So on BBC1’s This Week program, a Muslim mother came onto the programme to argue against the tarring of all those of her creed as fanatical, frothing-at-the mouth suicide bombers….
…all well and good…
…but she herself falls victim to the same plague she spots in others….
….let’s call it the “We…” Disease.
Yes, not all Muslims strap themselves with Semtex and blow landmarks off the maps; not all Muslims think adultery by a member of a certain gender warrants a stoning; not all Muslims carry around bullshit concepts of honour that demand young blood for their sating; and, yes, not all Muslims would suck Bin Laden’s cock even if it was Halal. In fact if you accused any one of my Muslim colleagues at work of these things, they’d laugh at you and quite appropriately call you out for acting the fucking idiot….
…but saying “Islam means peace” or “Muslims are peaceful” or “We believe in X or X” gives as much of an unbiased view as the stereotype cited in my first line.
What do you catalyse when you say: “WE / my people/ my group are X” ….and then members of your group turn around and act in a counter-X way?
A backlash along the lines of: “That hijab-wearing bitch lied to us – tried to lull us into a false sense of security so that they could STRIKE! They‘re all in on it….”
(Actually that sounds a little too highbrow for the “intellects” I envision uttering it….oh well!)
And the wheel of woes spins yet another revolution, crushing more of the undeserving under its weight.
The problem with group apologists and group extremists?
It’s all we, we, WE!
Yes, Daniel! I agree very much, and it is something that incessantly annoys me too.
ah…the “we” disease. something to be avoided. even when i was making that post about goth/industrial i tried to avoid saying “we”. afterall, as you point out, what would be the purpose of dispelling one stereotype only to replace it with another? of course, that’s assuming that people really do, as they so often claim, find stereotyping to be inherently wrong. however, i think we both know that it’s more along the lines of people not likely any stereotype that is unflattering.
ex: the chinese are very focused on education.
the chinese are ambitious and crafty and will do your homework for you.
ex: mexicans are very hard workers.
mexicans are too dirty and too stupid to do anything other than farmwork, and they’re stealing jobs from lower-class americans citizens.
ex: black people have had a challenging experience in america.
all black people are welfare abusers who are just too lazy to work so they are trying to rip off the government with affirmative action and slavery reperations.
people act like there is always some huge difference between a “nice” generalization and a nasty one. but really, the nice ones aren’t as harmless as people imagine.
If you want people to not tar all members of your group with the same brush, you sort of do need to a) acknowledge that there are sucky ones as well, and b) be as willing to speak out against them as you are the people making generalizations.
I actually had a theory once that fundamentalists are the purest adherents to their religion, they understand that Islam isn’t peace, that Christianity really is about Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God. It’s the reasonable ones, the ones whose theology has been reformed by Western ideals, the ones that we can actually get along with, that are the deviants. This theory requires one to realize that there’s hardly anything wrong with deviation.
I own a theory on the religious more or less similar to that one. To adhere completely to a religion or ideology means completely burning out any facets of personality which do not conform to the pre-set template – it makes you more “true” or more the “ideal” but at the price of your very self.
So yes – viva deviation!
i agree! and i get so much shit for it…
Your theory is completely right, and people like myself and Sam Harris — who wrote THE END OF FAITH — would agree with you wholeheartedly.
What’s funny is his idea that respect for other religions is impossible because of how mutually exclusive they all are, while his opinions on them makes his just as exclusive. But then he is still aware of his intolerance. It’s still just funny, but it’s something I’ve caught myself doing.
*cough orion reasoner cough*
Oh yes, of course!
*cough orionreasonerwasrightashell,too cough*
*cough whydon’tyousaythatparttoo cough*
I can’t wait for the day that people learn to speak for themselves.
I have even met Satanists who try to speak for Satanists as a whole. I find it ironic.