"If someone calls you out on your white privilege, they are not marginalizing you. Plain and simple. They are asking (or telling) you to be aware that you were not born in a vacuum and that your skin color and ancestry have a very specific meaning in this country, a meaning that affords you and your ancestors certain advantages, perks, or benefits that a large portion of this country do not experience and are prevented from accessing, simply because of their skin color, nationality, ethnic and/or cultural practices, sexuality, and so on. You can deny it all you want, but that doesn’t mean the system will cease to exist with your denial. Your denial means that you are individually choosing to continue to support a system that has, I’d argue, the most far-reaching and damaging effects on communities of color in this country. Your denial of white privilege doesn’t mean that less Blacks and Latinos will be incarcerated in their lifetime; it doesn’t mean that Black, Latino, and American Indian women will no longer be making the lowest income among all groups in this country; it also doesn’t mean that queer youth of color will suddenly no longer experience disturbing rates of homelessness in Los Angeles County. Your denial of your privilege perpetuates inequality and is offensive to us folks of color who have to fight uphill against a system that devalues (and sometimes exploits) our cultural practices, our languages, our countries, our his/herstories, and our unique experiences and struggles in this country."
"Normality was what you made it"
Dolphins are more emotional than humans?
Our brains share many structural similarities with dolphins. For example, we both have a limbic system, which is responsible for handling emotional information. One difference between us, however, is that the dolphins’ limbic system is much larger than ours and, says scientist Denise Herzig, it “may be stretched out over more of the brain,” indicating that “the dolphin brain may have more of a ‘global connection’ to [emotional] information”. This could mean that dolphins are more emotional than humans, and that emotions could figure more prominently throughout their thought processes.
While it might be tempting to think that increased emotions would lead to greater aggression when being backed into a corner, another compelling feature of the dolphin brain appears to account for this notion. Sterling Bunnell, in The Evolution of Cetacean Intelligence points out that the cerebral cortex, responsible for logical thought and reasoning in both humans and dolphins alike, is controlled by the emotional activity of the limbic system. This process is facilitated by what are called ‘neocortical association neurons’.
Bunnell observed that, in human studies, the ratio of these neurons to limbic-system brain stem neurons “is necessary for such qualities as …emotional self-control” and that a decreased ratio is associated with “impulsiveness, emotional instability, irritability, loss of humor”. Bunnell points out that dolphins possess a higher neocortical-limbic ratio than the average human, suggesting that their control over their own emotions is greater than what we experience.
It could be that dolphins, while being more emotional, are more emotionally stable than we are, and are therefore able to better control themselves in stressful situations.
This could also explain why dolphins are so tractable in captivity. Live dolphins are captured in Taiji and are sold to aquariums around the world. Despite being severely traumatized, Bunnell points out that, “captive dolphins… have often shown humor, empathy, and self-control that few of us could match under comparable circumstances”. Indeed. These beings are separated from their families, placed into sterile tanks that are utterly unlike any environment they’re exposed to in the wild, and are forced to perform tricks through food deprivation - if they don’t perform, they don’t eat. Yet they treat nearly every one of their customers with what appears to be kindness and understanding. Something to keep in mind the next time you accept a ‘kiss’ from a captive dolphin.
Deth P. Sun’s paintings are the single frame adventures of a character who I envision is Deth’s own creatively personal avatar, making his way through the turmoil and twists of life versus nature, magic, myth and himself. See more of Deth’s work below: