circelily: (Default)
[personal profile] circelily
When I saw this Guardian article I was delighted.  www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/03/racist-question-brown-answer-curious  It wasn't just me!  In fact Ariane was much kinder than me, for stating she didn't believe it was racist.  But the 1400+ comment debate that followed largely featured defensive derailing, belittling and accusations of oversensitivity.  And to a person, these defensive harangers chose to distract from the fact that she was not  complaining about the first question, only the follow-up question(s).  Featuring the word "really. "

In a nutshell, when a complete stranger asks  "where are you from?" - this is not an insult of any sort.  And I cheerfully offer up my home town.

If they follow it up with - "but where are you really from" - that person is both insulting me and outing themselves as ignorant.  And I do not tolerate ignorance but I won't rise to the bait of insults.

Because the key word is "really", although "no" and "but" can be added as fun intensifiers.  It  means a complete stranger is accusing you of lying, and denying you the right to self-identify, and asserting their entitlement to extra information to reinforce their prejudices. 

My evolved response is to tell them my birthtown, and to end on a question "how about you?".  I nod and smile at their answer and then turn away, walk off, or never return to their place of business.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that overt racism is no longer socially tolerated, so that bigotry has to invest in the joys of plausible deniability.  But it's still alienating and distressing.
From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

Profile

circelily: (Default)
circelily

January 2017

S M T W T F S
123456 7
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:38 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios