Gather round, Zuskateers, and you shall hear the tale of Clang!2 - White Privilege.
If you will recall, in Report the First, Zuska looked deep inside her own brain and found a squirming pile of sexist maggots gnawing away at her will to transform the world. Report the second is just as unlovely! So grab your popcorn and let's get started!
Many of you Zuskateers know that some years back I had a stroke caused by a migraine, and that the stroke made my migraines much, much worse - so severe and frequent that I had to quit working. You may not also know that I lost nearly all my vision at the time of the stroke. It gradually returned over a period of several months, but I did not get it all back. I was left with a blind spot in the upper right quadrant of my visual field. It's not a black spot in my vision. If I really pay attention, I can see that the area of the blind spot seems to have been rubbed or erased out. But most of the time I don't even see the blind spot. It's as if my brain takes everything it sees around the hole that is the blind spot, knits it together to patch up the whole, and tells the rest of me, "Okay, no problem here. What you are seeing is all there is to see." Oliver Sacks has written about this phenomenon in an essay titled "Scotoma: Forgetting and Neglect in Science". (It's in a hard to find book called Hidden Histories of Science that is worth seeking out.)
My blind spot is a case of my brain not letting me know what I don't know, and I have to actively work around this to get the information I need, properly interpret the world, and keep myself safe. Signs are sometimes hard for me to read because I don't get all the information at once, my brain can't make sense of it, and is too stupid to imagine that there might be something I'm missing. Same thing when I'm reading the paper - I get to the end of a column and think "that story ended oddly". Then I move my head and see there's an upper right part of the page - oh look! more story! Finding things on the computer screen can be a nightmare. I work hard to pay attention because I know I'm missing stuff, but it is exhausting, and sometimes I just quit. I watch tv knowing I'm seeing about 3/4 of the picture but so what. It'll do.
I tell you all this because my scotoma is the perfect metaphor for Clang!2.