Now try this one, of a white girl dancing to African (anyone know the particular country?) music. Try to be honest -- are your thoughts and feelings any different about this one?
No need to mention fears you might've had about the first child falling off the table -- that's too obvious, and maybe even derailing.
h/t to Kit, who has a great post about the first video at Keep It Trill. Good comments there also; the racially marked contrast in the comments at YouTube for these two videos is instructive too.
At Kit's place, where a commenter named soul linked to the second video above, I wrote the following in a comment:
I'm a white American, and that means that I'm trained to see white and black people differently. More to the point, I've been unconsciously trained to trust unfamiliar white people and fear unfamiliar black people. So as I watched this video, I eventually got around to seeing it as the innocent, harmless fun that you see it as.
But, I'm willing to admit that it took awhile for me to see it that way. I think I did see blackness first, and heard "that" music, and saw "that" kind of dancing. And so, at first, certain feelings were triggered -- associations, ones that I've been taught to feel when I encounter poor, urban, and thus supposedly dangerous black people. I'm still more likely to have words like "thug" come to mind with black people in such a situation, words that don't come to mind when I encounter white people basically doing the same damn things.
However, I think I have come to recognize, with a lot of hard, "anti-racist" work on myself, that 1) while those trained, unwarranted, and racist feelings are deeply embedded in me, and they're still going to kick in sometimes, 2) I can push past those feelings, and look more realistically at the human beings in front of me. And so, after a minute or so, I was watching this baby dancing and just having fun, and I was soon thinking, well, cool, that DOES look like simple, innocent fun. (And yes Kit, I think this particular white male did feel some jealousy too -- I wish my suburban middle-class family had been able to relax enough to have what looks like joyous, full-bodied fun -- we never danced together, at all.) (And no, I don't think now that all black people dance better and all that, etc.)
I also really appreciate soul's comparison of the other video, which I've seen before. And yes, none of those feelings about "thugs" or corruption of this young child came to mind when I watch that video, and that has everything to do with that girl's whiteness.
I'm glad that I can now see these two videos as basically the same, wonderful thing, even though I've been trained not to.