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By way of an ink blot test...

Since we appear to have started the bi-monthly discussion on race & ethnicity I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on the people in this painting:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/64/Dido_eliz.JPG

I'll explain the significance later...
Permalink Send private email a cynic writes... 
July 19th, 2007 12:12pm
are you actually going to say that the two women have exactly the same skin tone? that would be so adolescent.

As if art was ever only about the amount of Burnt Ocre or Cadmium blue on the canvas.
Permalink Send private email heartsheep 
July 19th, 2007 12:22pm
OK look let's get this over with.

The one on the left is a cotton-picking, baby-stealing nigger.  The other is a young mother of four very bright young men who will grow up to serve their country as military heroes.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
July 19th, 2007 12:38pm
The one on the left is a queen, dignitary, or person of importance. The lady on the right is her servant.

The one on the left has a necklace, hat, and earrings. The one on the right doesn't.
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 19th, 2007 12:44pm
I think we are supposed to recognize that they are the same face, but different skin tones.
Permalink Send private email sharkfish 
July 19th, 2007 12:48pm
interesting crop wikipedia went with:

http://www.intermix.org.uk/images/all/icons/dido_02.jpg
Permalink Send private email arg! 
July 19th, 2007 1:01pm
That nigger bitch is stealing flowers!!
Permalink Send private email muppet 
July 19th, 2007 1:03pm
The one on the left is Dido Elizabeth Belle daughter of Admiral John Lindsay.  The one on the right is her cousin Elizabeth Lindsay.  Both girls grew up together at the house of their great uncle Lord Mansfield.  That was the same Lord Mansfield who in a 1772 case effectively ruled slavery illegal in England with the words:

"The state of slavery is of such a nature, that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political; but only positive law, which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasion, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased from memory: it's so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it but positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from a decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England; and therefore the black must be discharged."

We'll never know if he'd have given the same judgement if Dido (then about 9) hadn't been at home...
Permalink a cynic writes... 
July 19th, 2007 3:06pm
Note to self: That's "Dido". No 'l'!
Permalink man on the stair 
July 20th, 2007 6:03am

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