The Prodigal Altar Boy

Monday, April 30, 2012



Karen Everett Inner Circle Work:
Finished Inner Circle paperwork and input information for the Inner Circle web page. 
Asked Karen about getting maximum production value from a fixed position, such as Friday's upcoming funeral.

Small Shoot Kit list
  • XL1s
  • Canon batteries
  • Tripod
  • 3X lens
  • 14X manual lens
  • Zoom Q3 (2)
  • AA lithium batteries (8)
  • On board LED light
  • Zoom H4n
  • 32GB memory card
  • 16 GB memory card
  • Mini-DV tape
  • Panasonic 3-chip camera

Music Practice:
Stratocaster Warm-ups
Inversion Excursion work
"So What" Miles Davis
Cmin R&B grove work

Body Work:
L.A. Fitness workout
Barbell Bench press 8X8
Barbell Decline bench press 8X8
Barbell Incline bench press  8X8
Treadmill: 20 minutes 60/30 second interval work.

TQ on Race – Part II
(Excerpted from the paper, Father Thomas J. Quinlan, “Fool For Christ”)

TQ addressed how harmful stereotypes permeated issues such as which mass people attended.  He noted that few whites attended 5:00PM mass at St. Mary’s (predominantly black), “That’s in the black neighborhood, and I’m afraid my car will be stolen. If it were a poor white neighborhood it would be the same thing, but they don’t see that. Black equals bad, bad equals inferior.”  This observation mirrors the findings of Maddox and Gray who found skin color as an important factor in white and black representation of African-Americans (Maddox & Gray, 2002), as well as Dixon and Maddox’s findings that dark skin tone was all that was needed to trigger racially stereotypical associations with black criminals (Dixon &; Maddox, 2005).
Maddox and Gray write that “light skin is generally valued over dark skin,” and TQ observed this first hand, recalling an African-American/Filipino family in the parish where he saw the lighter skinned children were treated better than the dark-skinned youngest son.  He also related how the nuns would choose the light-skinned girls to crown the Virgin Mary during the May Procession.  When asked how he changed predominantly black St. Mary’s views on race, he replies, “When I went there, they were a colored parish,” and relayed how most of the parish hierarchy were “high yellows,” acknowledging, “It’s a skin thing, but it’s a sociological category for me.” 
Part of TQ’s communication strategy with the African-American community was to use his actions as a priest, friend and advocate to reinforce his genuine concern for the parish.  His non-verbal actions had to reinforce his communication.  His observation that it takes a long time for black people to trust someone, especially if they are white, displays cultural sensitivity that showed genuine respect.  He was acutely aware that the black parishioners were constantly observing and evaluating to determine if he really believed in what he said, and if he “practiced what he preached.”  TQ observed that once the Africa-American community was convinced that he considered himself equals with them, he was able to communicate on a deeper level. 
An ongoing effort in the African-American community was to counteract the effects of negative stereotypes.  While actions such as introducing the African-American flag and the seven principles of African unity caused controversy with the whites, and even some blacks within the parish, he wanted to overcome the “clichés”  that were holding African-Americans back.  His efforts predate research by Steele and Aronson on the risk of confirming negative stereotypes about one’s group (Steele & Aronson, 1995), and while their research looked at standardized testing, TQ felt those stereotypes, or “clichés” affect all aspects of self-identity.  Quinlan recalls firing two white nuns at The Basilica of St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception, “Because they would not make the school black.”  “They didn’t understand why you have to tell a little black kid, every day, you’ve got to say, ‘I am somebody.’ It sounds like a cliché, it sounds boring, it sounds dull, it sounds stupid to white people, but not to black kids.”  TQ talked about the lack of positive self-image and the pernicious effect of self-hate and emphasized the need to start early in life to instill self-esteem in black children.
TQ emphasized the importance of language, and hinted at the linguistic determinists’ view of language controlling thought (Jandt, 2010, p. 131) when he excoriated black parents for the way they talk to their children.  When a black parent tells a child, “Put your black ass down here,” TQ points out, “There’s no difference between a black ass and a white ass, so why emphasize it?  It’s a hidden form of self-hate, inferiority.”  That observation brings to mind the definition of power distance where less powerful members of a society expect and accept the unequal distribution of power (Jandt, 2010, p. 177).  In addition to expecting and accepting this inequality, TQ took the black community to task for perpetuating this mindset through language.

Works Cited
Maddox, K. B., & Gray, S. A. (2002). Cognitive Representations of Black Americans: Reexploring the Role of Skin Tone. PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN , 28 (2), 250-259.
Dixon, T. L., & Maddox, K. B. (2005). Skin Tone, Crime News, and Social Reality Judgments: Priming the Stereotype of the Dark and Dangerous Black Criminal. Journal of Applied Social Psychology , 35 (8), 1555-1570.
Jandt, F. E. (2010). An Introduction to intercultural communication: Identities in a global community (6th ed.). (T. R. Armstrong, D. Saoud, A. Baker, A. Virding, & G. Dickens, Eds.) Thousand Oaks, California, United States: SAGE Publications, Inc.