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Interestingly Enough

Well I was reading a friend's posting on racism in America, and the responses to it, and I have to say that I am really amazed. Not much at his assertions but really at the majority of response which offered complete and total validation. I personally strongly disagreed with it and with the follow-on supportive comments for reasons you can read in my original response.

Particularly the poster from Toronto when I gave the counterfiet money example and her response to it. By that logic for example, because it is assumed that black people shoplift more, then by extension, security guards trailing all black patrons in shops simply because they walk in is acceptable. After all, shoplifting is a big problem and costs billions in revenue and profit, right? The logic seems wrong not because I disagree with her statement, but I disagree with the foundation on what they are based on.

Read it all and give me your thoughts, whether in response here or in e-mail. I've put the thread up for sharing with some other multi-national, multi-cultural groups I am a member of (you all who read those threads will see it soon), if only because I need some confirmation that my position is not totally off-base. Sure, shoot me for being idealistic or focusing too much on the bigger picture at the expense of the question, but this is the first time that it would have truly felt wrong *not* to respond.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 5th, 2005 12:40 am (UTC)
Racism, tribalism, stereotyping etc., is a part of our genetic makeup -- it exists everywhere. I think it's visible here because there are so many groups, and each group is aware of the stereotypes of itself and point them out to the rest of society. In more homogeneous Europe, it's more assumed by the majority, and less expressed by the minority, thus less obvious to the majority.
Dec. 5th, 2005 10:02 pm (UTC)

i will just say that this topic get several in my company's diversity network group talking. they center around your opinions mostly. but hey, everyone is entitled to a perspective of course :)
Dec. 5th, 2005 12:44 am (UTC)
I wasn't just writing about racism though. High School and Gay Scene stereotypes as well, and I don't really think your explanation covers those as much.
Dec. 5th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)
I come back to the larger theme, even though you stopped at high school and the gay scene. But let's focus on those then...because I think that they are perfect examples.

Gaydar.co.UK is rife with stereotyping (no blacks, no fats, no fems, blacks only, light skinned guys need only apply, no oldies, no twinks, bears only, etc, etc, etc), and that is a mostly European/Global site, with every European culture taking it's fair swipe at stereotyping. Did you know that there even an anti-gaydar.co.uk site which basically says the excessive stereotyping in gaydar is counter-productive? Point: it's not just americans....

Onto high scool...My high school was an international high scool. We had exchange students in and out all of the time. The jocks hung together not to the exclusion of everyone else, but because they had the same classes and practiced together most of the time. There was plenty of overlap if you wanted. But that doesn't mean that we didn't stereotype.

But at the same time we suggest Americans are overt stereotypers, it is interesting that I see a swedish commericial to ask to donate money to stop "mobbing" (don't know if I spelled that right), but which comes across as people picking on someone who is not like them. The minority individual fits a stereotype or some image that enough in the majority don't like so that they pick on that individual.

My overarching point was that stereotyping is alive and well everywhere. From high school to university to the professional life and it crosses all nations and cultures. So stereotyping might be less obvious in some other cultures than American. Does it matter if it is obvious or less visible? Stereotyping is still the same. The negative effect is still negative if someone deletes or refuses to respond to your gaydar or QX message because you don't "fit the profile". Just like the stereotyping is still negative because someone wants you because they are a "chocolate queen" or a "rice queen", both odious terms.

Trust me, I am not out to change opinions. You're completely entitled to believe that American vastly overtypes when it comes to the gay scene and high school. And I am completely entitled to believe that my experiences suggest the problem is far more worldly. It's nothing personal. I just *really* don't share the majority view of that you and most of the posters on the topic you raised had.

but you know i love just the same :) our differences on human nature and cultural matters is part of the reason I enjoy the dialogue.:)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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