ha! You said "played it straight"! You can't say that!

Stone the Outsider! Stone the Outsider!

Steven said...

Incidentally, if you were actually going for a "more representative" image, you wouldn't go with an African or a woman as your picture of humanity. Asia is the most populous continent (worldwide), China is the most populous country (worldwide and in Asia), Han Chinese is the most common ethnicity (worldwide, in Asia, and in China), and men outnumber women (on a worldwide basis, in Asia, in China, and among the Han Chinese).

n.n said...

Evolutionary creationists are notoriously sensitive about their depiction as simian derivatives.

Intelligence is a product of both nature (e.g. morphology bias) and nurture (e.g. experience, knowledge).

Meade said...

Ambrose said...
"She should have used a Wisconsin Badger."

Very good. Or an image of Thomas Jefferson. To illustrate that even a racist slave-owning President of the United States can be both a genius and an idiot.

n.n said...

Steven:

The global chromatic average is yellow. Perhaps that's why some people are so obsessed with the black and white outliers. Blacks and whites are extremists!

Big Mike said...

I got it! I got it! Use a picture of Ashley Judd!

Meade said...

Now that is genius, Big Mike!

Meade said...

Homo nastius

Eustace Chilke said...

Is it too much to expect that the word "animals" be understood in a "biological sense" in a biological science class?

You can't be seriously asking this.

Ok, a plain answer for a plain question: of course it's too much to ask. Any accommodation to reason whatever is too much. Any flexibility or nuance at all is too much. Anything but total deference to the correct sensibility in total self abnegation is too much to ask. You racist. Sheesh.

n.n said...

It's traditional to depict a white man progressing from a clump of cells to a "missing link" to a simian derivative to a "missing link" to the white devil. I guess not all achievements are equally envied. So damn selective.

chuck said...

Forget it Ann. It's a university.

Michael K said...

"It's not very smart."

But it's true and the PC BS has made people afraid.

IQ follows a normal distribution. The tails on each end show that there are very intelligent blacks and stupid whites.

But it is true and it is genetic. Nurture is old Stephen Jay Gould stuff where he thought you could create "The New Soviet Man."

rhhardin said...

I don't know if it matters that people come to resemble their pets.

Meade said...

"Nurture is old Stephen Jay Gould stuff"

Really? I always thought it was Proverbs 22:6 stuff.

rhhardin said...

I go for nurture as a huge effect, just not on IQ.

Derbyshire is sure that races differ on heritable traits, and temperament he says is heritable, accounting for the crime rate of blacks.

But he's not a dog trainer. A dog trainer knows, at least a Koehler method one knows, that temperament can be easily nurtured in. If anything the less cooperative dog is easier to train because he asks more questions to which you give the answer, where the cooperative dog may never ask the critical question and thus not be reliable to get the right answer when it comes up.

So I'd go with fathers in the family, and TV that doesn't glorify but disparages chip-on-the-shoulder as a useful attitude, as something needing working towards.

rcocean said...

"I explained that too often, scientific images represent all humanity as a white male, and I wanted to give a more representative image, and especially to use a farmer because this class is about agriculture,"

Maybe the "perfesser" should spend less time worrying about "white males" getting too much face time and more about her actual subject.

Anyway, its just a matter of time before the Left-wing professors start having show trials.

traditionalguy said...

I'll volunteer my picture. I have often been called an animal, and a wild, dangerous one at that.

But watch out with calling high Caste Indians, "one of God's creatures". It does not translate well.

n.n said...

IQ measures both nature and nurture. Both are causal factors in an evolutionary process. The nature aspect creates an initial bias (e.g. morphology), but it is nurture that is responsible for training. It must, however, be noted, that while nature is not determinative, it does establish limits that vary with the dynamics of a system. For example, nature determines the reproducible limits of human perception, causality, and mortality that bound all people (i.e. scientific logical domain).

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Should have gone with the most common animal. Use an insect; would have been the obvious choice. But, no, you hijacked the major point trying to encode a Social Justice message. See what that got you?

Big Mike said...

@Meade, I am humbled.

fivewheels said...

Had fun reading the IQ by nations list, in the manner of sports standings. I don't care to delve into the implications, because it's a topic that probably requires more study than I'm willing to put in.

But I was surprised by the mediocre performance by Israel. I guess Ashkenazim are a minority over there, though. And I suspect Japan being edged out by South Korea might cause some consternation there. My understanding was that Koreans were traditionally seen by Chinese and Japanese the way other Europeans might regard the Polish.

EMyrt said...

The Irish Potato Famine was not caused by an oomycete.
The oomycete blight only caused the failure of the Irish potato crop.
Bad governance by the British caused the famine.

Yancey Ward said...

I once ate a couple of pieces of fried chicken while watching a college basketball game. I apologize profusely.

