Saturday, July 24, 2010

Faith in Humanity...Sinking, Sinking, Sinking

I think all of us humans are hypocritical at some point in our lives....most of us probably at multiple points. But there's some hypocritical behavior that completely boggles my mind.

I watched a clip on the Australian Screen website from a documentary called Black Soldier Blues. The film is about the fact that black American soldiers were treated well by white Australians and horribly by their fellow white American soldiers. I don't doubt those facts. Lots of Americans (back then and now) are racist. The thing is though....Australia has some racism too.

Both Australia and America have a horrific and shameful history of racism, so I find it bewildering that this movie would take such a hypocritical stance.

Although MAYBE it hasn't. I just watched the one clip, and read what the Australian Screen website has to say about the film. I'm hoping that if I watched the whole documentary, I'd find that they'd do some talking about Australia's own racism. That would restore SOME of my faith in humanity.

I did some googling to find out if I could get more insight into the film. I found a message board discussion about it.

One participant says, When americans are racist they are racist to the core while Australians who are racist tend to be racist on the surface only, scratch the surface and you are much more likely to find a compassionate human being.

So....

Americans and Australians have these differences in their racism. Why? How? Are we genetically different somehow? Are we different breeds of human? Isn't that what racism is all about in the first place...believing one type of people is superior to another? I mean yeah...white Australians and white Americans aren't really of another race. We're all Caucasians. But the message board statement IS prejudice, and prejudice is a close cousin to racism.

Now I was feeling a bit hypocritical myself just now...bitching about generalizations, because this morning I wrote an email to someone that generalized right-wing Americans. I know a few of them, and they tend to share the same beliefs and ways of arguing. So I have an expectation that all other right-wing Americans are going to feel/act the same way. It's not that I don't love my right-wing American loved ones, but I do have some prejudices about them.

So yeah. I'm a hypocrite. I'll never deny that. But at least I recognize it, and feel somewhat guilty for it. What disturbs me to no end is the people who are hypocritical and don't recognize it at all.

The conversation on the message board is...amazing.

There's a person on there, that I'd grab on my team....if we were picking teams, and I was the captain. In my opinion, he (or she) is the voice of reason. He (or she) says Not ALL Americans are racist scum and not ALL Aussies are that tolerant as portrayed in the documentary.
Amen to that. Australians and Americans are NOT all that different. In each country, there are very racist folks, and then there are folks who are much less racist.

My message board hero brings up the fact that white Australians didn't exactly do right by the Aboriginal Australians. The same participant who said Americans are racist to the core says the problems that the Aboriginal Australians face is pretty much all their own fault. The good white Australians TRY to help them, but....

Okay. Yeah. Whatever.

Well, the good thing about seeing humans being ridiculous is that it helps me take a look at myself. I know I've made my own generalizations lately. I'm going to TRY to cut down on that crap...or at least clarify things. Instead of saying things like all blue people have excessive gas, it's better to say All the blue people I've met have excessive gas, but I don't know all of them. There might be some with healthy digestive systems, that don't smell so bad.