"This, then, is our design. Now give heed
To its unfolding."

-from the prologue of Ruggero Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci, or The Players

As Tonio's delivery of the prologue comes to a close, the audience has already been implanted with certain assumptions of what the story is going to be like. Our relation to the story and our thoughts, therefore rests on a foundation of these assumptions.

The following piece of writing is actually a message from an anti-racism group which was forwarded to me from a friend of mine. Like it or not, most of us would have certain racial or cultural prejudices. The idea of racism itself would be nothing without prejudices. Yet, prejudice is also one aspect of the innate human desire for relating to a mental image, from which meaning is derived. Without assumptions, where would meaning be?

The black man in the narrative questions our assumptions of relating nouns to a certain 'mental image', which is a center to the concept of meaning. The black man is able to destroy the white man's assumptions of his own 'whiteness'. By making these assumptions irrelevant, the very meaning of 'whiteness' (as perceived by the white man in the story) is destroyed.

A black man walks into a cafe one early morning and noticed that he was the only black man there. As he sat down, he noticed a white man behind him. The white man said,

"Colored people are not allowed here..."

The black man turned around and stood up. He then said,

"When I was born I was black,"

"When I grew up I was black,"

"When I'm sick I'm black,"

"When I go in the sun I'm black,"

"When I'm cold I'm black,"

"When I die I'll be black."

"But you sir..."

"When you're born you're pink,"

"When you grow up you're white,"

"When you're sick, you're green,"

"When you go in the sun you turn red,"

"When you're cold you turn blue,"

"And when you die you turn purple."

"And you have the nerve to call me colored!!!"