Quaestor said...

Meade wrote: Homo nastius

Homo sordidus, if you please. Now write it 100 times or I'll cut your balls off.

Jupiter said...

rhhardin said...

"A dog trainer knows, at least a Koehler method one knows, that temperament can be easily nurtured in."

That's why you encounter so many attack poodles.

Curious George said...

"Yancey Ward said...
I once ate a couple of pieces of fried chicken while watching a college basketball game. I apologize profusely."

No apology necessary if Wisconsin was playing.

Jupiter said...

"A student addressed Allen about the image after the lecture and explained why she perceived the image to be offensive."

I remember when I explained to my physiology prof what was wrong with the way he was teaching the lab. He told me that he wasn't going to dumb down a physiology class just because a bunch of pre-Meds wanted A's. He also told me I was an idiot, and should get my hair cut. I'm not saying he was right, but he was certainly evidence-based.

I suppose he's dead by now.

bagoh20 said...

"I'm assuming the cruel intent was that of the student."

Exactly. And similarly, the intent of most outrage and victim hood. It is an attempt at leverage through bullying.

Bad Lieutenant said...

BTW Ann, I had no idea that I would trigger you so. I intended nothing more than to mildly tweak you with the common device of using your own words against you, but instead it seems I trolled you into/through a brick wall.

This not only speaks to your own indoctrination, as thorough as that which you intend to decry in this piece, but also your attitude. You are extremely aggressive and labor under an affectation of superiority. You play like you have all the answers and no questions. Judge for yourself whether that seems either smart or attractive.

Not sure if this is you trying to show feminist balls. Or because you were too long a schoolteacher. But, all the more so as you have retired, we're all just folk now. Some of my favorite words of wisdom by H. Beam Piper: When someone says something you don't understand, don't tell him he's crazy. Ask him, what does he mean.

But we love you!

Jupiter said...

What is "TheRealUW"? And why does it admit people who think the second person of "is" is "was"?

Tommy Duncan said...

Science (which is focused on observable facts, logic and truth) does not fit well in a politically correct environment.

Global warming is a nice example of what happens to science in a PC world.

David said...

"But we are animals."

But as you well know Professor, some animals are also sacred objects. You can get in a lot of trouble if you do not portray a sacred object animal in exactly the proper manner.

MikeD said...

RH Hardin said "But we are animals.
But blacks do have an average 86 IQ.
Go by good character. That's what defines human.
IQ isn't a defense at any level."

Well, explain black on black murder Chicago style, good character? How about Somalia/Nigeria, good character? BLM war on police, good character?

urbane legend said...

n.n said...
Evolutionary creationists are notoriously sensitive about their depiction as simian derivatives.


Math and I parted company at derivatives, which is why I am not an engineer.

Jupiter said...

rhhardin said...
"The IQ matter comes up once you have laws determining discrimination exists based on outcome."

Precisely. Once you deny that there are systematic differences in ability between races, the *only* explanation for systematically different outcomes is racism.

Commander Crankshaft said...

With all that goes awry on campuses these days, for you to make a mountain out of this molehill is, well, it's just like you.

Michael K said...

He told me that he wasn't going to dumb down a physiology class just because a bunch of pre-Meds wanted A's.

Times change. When I was a premed, we were hated because we got all the As in classes.

Comanche Voter said...

Well a human is an animal.

Harold said...

Science deniers. Those darn fundamentalists invaded her classroom.

Commander Crankshaft said...

Times change. When I was a premed, we were hated because we got all the As in classes.

They don't change. Phony ass-kissers all the way around. As the inventor of sotalol told us they would say, "Just tell us what we need to know to do well on the test!"

Moondawggie said...

So the progressives now begin to eat even their STEM young.

I guess the food supply in the social studies/humanities classes is running thin.

Reminds me of an event in a physiology class my first year in Med School at Stanford in 1975.

We were being taught about skeletal muscle by a 77 year old Emeritus Professor.

He mentioned that exposure to testosterone increases the gram for gram strength of muscle tissue by about 5-10%.

This poor old guy (born in ~ 1898) is immediately screamed at by 5 of our outspokenly feminist class members, saying "That's sexist crap, and we are not going to sit here and take this verbal abuse from you."

His response: "But it is true. It has been verified in the lab hundreds of times. Why are you screaming at me?"

So they went to the Dean to protest. He told them that scientific facts are what Stanford teaches its Med Students, and to shut up and learn.

Administrators were pretty darn smart back then...

1/26/17, 8:29 PM

Harold said...

n.n said...
"But blacks do have an average 86 IQ."

Nature or nurture? The emergent evidence suggests the latter, and thus that intelligence statistic will change with adoption of common principles.


