Cross-posted at Montclair SocioBlog.

Being in the dominant majority allows you that comfort of not thinking.  People in that majority can assume that everyone shares their views, ideas, and even characteristics, and much of the time, they’ll be right.  “Flesh colored” in the U.S., sometimes even today, means the color of white people’s flesh.

White is the default race, the American race.  It’s easy to ignore that African Americans might not see those Band-Aids as flesh colored.  Similarly, Christianity is the default religion, and those who are in the majority can make those same flesh-colored assumptions.  Justice Scalia, for example, seemed unable to understand that the Jewish families of Jews killed in war might not feel “honored” by a cross placed on the grave of their son or daughter. (My post on this is here.)

The latest example:  this Hannukah card sent in South Carolina, presumably to Jews, by Rick Santorum’s local team.  First tweeted by political reporter Hunter Walker, it’s rapidly making the rounds of the Internet.

The Santorum team knew that Jews celebrate Hannukah.  But apparently they either did not know or did not remember that the New Testament is not part of Judaism and that Jews do not believe in the divinity of Jesus.  So those words from John — that those who follow Jesus “will have the light of life” — probably did not convey the intended effect of holiday warmth.
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