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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Isms of Us All

There are certain things that just are. Rain is wet. The sky is blue. Men are sexist. Whites are racist. Rich people are ... well, whatever the "ism" is that fits their disdain for the poor. Everyone knows this.

I wouldn't even deny it. Well, sure, I'm speaking in generalities. I mean, there are some men who are not sexist, some caucasians who are not racist, and ... well, you get it. So don't offer me the exceptions. That doesn't change the generalities.

I would, however, suggest that it's exceedingly short-sighted. The implication of my prior stereotypes is that the opposites are not true. That is, women are not sexist, non-whites are not racist, and poor people are not disinclined toward the rich. I think the moment I get to that third one you might see the problem. Of course the "have-nots" don't like the "haves". Because those others have what they want and have not. Simple really. And I am relatively sure that if you're fair and honest and look around a little, you'll find that there is a sizable portion of the female sex that hates men (called "sexism") and a goodly number of non-whites who hate whites (called "racism").

I remember an awards speech in the shadow of 9/11 when Sally Fields assured us, "If women ruled the world, there would be no war." Clearly Sally Fields 1) had a dislike for men -- at least some -- and 2) believed women were better. I remember thinking, "Apparently you don't know your history, Sally." There was Queen Anne's war (1702-1713), Catherine the Great and the Russo–Turkish War against the Ottoman Empire (1768–1774) (which she started), Victoria of England and the Boer War (1899-1902), Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Falkland War (1982), and even Indira Gandhi and the 1971 India-Pakistan War which made India a nuclear power.

"You see?" some might be saying. "You're doing just what you said not to do ... using the exception to disprove the generality." I don't think so. I think that the real truth is that those kinds of "isms" reside in us all. Women can be just as sexist as men. Black people can be just as racist as whites. Clearly the have-nots are just as prejudiced against rich people as the rich are against the poor. You know what? I'm pretty sure that non-fundamentalists are just as fundamentalist in their own beliefs as the fundamentalists about whom they complain. It's not who you are. It's human. "I'm better and you're not." You know ... sin. There are "isms" in us all, and likely common "isms" (as opposed to communism).

So when you generalize that "Men are sexist pigs" or that "Fundamentalists are narrow-minded haters" or the like, remember, one finger pointing leaves three pointing back.


Bob said...

funny how that works, is it remotely possible that the thing we accuse others of having, actually resides first in our own heart. exp. all whites are racist, must come from a heart that is racist against all whites. all rich people hate that the poor, comes from the hatred of the rich in a poor man's heart. the woman that hates men, accuses them of being woman haters. consider the Pharisees they accused Jesus of being possessed by a demon, what does that say about them. i remember a story about a brother and a sister, he had marbles and she had candy, he wanted her candy so he offered his marbles in exchange. but first he hid some of the best marbles under the bed. then after she exchanged all her candy for what she thought was all his marbles, he said to himself " i wonder if she really gave me all her candy?"

Stan said...

So, the brother didn't lose ALL his marbles, eh?

Bob said...

yea; i walked right into that one. see what happens when i start hating marble people..
and why did the marble person have to be the boy? i ask you. i mean it could have been a Girl, but no.... coincidence? i don't think so..