Halloween was approaching, Joanne brought a toy ghost to work.
It wore a hat and sunglasses, and held a guitar. When prompted,
the ghost would shake around her desk and sing a jazz song about
Halloween. The ghost's voice was distinctly African American -
hardly surprising, given that many jazz musicians are of African
descent. However, this ghost was bright white, despite his vocal
character. This incongruity made me realize that I have never
seen ghosts portrayed as a different color, regardless of race.
pointed this paradox out to my co-workers. Some explained, "All
humans are the same color on the inside." This statement
harks back to the "all our blood runs red" argument
as a means of identifying a common human color. However, it is
an observable fact that all human blood is red, whereas the color
of our spiritual beings remains unknown. Furthermore, even if
all spirits are the same color, there are no compelling reasons
to believe that color is white.
suggested that all ghosts are white in order to contrast with
the darkness of the night. First of all, the assumption that ghosts
are nocturnal is completely unsupported. Moreover, it is usually
disadvantageous for creatures to contrast with their environments.
In fact, many creatures blend into their environments as a means
of survival. Therefore, it seems counterintuitive that white ghosts
were naturally selected over other ghosts in an evolutionary process
to be visible at night. Besides, "survival" of the fittest
hardly applies to the dead!
peers eventually agreed that no sound explanations were offered
for depicting all ghosts as white. Maybe ghosts do not care how
they are portrayed. Maybe they do care, but merely lack the political
clout necessary to change their Hollywood image. After all, the
only enfranchised dead people are those that reside in Chicago,
who have been known to cast votes in presidential elections. Perhaps
we, the living, should champion their cause or at least lobby
for better representation of ghosts. The real mystery, however,
is how this issue has escaped the attention of the political correctness
1997, Aaron Bloom. All rights reserved.