Why is «blacklist» bad?
Baudrillard claims that our current society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs, and that human experience is a simulation of reality. How is it connected with "blacklist" and why it's not good to use this word anymore?
Let's define word “black” as an example
Wikipedia: “black is the darkest color, the result of the absence or complete absorption of visible light.”
Dictionary.com: “being a color that lacks hue and brightness and absorbs light without reflecting any of the rays composing it”
Physics: black means no light. That’s why if we went in a larder and shut the door, all we would see is blackness.
White color is the opposite - it is all the colors, all the light.
In terms of symbols light (color) means life. And life points us to action. Black color means no actions then. It is exactly how our Universe works. So something in blacklist is supposed to have no action. And the whitelist is… I hope you got my idea.
Do you see any racism in physics and philosophy? What is it all about then?
Symbols and signs
The thing is that we can put any value into any object or word. We can do it on a local level - like some family traditions - or as society. Let’s get back to our example.
The moment we start to care whether we should use the word “black” or not - it is the moment we create racism. We add a new layer of meaning to the word that is to obscure everything it meant before. Literally displace it.
If you don’t agree with the previous paragraph or don’t understand why, let me show you a little example. There is a thing like desecration. It could mean that some guy tells (or shows) a group of people that their sacred thing is not that sacred in the most disrespectful way. For example burning the flag. By doing so, one accepts that it has value. No one will publicly and disrespectfully burn something valueless. So an act of desecration is an act of both acceptance and sacralizing.
Almost exactly the same is going on with our topic example. By not using the word “black” consciously we make racism exist. By telling that something is not racist we spawn and accept racism.
What is the problem?
There are two, actually, as I see it. Racism is just a symbol here. And we are constantly replacing meaning with symbols and signs.
Imagine the world, where everything we discuss, everything we do has sense. We are not afraid of using any words, moves, colors, e.t.c. Everything around us: mass media, people, art, objects - has its own meaning, value. They do not just point to something (or to nothing at all). Imagined? Our world is going in the exact opposite direction.
And secondly, does it not sound a little bit familiar to you? Don’t you think we will be better without the word “black”? Shouldn’t we add a new word, “nolight”, for example, and use it to describe black color? George Orwell would approve:)
It is ridiculous now to think that one day we won't be able to have a black cat or dog. But, as society, we're doing our baby steps towards it.
Thank you for attention and have a great life now. See ya!
Sep 24, 2020