So a short while ago I started talking about how we separate (or divide, to stick to the title) ourselves into categories and judge each other based on those categories. I had wanted to talk about more serious stuff, but ended up using the whole post to rehash how some of the most recent men in my dating life have stopped seeing me as human, and how it was due to their racial make-up.
No, the irony of me talking about how we shouldn’t categorize people and then me doing that exact thing is not lost on me.
I was shocked that it was prevalent enough to have become a stereotype. I was shocked when my friends (mutual friends of the last guy I dated) said it to me, and I was equally as shocked when it turned out that same guy was more comfortable being the stereotype than he was being told he was being the stereotype.
I really had thought he was more enlightened and individual than that…
I’m told it’s a cultural thing that I just don’t understand, and then that becomes a sticky wicket: for me to say it’s wrong means I’m downing a culture and being racist by saying it’s a stereotype, and yet to say that he can’t even see me as a possible match because I’m not of the right descent is discriminatory against me.
Either way someone is being discriminated against, and that’s something I’d like to see changed.
I’m scared that we can’t change it, though.
It’s a thing that I’ve encountered plenty of times in my dating life: I’m too white for some people of color to consider me an option, and too ethnic for some white guys to consider me worthy of dating.
I even have a coworker (the one who wants to set me up with an Indian man she knows) who told me that it made sense. She told me that we all kind of stick to our own…
There’s another bit of irony for you: she wants to set me up with someone who is not “my own,” because I have no “own.” She’s telling me this to make me feel better about what happened with an Indian guy who used and discarded me because I wasn’t “his own,” while she’s telling me that she has an Indian man in mind for me. One that will be “willing” to not stick to his own, I guess?
And suddenly I’m a charity case.
I am Lizzie Bennet being told by Mr. Darcy that he is willing to lower himself to her level in order to marry her… only I’m being told that with no Mr. Darcy actually there. I’m being told that in order to not lose hope that a Mr. Darcy may yet come along…
And people wonder why sometimes I lose hope in my dating life.
Meanwhile, looking around at the way things are going in this country isn’t making me feel any better. We divide ourselves even more ardently when dealing with less romantic feelings.
What originally triggered this topic for me was a Facebook post.
A friend of mine posted one of those Huffpost type articles about a young man who was yelled at by a stranger in a McDonald’s as she told him that he couldn’t sit there. She called him and his girlfriend “foreign dogs,” and then began to scream about how un-American the manager looked, saying she looked Colombian or something.
My friend who posted it was most likely trying to show how bad things have begun to get in our country. He and I both know people that are blind to how negative things are getting. When told there is blatant discrimination happening, these other people will find some excuse.
The banning of Trans people in the military is the latest one: They’re going against God’s will so we shouldn’t be paying for them to get medical treatment to alter their bodies…
Never mind the fact that we spend, what was it? 4 times as much or 8 times?
For the military…
I don’t remember it being God’s will that some man should be able to get it up on my tax payer dollars. Is he using it to procreate? Because if not, that’s not exactly God’s will. That’s science and probably a bit of devilry.
But what was happening in that video was pure racist hatred masquerading as patriotism. Isn’t that what fascism is about?
Someone commented on the post that it was the same as if an American had visited Paris. They’d be faced with the same level of xenophobia (though she used the term jingoism which is more about political policy… but it’s not my place to correct her vocabulary).
There’s one major difference that I see: America is founded on the idea that we are ALL created equal, and while it’s been a long fight to get there (and obviously we’re not quite there yet), equality and acceptance are still the ideas that makes this country great.
THAT should be what Make America Great Again means: Make American welcoming and respectful of differences. Make America a Melting Pot, where all are accepted.
Here was my response:
Admittedly, I missed where it said that the guy and his girlfriend were actually Chinese citizens visiting America… but the point still stands that discrimination is decidedly un-American.
Don’t believe me? Ask Superman:
While it’s still controversial (though I don’t know why), it seems very obvious that these xenophobic, discriminatory attacks, both verbal and physical, began to become more frequent and more dangerous once Trump was elected.
It seems obvious to me (and most Democrats, whom the Republicans continue to call “Snowflakes”) that this is because Trump used very discriminatory views to gain a particular fan base.
I say fan base because nothing about this is politics as usual. I’ve hated “Reality” Television for a while, but it seems obvious to me that we are in this position now because of how popular Reality TV has become. It spurred our fascination with the abomination and made it so we crave the chaos of conflict. The more scandalous and salacious the better!
And Trump gives us that. The White House has become a Reality TV program, and the people are glued to it, even though it’s destroying a lot of what’s good about this country.
Have you ever seen the E! show “The Royals?”
The idea of the show is an alternate England where the Royal family is more like the Kardashians. I happen to like the show. Because it’s FICTION. Now that our country is living something akin to it, I’m less of a fan.
But it does bring me to the next scary possibility for what’s happening in this country.
Now that we’ve begun openly dividing ourselves into groups based on race, ethnicity, sexual preference, and even gender identity, it will be even easier for the people in power to make us turn on each other. It allows us to keep up the Reality TV vibe that is so prevalent at the moment.
And if our lives are beginning to mirror our art more than our art mirrors our lives, then we may be in trouble.
I saw a commercial for a new CBS show coming out next fall. One in which we begin to police our neighbors:
While the original idea may be to go after a truly bad guy, once the idea is out there that such a thing is okay, it can be manipulated, and the current political climate is one of master manipulation already. Every dystopian piece of literature I’ve ever read has at some level people policing themselves. Children telling on their parents, neighbors turning in neighbors, everywhere there are “Thought police,” watching to find someone to turn in to keep the eye of the corrupt government off of them.
A show that suggests the idea that such a thing isn’t a bad thing may be the beginning of making such a thing a reality. I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but when I told people that Trump had a shot of winning because he was running his campaign like a reality TV show, they didn’t believe that either.
Unfortunately, it looks like it’s going to be a good show, and if people like it enough, the idea will already be planted to make it a reality.
What’s worse? We already have the tech to make it a reality now…
The first step is to divide us, and then to have us watch each other until the government has total control. The entertainment industry already has a great deal of control over us as it is. Where do you think our fashion comes from? Why do you think so many people in Hollywood are “social justice warriors?” Haven’t you ever seen the show where they explain how William Shatner (and Star Trek) have molded our technology for the last however many years? Entertainment plants the idea and then we make it reality…
And as a result, America has become a dystopian caricature of itself.