How could something many so obviously see is a terrible injustice -- be completely invisible to others? What is it about culture and tradition that "blinds" otherwise caring people to injustice?
When my father was growing up in the midwest in the 1930s, he thought nothing of an elderly black woman having to give up her seat on the bus to him, a strong young white boy. Not until the Civil Rights movement was well under way was he able to see what his culture and tradition had desensitized him to.
In the fabulous book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, author Rebecca Skloot describes how in one hospital, doctors had been instructed to implant cancer cells into all their patients without their knowlege or consent as part of some scientific research. Shockingly, the only doctors who objected to this, just happened to be Jewish, and this episode took place about the time the world was first learning of the horrors that took place during the Holocaust. But get this -- while I bet everyone reading this today, totally agrees that the three jewish doctors were absolutely right on to object to this horrific research -- at the time it happened, those doctors were actually criticized by all their colleagues for being "too sentimental" and unduly influenced by their "jewishness" and what happened in the Holocaust. Below are a few examples of injustices that various cultures at various times have encouraged their people to "Not see." It's an interesting experiment for us to look at the images and then consider our own reaction to each,