Nature, nurture, AND nutrition, the forgotten N. Combination of all three. I read it somewhere, and don't feel like looking it up and linking it, that one of the Stans started iodizing their salt, and credits that with raising the average IQ between 5 and 10 points. Lack of the micronutrient iodine has a deleterious effect on intelligence development. 57 grams of potassium iodate per ton of salt. 0.0063%, that's all that's needed to make a difference.

GRW3 said...

She could not win. Put a white man there and they would complain that She was saying they are the acme of evolution. While woman - perpetuating the myth of a white eve. A gorilla and it would be pointed out that humans were at the top.

BN said...

We have become too smart, I think. It makes us think about ourselves too much.

And we measure everything.

Twice.

... and then we cut.

Steven said...

It would have been ok if she had shown a white man in a Make America Great Again cap.

Fernandinande said...

She shoulda showed a sea anemone above the word 'animals' because some people think they're plants.

n.n said...

Harold:

Yes.

Don't forget B12 for neural health. Go organic and consume the animal or find an artificial supplement.

Oh, and sleep. Wait, that doesn't work. Don't forget a nap, or two, for several hours. The system requires regularly scheduled maintenance in order to realize its gains and to continue functioning within normal parameters.

I think that covers it. Live long and prosper.

Laslo Spatula said...

Strippers and cheerleaders, man: strippers and cheerleaders.

I am Laslo.

n.n said...

urbane legend:

While discontinuities may require extra steps to differentiate, reconciling with math is closely correlated with momentum. Just when you think you've reached a limit, take a step back and reevaluate your perspective. Math can be a lifelong friend with benefits.

Yeah, that's all I got. Keep counting.

BN said...

We think we're smarter than we are. And yet, at the same time that we try to be so smart, or at least to appear so smart, deep down inside we want to not think at all. We want only to feel.

Because we miss the primal fear of the animal. We miss the chase.

So we make and watch movies, play and watch sports--if football is simulation predation, then what is--we pick fights over nothing,we play power games in the office, all just to recreate that feeling. That feeling of fear. We want to relearn the emotions we use to have before we got so smart and learned not to be afraid.

No, it's not quite the same. But we get by.

But just barely, I fear.

Alex said...

The left eating itself, one victim at a time.

Mark said...

We aren't animals. We're special snowflakes. Unless we are the bad kind of snowflake.

Che Dolf said...

Bad Lieutenant said... But blacks do have an average 86 IQ.

n.n said... Nature or nurture? The emergent evidence suggests the latter...

No:
• More than half of the difference between expert and normal readers is genetic.
• Less than a fifth of the expert-normal difference is due to shared environment.

No:
Adopted adults’ IQ is so unrelated to the IQ of their adoptive mother that in some studies the correlation shows up as nonsignificantly negative.

No:
Nature More than Nurture: The Impact of Genetics on Intelligence (Chapter 2 in Richard Haier's "The Neuroscience of Intelligence")

Largo said...

Picture of the prof. Above the caption "Not A Vertebrate".

Kovacs said...

Use a picture of multiple people of different races. Problem solved.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Is it too much to expect that he word "animals" be understood in a "biological sense" in a biological science class?

Is it too much to expect that the words "illegal immigrants" be understood in a "legal sense" in a legal discussion?

damikesc said...

Csving in and apologizing is a terrible idea.

Scientists need to stand by their teaching. If no racist intent was meant, apologizing for it is insane. You cannot sit there and apologize for hurting the feelings of the easily hurt.

sparrow said...

The right call was to place a cat or dog under animals. The reason is that classifying any human under the heading "animal" is an insult and she should have known it. It's part of the hypermaterialist over-extension of Science to deny the distinctions that exist between human kind and the animal world. Moral relativists frequently equate animals with humans and ascribe rights to them. It's a philosophical point she was shoe-horning into the biological discussion and she got called on it. Although the offense is not racist rather it was intended to insult all humanity.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Kovacs, yes, a gorgeous mosaic covering all demographics is safest.


Largo, yes, without the barb. Let the prof show some humility (are you listening, Ann?) and offer a pic of HERSELF as an animal. THAT would stir axons while disarming suspicions, not some prognathous Bantu with her dugs hanging out whom you can "other."

Pookie, "illegal immigrants" cedes half the battle. America quite likes immigrants per se. "Illegal aliens" is SCOTUS approved and quite clear. I don't care if they're here to immigrate or do a smash-and-grab, they're aliens and they're here illegally, hence "illegal aliens" is perfectly proper.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Sparrow, +1. Epater le bourgeoisie has its perils. Cheeky has a limited place in science classes. I'm glad she got bit; doubt she'll learn though, except what they wanted to teach her-minorities are radioactive. No heroes here. They're all animals!

Bad Lieutenant said...

And if you want to make that point, that humans are animals, with clarity, multiple pics-a dog, a fish, and a person-gets it across unmistakably.

