What do you see while looking at the above photo? After I read the article that was attached to this photo, I learned that Kevin Carter won a Pulitzer for this riveting picture and then committed suicide a year later. No one knows the fate of the little girl in the photo, just another victim betrayed by his or her own circumstances.
We do not know the fates of the parents who were too busy or unable to see the scavenger/predator stalking their child. Nor do we know the fates of the workers that were handing out food before they removed themselves from the dire situation. Nor do we know the life of the vulture. Yes, even this character’s fate deserves consideration. What I do know is that this picture perfectly illustrates the oppression, poverty, and drama that circulate throughout lower class America.
So I ask you America, who are you in this photo: are you the victim, the vulture, the photographer, the parents, the workers or a bystander? You should be able to identify with some aspect of this life, especially if you’re indifferent to the mechanics of this genocidal cycle. You will become the vulture in your indifference, believing that you are just doing what comes natural, feeding off of the misery of a people. But being the vulture isn’t the worse character to play in this drama, ask Kevin Carter. The story behind this photo is a sad one, a real one, and a truth that you’ll find in any urban area or penal institution in this country. This isn’t just a photo; it is a representation of the state of this country and the bodies that are operating in these circumstances. Yet you must find out where are you in this, who are you in this life? Once you find that you are any of these characters in this sordid state, then do the world and yourself a favor and commit character-suicide. Destroy the mind-set that oppresses, preys on the weak, victimizes others or is indifferent to the suffering of the oppressed. If you’ve been victimized, do not find comfort and dependency in your circumstances, do not remain “the victim”. If you are just watching the scene to make sure you get the right shot, put down your damn camera and go help while you can. If you are indifferent to the story, just doing your job and taking care of those you love, then you’re just as guilty as the vulture and the photographer. I challenge you, I beg you to suffocate the characters that are destroying us… this is genocide, this is suffering, poverty, dependency and the residual effects of the slave and master. This is the illustration of the ghetto and those that are watching from afar. The questions are–who are you in this photo and are you R.E.A.D.Y . for change?