12 December 2013

A PICTURE: A THOUSAND WORDS OR MISCONSTRUED?

A picture is worth a thousand words" refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly.  {Source}

 REVOLUTIONARY/PRISONER/PEACE MAKER/FORMER PRESIDENT
 
541_Art_Mandela_Nelson - BlackCommentator.com




AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

It's not surprising that the media pundits, right wing conservatives and others have taken the opportunity to use this image to continue distorting the President's worldview and label him as Un-American.  Actually, he's been a leading proponent of western values and Americanism and it is astounding to me how often this perspective is challenged. President Obama spoke of Madiba's concept of Ubuntu which allowed him to shake the hands of his former oppressors and work towards reconciliation. A snub by this President would also prove to be a lack of social skills and repudiation of the spirit of Ubuntu had he ignored Raul Castro.  It would have been an  insult to the memory of former President Mandela. 

                                        
AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images
                                     

 "The Selfie" with the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron,  Denmark's Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt,  President Obama and a disengaged First Lady Michelle Obama has also garnered far more speculation than need be. The photographer cites that actually they were all engaged before this photo was taken.  It was taken out of the sequence of events.  Of course, the comics and others have again labeled Mrs. Obama as insecure and jealous and why not...the President is next to a "blonde" and frankly she should be; I'm sure many of them have that perspective.  The President at one time described Mrs. Obama as the love of his life.  As an aside; I'm beginning to reassess Jay Leno after the 'burnt toast and danish joke' he told  a few hours ago.  Enough said on that.  It is  unfortunate, that there are more images misinterpreted by the 'rags' who've made it to the mainstream.  They are beginning to spin the consequences of the President's faux pas. 


AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images
 The last group of images would suggest that Mrs. Obama changed seats with the President given 'he wasn't on his best behavior'.  You know.. that mean/bossy black woman persona they like to attribute to her at any given moment. One could suggest that when the President  left his seat to deliver his speech;  Mrs. Obama had been in conversation with the Danish Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt and moved closer and upon his return he took the chair she vacated. However, that would not be as salacious or joke worthy! It has occurred to me that images can be revealing, misleading and abstruse.  These events and images are, at times, viewed through reactionary lenses.  Reality based deductions just aren't as intriguing. 

We must remember that the gathering was to honor the memory of this prodigious man, Nelson 'Madiba' Mandela and wishing him Godspeed as he continues his journey to eternity.  What a legacy  he left the world community. 

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