UFSO whitewashes whilst accusing Britain of a whitewash.

Regarding this article posted by University For Strategic Optimism which for all intent and purpose is not a University, is not strategic in any shape and shows no effort to promote optimism, instead seemingly being some WordPress.com based (as this site is) cheerleaders of the cuts choir.

I’m also struggling to find any evidence of a Dr. Sofia Himmelblau every existing, with entries on Google only showing the UFSO site itself (UPDATE: and within 15 minutes of posting this article, this site)

This is a screenshot of their site on August 11th at 3:32AM UK Time (Click all images for full size versions)

Here is the image that they used for the article’s header:

And here, care of the wonder @robmanuel, the founder of the website B3ta, on Twitter and posted to Twitpic is the original image:

How convenient for them that the cropping of the image would remove every trace of multiculturalism in the picture. You have to wonder about the intentions and honesty of a group are when the photo they use to highlight their point that the clean up movement after the riots is a mostly white and race led has been digitally altered to remove black people.

Rob Manuel, discoverer of this (as he, or rather the back of his head actually features in the photo being used) has responded via Twitlonger. I’m including his response underneath

This post makes lots of interesting points that I could partially subscribe to but it’s rather let down by the photo. I’ve noticed this because I’m in it. I’m the guy in the middle at the bottom of the frame with red hair.

It’s become a bit of a famous photo but there’s something missing: two black guys who were standing directly behind me.

The photo on your site has been cropped to the pixel pretty much not to include these guys. This is pretty damn odd in post talking about race with a hash tag #riotwhitewash making the accusation that this was a mostly white affair sticking two fingers at the BMEs.

All I can say really is my intention at turning up wasn’t consciously racist and I don’t believe subconsciously, but there’s something actually sort of I don’t know what, not racist exactly, but certainly propagandist about cropping the black guys out of the photo and then writing a post saying it was all too white.

Now I’m sure there’s a defence here. Maybe you were sent the image already cropped, and I’m besmirching your good name without knowing the facts. Maybe you thought it was aesthetically better without these narratively inconvenient people dominating the lower frame, but really what I’ve found fascinating about this whole thing is how this photo gets twisted to fit the political agenda of the writer. (The Daily Mail does the same thing and I’ve been appalled how they’ve used these pictures to fit their tory supporting pro cuts horror show.)

And if you’re interested in the actual moment rather than how the photo has been used for random bits of propaganda – people were doing a broom mexican wave out of bordom because no one was allowed to do any cleaning because the cops still had the street blocked.

Anyway too many words. I’ve made a pic to make it clear of the bit that’s missing from the photo. Sorry if I appear stroppy but this has irked me. http://twitpic.com/645wg2/full


About plkrtn
Lostpedia SysOp, blogger, occasional writer for TVOvermind and consumer technology geek.

5 Responses to UFSO whitewashes whilst accusing Britain of a whitewash.

  1. flashbank says:

    Regards the picture, no conspiracy there I’m afraid, grabbed a pic of the web and just preferred one a bit squarer and that was visually more about the brooms than the people, to be fair it wasn’t really much of a conscious decision, that cropping just looked better at a glance… and didn’t want any people to be close up/recognisable that might accuse us of defamation or something… if you actually look at that picture you will see that there are still black people in the shot that was used so the argument that somehow this was a sinister move to remove them is patently false. Yes, in light of the article’s content (or more accurately its title) this was maybe an oversight and it appears obvious now that it is pointed out, but to cry conspiracy rather than address the substance of what is written seems a little facetious. Also the article clearly states from the start ‘broadly’, not ‘exclusively’, if it had done so that might have been a little different – also you will note that the main argument is about class and not race in any event, so again doesn’t make too much sense in that context…or perhaps the non-bourgeoisie have been cropped out too…? Anyway, now that it has been pointed out, I think that the fuss made by those with an axe to grind potentially does undermine some of the substance of the article so yeah, have taken down and put up an image that I found with what I guess must be the original cropping. Might I suggest that if you want to take on some genuine cases of image manipulation perhaps you could better direct you enquiries towards every appearance made by a political leader in the past few days that has basically followed the script of ‘stern-faced moral outrage standing in front of a black person’.

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  5. conspiracy theorist says:

    I think the blog is just someone who posts pretentious wank and makes up a different psuedonym for every post.

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