College Catalog's Picture of Success Shows That Only White Men Are Winners ... Oops!

The University of North Georgia probably never imagined, in a million years, that its catalog would drum up so much publicity—for all the wrong reasons. The college apologized and pulled copies of its course catalog after the nation got wind of the crazy, all-too-sadly-realistic stock image used on its cover that shows two white men winning a race while a woman and African-American male fall far behind.

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The school chose a stock photo for the cover of its continuing education catalog, but the fact that this image accidentally, oh-so-perfectly, serves as a metaphor for American society somehow went unnoticed:

Oh my. So, let's unpack what we have here: An attractive, well-dressed Caucasian male has won the race—but only by a nose because Beautiful White Man #2 , who looks like he raided #1's closet, is right there behind him. Ladies, we present to you a future CEO and his senior executive vice president right-hand man, who spend long days at the office and long nights at the steak house drinking Scotch Neats.

If you're wondering who those two losers are behind them, meet Mr. CEO's female administrative assistant extraordinaire, who can file papers like the dickens and looks cute as a button doing so, and her African-American co-worker, who is just a few steps behind her, but about to trip over the tape because he's so out of breath from running a race he knows he'll never win.

Is it any coincidence that he forgot to wear his suit jacket?

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Jokes aside, this photo isn't at all realistic, but only because you'd need to photograph hundreds of more Caucasian men running yards ahead of this woman and African-American man to paint a more accurate portrayal of American society.

Consider these numbers: there are only five black CEO's at the nation's 500 biggest companies. Women, by comparison, are an absolute success story. This year, 24 of the 500 biggest companies were run by women—an historic high. Yay? Not really, because this still represents a measly 4.8 percent of the overall CEO's on the Fortune 500 list.

UNG says it has removed the image from its database and will release new catalogs only when they've reprinted them with a new photo. In my opinion, that's a bit of shame. The unintentional honesty of this image is kind of refreshing.

What are your thoughts on this photo?

 

Image via Nico Paix/Flickr

 

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