If you’re not learning new skills in Wonderland online, why not? Here’s the first step to getting new skills in a 3D animated environment.
Why Am I Not Learning Skills In Wonderland Online
I recently ordered some gardening videos from a website I thought were… good? Curious to see what they looked like, I clicked through a couple and I’m not totally sure what I was looking at.
What I did see, however, were video after video, many featuring people of color, talking about gardening — talking about gardening generally, not about African American gardening. The only African American person featured was a guy.
When I clicked through the profiles, one thing quickly stood out: they were more likely to use the words “black” or “black and white” than “African American.” Or, “Handsome,” “Proven black model,” “Handsome rapper.” (Handsome rapper?)
When I researched the exact same images on the owner’s site, they repeated those same parameters — which I think is pretty white, okay? Most of the images of African Americans I found depicted them as figures in mystical places — glowing in heaven, sad in hell, faces ablaze in divinity. The only one that didn’t a) focus on Jesus or the Buddha, or b) depict a man in transcendence was a photo of a man in earrings and a blue dress eating a peach, a highly secular, apolitical image, I’m sure.
I know exactly what I was looking at, though I didn’t notice it until I was on my phone while watching the videos — on a site that was heavily marketed toward white folks.
Though I only did it once, I felt like someone else could have, too. Or rather, someone else could’ve picked up on the fact that when I looked at these images — that included tips like, “Make Extra Space in Your Yard” or “Cut Off Waste,” and discussed subjects like “Take care of Plants” and “Protect Your Garden” — I didn’t see anything about agriculture. And people that couldn’t tell agricultural issues from political issues didn’t seem to think farming was a problem.
So I decided to tweet about it.
Very frustrated with the farming content I saw on the site I ordered gardening videos from. Very racist to me. ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/J6WfRnZtBp — Maryanne Roller (@maryanne_roller) November 8, 2018
The response was immediate. Lots of people were upset about the issue. Some were concerned about what the site was doing and, in general, they weren’t interested in accessing gardening content from someone who didn’t seem to see the relevance of farm work. “Why are you not mentioning farming or agriculture?” people asked. “It’s pretty clear that you aren’t aware of the role African Americans play in farming and agriculture,” said one tweeter.
Still other people didn’t understand why people were so concerned. They were tired of being the only ones talking about racism, they said.
I asked Twitter to help me further understand if they had seen photos of farmers, “ugly” farmers, black farmers, etc. They responded with a wide range of images. Some were random. Others were personal. A few were plant collector photos. One individual had tweeted a shot of a wonderful, red dirt grown Chicago-area white farmer’s field. (Someone told me that was a farmer he knew, and that it was a great shot.)
I was told by some of the Tweets and retweets that people who cared about the issue of racism care about this particular problem. Which is strange to me because racism happens constantly, whether in people’s homes, roads, schools, neighborhoods, or families and communities — and it’s not just about buying “black” products. Racism takes all forms, and it’s about time we can acknowledge that.
It was also interesting to note that people cared about this issue because it took place online — so, of course they were upset. When you look at it like that, it’s hard to not understand why they were so angry.
So the next time you order something online, do your research. And when you see something that offends you, try to ask questions, such as: How did they come up with that? Who made that decision? Why are they whitewashing history? Why does that mention some specific folks, but not everyone?
And remember: it doesn’t always have to be about politics. Sometimes you can connect with a few select subjects — if, like me, you are curious about the work they do.