Monday, July 2, 2007

Stereotyping White Men

It started out with an incorrectly typed street name; I tell her it says she's going to Othella and she laughs and says she she doesn't live on a bad Shakespearian play street. I tell her I've never read Othello and she proceeds to give me this description: "I don't like the story. It's about this black guy who marries this white chick and his friend tells him she was cheating on him so he kills her... surprisingly, it doesn't seem to be about racism as much as jealousy..."

And I tell her I'm not so surprised it's not really so much about racism since in Shakespeare's day there wasn't a lot of opportunity for racism, the vast majority of Europeans would live their entire lives without meeting someone of another race.

And she says "No, it's not that, as long as there's white men there has always been, and will always be, racism and other ism's because as long as they exist they'll try to make hierarchies".

And I want to know what the hell makes this woman think it's ok to get into my car and insult my grandfather, brothers, the father of my child, any sons I might one day have, me (being descended from these evil white men), and all of my descendants who will also be spawned through these same evil genes.

The fact is that white men hold no monopoly on bad deeds. Throughout the history of humankind there have been endless examples of how we always tend to scapegoat and oppress other humans. This is not limited to any one race, gender, location or culture... we are all descended from good and evil, and all of us will in the future be connected through blood to evildoers... such is the way of life.

It is only in modern day that slavery is largely extinct, throughout the history of human kind, and even within some species of animals, slavery has existed and flourished. The fact is that for most of our history the vast majority of humans would not have had contact with other races, and thus no racism, but we have always found some other reason to discriminate and oppress... be it due to religion, culture, gender or whatever perceived difference we could imagine.

This doesn't make it right, it does not excuse white men, asian men, black men, indians or any other for their deeds... it does mean that none of us has the right to blame the evils of mankind upon any one particular group.

And just because it may be popular to blame white men for all that is wrong, or thought to be wrong, with the world doesn't mean it's ok to stereotype white guys any more than it is to stereotype any other group of people for any reason... and really, how could you think it's ok to stereotype them to one of their own? It's in insult, any way you look at it.

2 comments:

Jay Dugger said...

Did you mean to type ".. we are all descended from god and evil, " or was that a freudian slip?

Otherwise, right on!

Juliette said...

thanks for pointing that out :) a funny typo though.