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"They all look alike to me".

It's become a punch line that ethnic comics use in their routines.  Heck, even White comedians use it. But there are those that still use it, and we as a country have come far enough to recognize the racism in that phrase and to rebuke those that use it disparagingly.

Or have we?

In Denise Oliver Velez's diary on North Carolina Amendment One she points out the fact that it wasn't a "Black vs White" situation that caused the amendment to pass, but rather an urban vs rural thing, and that urban African Americans voted NO on the amendment.

And yet all we heard was about how "It was the fault of African Americans because all African Americans are against LGBT people".

Which is utter BS, of course, but that's the narrative.

And that's the trap we all fall in.  

It's a disconnect that says that only White straight people are allowed to have different sub cultures and different groups.

And even then it has limits.

We assign African American society stereotypes and often we don't know it.  The "homophobia" meme, for example.  We assign Hispanic society stereotypes as well.  But it doesn't stop at ethnic divisions.  We assign evangelicals and Catholics with stereotypes as well.  We assign stereotypes to the LGBT community as well.  

Don't believe me?  

Ever heard about the evangelical left?  How about anti-immigration Hispanics like Marco Rubio?  What about the Log Cabin Republicans or GOProud?  Or even Allen West?  

We see it here every single day.  Complete and total incredulity that THESE PEOPLE can believe these things.  "How do the LCR live with themselves" and all that.  We especially see it on the right:  "Jesse Jackson speaks for all African Americans" and "Democrats are weak on national security".

We constantly fall into the trap of assigning stereotypes to people.  And when people bring up these stereotypes such as the "Black homophobia" meme and we don't fight back, we do the work of groups like NOM whose mission is to divide and conquer.  Because that's their purpose.  To establish false stereotypes as "common knowledge".

Because they know the media is lazy and won't ask the questions.  They'll just assign a set of beliefs depending on a person's self-identification.

And there's only one solution to that.  Fight back against stereotypes.  Talk to individuals.  Recognize the diversity within the diversity and that "groups" themselves are breeding grounds for stereotypes.  

Originally posted to zenbassoon on Tue May 22, 2012 at 06:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Courtesy Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I made a comment in Denise's diary: (11+ / 0-)
    Here's the disconnect I see:

    This shows that African American society, for want of a better term, is no different from everyone else.  Every group has its own "sub cultures" and political divisions and what not.

    The disconnect comes because people for whatever reason ALWAYS seem to take the idea that ALL African Americans (as well as other groups) believe the SAME things.  

    And they're genuinely shocked when they meet someone that does not meet those expectations.  

    Many White people act as if it's only they who are allowed to have all sorts of different "sub cultures" and what not.

    And thus they do NOM's work unintentionally every time they bring up the "Black homophobia" meme.

    Someone suggested I write a diary about it.  

    So here it is.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue May 22, 2012 at 06:52:32 AM PDT

  •  There is only one all of us (4+ / 0-)

    Once you start slicing, though, you can slice us up in as many directions as you like. Some of those slices have more cohesion than others.

    So, start slicing:

    Men / women.
    Gay / straight.
    Language spoken at home in childhood.
    Parents married / divorced / never married.
    Immigrant status.
    Military / not military.
    Region of residence.
    Region of upbringing.

    Keep it up and eventually you wind up with sets with single members.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue May 22, 2012 at 07:03:39 AM PDT

  •  Some people are directed by superficial (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zenbassoon, luckylizard

    optics.  That is, their behavior is purely reactive and responds to what they see.  It's as if they see a green light and they go, regardless of the fact that some traffic hasn't cleared the intersection.  Indeed, we have no idea how much of the carnage on our highways is attributable to people driving on automatic, without looking where they are going or taking notice of their environment. We keep inventing gadget to make drivers "safer," but it's really hard to compensate for the unaware.
    It would be a lot better to just invest in public transit and leave the driving to people who know how.

    Is the lack of situational awareness restricted by gender and ethnic origin?  I doubt it.  Age may be a factor if only because the really dense tend to eliminate themselves at a relatively early age.  Letting the clueless drive deadly machines is really socially destructive -- a waste of all the effort that went into rearing healthy adults.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Tue May 22, 2012 at 07:09:42 AM PDT

  •  hope you don't mind zenbassoon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, zenbassoon

    I republished this to Courtesy Kos, because I think you make an extremely good point.

    Yes, it is bread we fight for - but we fight for roses, too! Sick of the endless battles, namecalling and hostility? Join Courtesy Kos -- A group dedicated to respect and civility.

    by rexymeteorite on Tue May 22, 2012 at 07:17:09 AM PDT

  •  And as I commented in Denise's diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, zenbassoon

    The people that fell into this trap are "Dancing to NOM's fiddle"

    This is exactly the response NOM wanted. Don't give them the satisfaction.

  •  As I pointed out in a diary last month (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zenbassoon, luckylizard

    If Marriage is in Trouble, Don't Blame Marriage Equality, this is in reference to the  "Marriage: Talking Points" page at the NOM website:

    There’s also a Q and A section, in which NOM tells its supporters how to explain they aren’t bigots:

        A: “Do you really believe people like me who believe mothers and fathers both matter to kids are like bigots and racists? I think that’s pretty offensive, don’t you? Particularly to the 60 percent of African-Americans who oppose same-sex marriage. Marriage as the union of husband and wife isn’t new; it’s not taking away anyone’s rights. It’s common sense.”

    Yes, you are bigots, and there’s the wedge issue that NOM was so embarrassed to have people learn about.  In a secret strategic memo for the 2010 elections and beyond, NOM laid out a plan “to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies,” specifically “to provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing [African-American] spokesmen and women [for marriage] as bigots.”

    and as I commented on Denise's diary:
    A LOT more white North Carolinians voted yes, and if ALL the black voters in North Carolina had voted no, Amendment One still would have passed -- by a wide margin.

    The problem here is that some black ministers are, and this is for lack of a better word, exhibitionists (think Herman Cain here). All their objections to marriage equality come down to saying "LOOK AT ME" and the news media LOVE to do that.  You can't blame the whole community for that kind of behavior.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue May 22, 2012 at 08:16:40 AM PDT

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