Thursday, June 10, 2010

Does drawing distinctions perpetuate racism/discrimination?

Ok so I love to read news stories and to really try and figure out whats going on in the country. The thing I notice all the time in my reading is the distinction that the author draws and the effect that has on life in general.
For example lets take the scenario that a person gets shot by the police. In this scenario you have three things present; the police, the person getting shot and the bullet.
Now add in a describing word, lets say green (since i dont want people to think im racist or anything crazy like that.) Now the sentence reads like this; The green person was shot by the police. Now my question is why do you need the green? The fact that the person was green is not adding any information to the sentence.
Now lets change it a little bit again; the person was shot by the police because they were green Now green means something.

I guess what I am trying to get at is that it seems to me that society (although it likes to pretend to want equality for all) really wants to draw as many distinctions as humanly possible. By adding what color someone was, how they were dressed, or their ethnicity that changes the whole meaning of a sentence. Now if those things were the CAUSE of something then they are vastly important, but if they are just describing words they are rolling the thought in a direction that it may not need to go.

In a recent study that I saw on CNN children were shown a picture of 5 children ranging from pale white to dark back and were told to choose the best one. The majority of them chose the white one. When asked to pick the worst the majority picked the black. Now just the wording of this question ruins this entire experiment and here is why. If you ask a kid which is the worst and which is the best then they will choose two. That doesn't mean they think the worst thing they picked is bad, just that something needed to be worse. Now you may say well why do children think black kids are the worst.... they don't. Think of what the color white versus the color black are. Black is associated with the dark, scary, unknown. White is associated with light, good and known. To think that 5 year olds on that scale picked the white girl because they hate black people is the stupidest thing i have ever heard. What they should have asked is what do you think of these pictures? Are any of them bad or do you think they are all good? if they say one is bad then ask why.

I know this is a jumble and really probably only makes sense to me, but I think that the world needs to think of the meaning of what they are saying and report the facts, not the thought behind the facts. By saying black and white, gay and straight, male and female when its not needed is just making the divides more clear. Instead report the facts and if those words have something to do with the facts and what happened then address it. Just because a guy kills a girl doesn't mean he hates girls. Just because a person of one race kills a person of another race doesn't mean it happened due to race. Many times a crime is committed for no other reason than hate in general, not a specific hatred.

I will revisit this later as i think I can make more sense of it outside of work

Just because a girl dresses like a slut doesn't mean she is one. Just because a young guy dresses like a gangster doesn't mean he is one (and even if he was it doesn't mean he deserved what was coming to him)

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