The lesson:

Professors like to shock, but they don't like to be shocked.

Fritz said...

Michael K said...
He told me that he wasn't going to dumb down a physiology class just because a bunch of pre-Meds wanted A's.

Times change. When I was a premed, we were hated because we got all the As in classes.


As a science major, my supreme pleasure was blowing the curve for the pre-meds.

MayBee said...

She should have used a picture of herself in black face.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Pookie, "illegal immigrants" cedes half the battle. America quite likes immigrants per se. "Illegal aliens" is SCOTUS approved and quite clear. I don't care if they're here to immigrate or do a smash-and-grab, they're aliens and they're here illegally, hence "illegal aliens" is perfectly proper.

I hear you - I guess I was thinking that they immigrated illegally, so "illegal immigrant" worked for me.

Mostly I was pointing out Althouse's inconsistency.

Michael said...

Ha. A year from now, maybe only six months from now, the professor will consider himself a fool for apologizing for sometbing that required no apology. The hysterical PC will fade quickly as we proceed in the real world led by big boys who will ignore the verities of the loony left.

Ann Althouse said...

It's such an ugly factoid, that IQ business. How can that be a go-to comment for you? This is a serious question: Do you believe there is a God who watches you and judges you? I cannot believe the answer is yes. Assuming the answer is no, I'll ask: Do you have no moral conscience?

JLScott said...

"But we are animals."

We are also objects. Which means women are objects. I have had some fun conversations along these lines.

Larvell said...

Imagine a world in which the professor's response was not to grovel and apologize, but to say "F*** you, you know what I meant." And in which the administration backed her up, saying, "You guys really need to quit pretending to be so offended by everything."

In other words, imagine a different world.

n.n said...

Che Dolf:

You quoted out of context. Intelligence statistics are affected by both nature and nurture.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Ann Althouse said...
It's such an ugly factoid, that IQ business. How can that be a go-to comment for you? This is a serious question: Do you believe there is a God who watches you and judges you? I cannot believe the answer is yes. Assuming the answer is no, I'll ask: Do you have no moral conscience?
1/27/17, 8:35 AM

But you like ugly. I went to that Tom and Lorenzo link of those horrid clothes. Poor models. You could see they all wanted to die. Actually, that is not a patch on the ugliness of your vision on the space program. I was utterly revolted; perhaps that should make me emphathize with you on this racism kick, but I just don't get what you are saying here.

You also, purportedly, like true, and apparently the factoid is true, or at least you are not refuting it except with "eeew!" Do you think you understood the point that I was making? Can you restate it in your own words?

Of course I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. What an odd question, especially coming from you, an atheist. Do you want to rephrase?

Seriously, what are you trying to say?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Pookie, I feel you - just showing how we have been led down the garden path so far we don't even recognize it. The frog pot is quite warm.

Peter said...

"And I'm sure a teacher who does a slide like that and uses an image of a white man to represent the human animal risks criticism for perpetuating the assumption that the white man is the exemplar of humanity and for rendering women and minorities invisible."

But, it's not an error, it's by design: there are no safe harbors.

If you say "A is A" then you're racist, and if you say "A is not A" then you're racist. The answer is, you are racist. We know you're racist and that's why there are no safe harbors.

So shaddup already while we lecture you.

Paddy O said...

I do a lot of lectures and have spent much of today in fact filling out my powerpoints with various media like pictures. I've spent a lot of time thinking about what pictures best fit.

The purpose of adding pictures to a presentation is to evoke something in the audience. So, I totally get and appreciate she had to apologize. In today's culture of course someone is going to notice such a correlation, whether unintended or not. I think she handled the response well. If our goal is to communicate, then we have to listen to feedback.

If I had to choose a picture and wanted to connect people to the content, the best way would have been to choose a crowd picture, ideally multiracial. We're all in this together. The way humanity has, and continues, to dehumanize particular groups of other people is an important reason to show that we're fundamentally the same, the same sort of animal.

Know the audience and let the images supplement the material. Above all, don't let the image distract from the material. And as images have certainly throughout the years been used to negate groups of people, how we use images today is not a neutral activity. It comes with goals and history. Shouldn't obsess about it (better to leave out pictures in that case) but given all the different pictures we can use, make an informed choice that furthers the goals.

Inkling said...

Quote: "But we are animals."

Agreed. I'd have taken offense only if she'd called me a plant.

I also wonder why, in a discussion of the Irish potato famine, she did use a picture of an Irish family that resembled those in that era. That's a father, mother, and children. Those are the ones affected by the famine.

With these sad-sack people, ideology is constantly overriding reality.

Clark said...

Watching the left eat itself has been a remarkable experience. I have ZERO sympathy for the leftist professor who can't get out of bed without offending someone. This is the world they created. Choke on it.