Pre-postracial

To “denigrate” is, literally, to blacken. The more you disagree with Barack Obama, the more likely you are to regard an artificially darkened photo of him as accurate. And conversely.

Denigrate, v.t.
To attack the reputation of , defame.  <denigrate one’s opponents>
 
From de- + nigrare to blacken, from nigr-, niger black

Precisely.  The more you disagree with Barack Obama, the more likely you are to regard an artificially darkened photo of him as accurate.   And conversely.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

6 thoughts on “Pre-postracial”

  1. Uh, Prof. Kleiman, did you read the post? I don't think that's all it said- liberals preferred the artificially lightened image of Obama. I don't know if that's anything to be proud of.

  2. But what do "artificially lightened" and "artificially darkened" mean in the context of a photograph? You could take dozens of photos of Obama and depending on the external lighting situations, his skin color in the photos would appear lighter or darker at times. I'm not even sure that you could take a series of photographs, have Barack Obama stand next to them, and choose one as having the "right" shade in all circumstances. (If you'd like an example, see the chessboard optical illusion here.) Maybe — maybe — you could do this if the lighting was diffuse and at a set, calibrated intensity. And if Barack Obama was religious about using a high SPF sunscreen whenever he's outside so that his skin color doesn't change.

    The only thing that one can safely conclude from this study is that people who disagree with Obama think his skin tone is darker than those who agree with him, if the overall group of respondents are unaware of contextuality in color perception.

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  4. I'm not sure of the context here. Without seeing the pictures and how they were presented I don't know what to make of the results. For example, knowing of artificially darkened pictures of the President circulated in right-wing circles, I would likely pick the lighter one unless an unedited picture was also presented.

  5. These side-by-side photographs of Obama and Bush may be a perfect illustration of this dynamic.

    Then realize the point being made by putting the two presidents together: thirty-some thousand more "community organizers" off to Afghanistan next year. With reality like this, what the hell difference do perceptions make?

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