April 13, 2004
Racial stereotyping must be one of the most abominable forms of racism going. The problem is that it is insidious; we don't really notice that we are doing it. To an extent we all suffer from it in that it operates both ways. On one side we, (whoever "we" may be) have our preconceived notions about "them" (whoever "them" is today), and this is evident in the way many in the West see people from non-Western countries and vice versa.
The real trouble is that it is built into so much that is related to "culture" in any society. Thus Hollywood, in looking for a villain will always give him a cut glass British accent and possibly a title as well. Take a look at Star Wars. Why does the evil side become "Lord" something and why an evil "Emperor"? There are far more truly evil "Presidents" around than there are Emperors, and most of those were simply incompetent rather than "evil". Does being "Lord Muck of Upper Piddle" mean that someone is an evil dastard out to ravish every maiden in sight and steal all the crops, money, and land from everyone who has the misfortune to cross his path? Of course not, so why do we put up with these stereotypes? Especially, why do we put up with stereotypes that are much more damaging - the ones that actually underpin and re-inforce racial prejudice?
I felt a deep and very cold anger when I read on G'day Mate that my wonderful little niece-in-law had been subjected to a racial comment. Children at her age should not be capable of making such a remark - and it is obviously something that whichever child made it has picked up from careless and unthinking comments made at home. That is what I find so damned intolerable.
I am no saint myself; I have as many racial and cultural stereotypes in my head as anybody, but I have learned the hard way - by being on the receiving end of a few here in the UK - just how stupid it is to walk around with such a closed and blinkered approach. I do not believe in "multi-culturalism" or any of the PC claptrap that goes with it; I do believe in a free and fair society where this kind of stupidity is not reinforced or accepted.
I take my hat off to Oz (I hope I'm on his list of "mates", still!) in the calm and unflustered way he dealt with this. I hope, too, that when I am next in his part of the world, an opportunity will arise for me to show the bigots just how much that little girl and her brother mean to us all - even in the extended family. In the meantime, let's all have a look at the things we think when we look at each other - and do something about getting rid of the stereotypes that underly such evil bigotry.
Posted by The Gray Monk at April 13, 2004 01:39 PM
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» Cultural incompatibility? from skipjack DOT info
The Gray Monk has a thought provoking article on some of the problems of multi-culturalism. People think in whatever is their native language, so person's culture is deeply tied to that language. Alot can be learned about a culture from a study ... [Read More]
Tracked on April 15, 2004 07:23 AM
Thanks mate. Appreciate the link and the sentiments.
Posted by: Ozguru at April 13, 2004 09:39 PM