Today's Obsession: Racial Scapegoating

Interesting: two separate conservative senatorial candidates, Sharron Angle and David Vitter are using the same stock photo of three latino guys—one looking quite annoyed—to represent “illegal aliens,” and as such, shining an unwanted kleig light on them, making them the faces of illegal occupants of the US. I have some questions about this photo:

  1. Does anyone know where the image is from? Is it stock?
  2. Are the three men in the photo actually in the U.S. illegally?
  3. Are they aware they’re being scapegoated, sort of ?
  4. Is anyone besides me freaked out that suddenly, there are three anonymous men who could be targeted as illegal immigrants simply because political attack ads have labeled them as such?

This is an odd merging of identity, racial politics, and commerce. If these guys aren’t aware their photos are being used, then might it constitute grounds for slander? If they’ve sold the rights to their images through a stock photo house, are they okay with their images being used like this? So many questions!

(via, and also!)

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