“We were so racially divided back then.”
Pronounced by a white student in my Media Ethics class last fall, the reference was not to the 1960s/Civil Rights Era, nor to slavery before 1861, but to the mid-1990s. A discussion of Time magazine’s infamous darkening of O.J. Simpson’s mug shot shortly after his arrest in 1994 prompted her half-defense half-explanation.
The discussion started as an attempt to look at digital manipulation in news photography and whether it is an ethical practice. Numerous examples before the Simpson photo produced an interesting, thoughtful discussion, as had been the case all semester with this particular group of students. But when I pulled that photo out of my folder, the mood of the room changed.