Monday, July 23, 2012

Tainted

Dumb Drunk and Racist showed scenes from the Cronulla riots. 

I've known about the riots for a long time, but I think this may have been the first time I saw video of it.

It was really awful.  I was a bit shook up about the whole thing.

In those scenes of the program, and maybe other scenes, we see people waving the Aussie flag as a symbol of hostile racism.  

By doing this, they make the Aussie flag look a little less beautiful to me.

When I see people wearing or holding the flag, it makes me wonder. Are they racist?  Are they part of that particular crowd?

I start to stereotype, and I hate that. I want to love the Aussie flag.   

It's the same with the American flag.

On Dumb, Drunk, and Racist they show a map with countries labeled by their different stereotypes.   America has the label: God and Guns. That perfectly describes the negative view I have of America...when I have a negative view. 

And when I see someone with an American flag t-shirt, I get the idea that they're religious zealots and that their biggest fear is losing their gun rights. 

I hate when beautiful things become ugly, because I associate them with people who do ugly things.

I don't think I'll ever be able to see anything related to Batman again without thinking of absolute horror.  

I have some good views of Germany, but whenever I see anything about that country I think of Nazis and the Holocaust.  I can't get rid of that association. 

I now associate Tallygarunga with one role-player who was mean to me.  Just like I associate water chestnuts with vomiting.
 
Oh...and one time I got nauseated at a museum cafeteria.   Since then I get slightly nauseated when thinking of eating at any museum cafeteria.   

Maybe that's where racism begins in the first place.

Sometimes it's about following the crowd and just plain stupid ignorance.

Other times it's about negative experiences and negative associations.

So I can have sympathy and understanding for prejudice feelings.  I have some myself.  I try to fight against it, but it remains in my heart.  

In my opinion, prejudice and stereotypes aren't necessarily evil. They're just sad. It becomes evil only when we act upon it.  

I'm not hurting anyone if I feel nervous when a Middle Eastern-appearing person is on my airplane.

I AM hurting someone if I say something mean to the person.

I am hurting someone if I start a riot.   

I am hurting someone if I push for legislation to disallow Middle Eastern people on airplanes. 

I am hurting someone if I go out and bomb a Mosque.  

I think with most things like that....if we don't let our feelings turn into action, then it's not a huge problem.