Letter to the Editor: Outdated Illustration Message Reduces Impact of State Police Reports
I looked at the front page of the Sunday April 18 newspaper to see a photo illustration from Bangor Daily News with images of three state police officers with their faces blackened (“Inside the police in the State of Maine, the misdeeds of the agents are kept secret ”). When are we and the media going to stop using the color black to indicate that something is wrong? Given the likelihood of officers being white, why not “whitewash” their faces? Or use blue?
While I appreciate the substance of the article and the joint efforts of the Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram and the Bangor Daily News to report on this important topic, I would like more thought to be given to the messages conveyed by the images.
I think of all the times the “entertainment” and the media used the white-is-good, black-is-bad trope to impose racist ideas in my lifetime. It is no wonder that we are struggling to get rid of racism and the damage caused by racist policies and institutions.
It is time for us to take a hard look at the damage labeling people as “other” does to our society and working to communicate fairly and justly.