Anyone who knows anything about America in the past half century or so knows that we live in a culture that is increasingly dominated by visual images and the emotions they produce.
Images were crucial as modern print journalism evolved. It goes without saying that images are crucial in visual storytelling in television, past and present.
Today? While words matter in social media, nothing grabs people quite like that punchy, ironic, cute, infuriating or poignant image that seems to sum up (a) whatever is happening in the real world at the moment or (b) whatever we are consuming in order to be able to ignore whatever is happening in the real world at the moment.
Thus, a former GetReligionista sent the current team an email the other day -- with the simple headline, "Hmmmm" -- containing the item at the top of this post.
What's the point? The question has been asked many times: Why do so many people get confused and think that Sikhs are Muslims? Is there something compelling about the Sikh turban (the dastaar) that makes journalists think "foreign," "exotic," maybe "Arab" and, thus, "Muslim" or someone who would be accused of being a "Muslim terrorist"?
Ah, but the turban is VISUAL and it all but screams "diversity," "other world religions" and "multiculturalism."
At the moment, is the whole point -- in terms of journalism shorthand -- that a Sikh believer looks like the kind of man that the angry, fact-challenged, Islamophobic Donald Trump voter is supposed to want to (a) beat up and then (b) accuse of being a "Muslim" terrorist?
Well, a few key facts are all wrong. But, hey, the point is to make a point. Right?