Day 6 #LintonReflections 2016

Incredible the difference a day makes.

Yesterday I talked about seeing through people. Today I’m thinking, “yeah but there’s more to it.”

If you follow the NFL you’ll understand the references coming up. If you don’t, I’m not trying to exclude you from the conversation and apologize if I’ve already lost you. But I think the love/hate fascination with Cam Newton (NFL Quarterback for the Carolina Panthers) inundating the latest season offered a lot stuff to chew on about who is and isn’t seen and when it matters.

For example, Newton popularized a celebration dance known as the “Dab.”

dab dabbing nfl cam newton carolina panthers

Subsequently, he took a lot of media heat for showboating and was criticized for not being a good role model.

A lot of people see Cam Newton. Still, as a young black man, Cam Newton is seen differently. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, a lot of people living at the margins aren’t seen at all and if they happen to disrupt the way we want to see reality privileged eyes tend to erase them from the scene. However, if folks like Cam Newton typically not seen or commonly seen-through show up in such a way people can’t avoid their presence, their disrupting image receives a different look than others normally seen and accepted as part of the normal line of site.

What the hell am I talking about? Well, look at this celebration:

nfl green bay packers aaron rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, an incredible quarterback but privileged with white skin, gets seen and yet doesn’t endure the same critical gaze as Cam Newton. He’s seen and not seen. Seen as a normal part of the scene. Not seen as doing anything out of the ordinary; not seen with the same judgment and suspicion as someone not typically seen at all. His touchdown celebration became a media sensation. He received a ton of money selling its charming effects to a prominent insurance company.

Reflecting through the Lenten journey, I’m faced with the difficult task of assessing my vision and deciding with what lenses I need to adjust it.

“Which celebration looks better? 1 or 2?”

“Doc, they look the same. It’s hard to tell the difference.”

But, of course, the eyes aren’t always as objective as we’d like to think.

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