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philosophy

Stereotypes


“The first domesticated animal was the scapegoat.” ― Yanko Tsvetkov

“When I look at a person, I see a person – not a rank, not a class, not a title.” ― Criss Jami

“Reducing a group to a slur or stereotype reduces us all.” ― DaShanne Stokes

“Some people can’t fit the mould that’s made for them…They get squashed in. And it’s hard for them to leave, but it’s harder for them to stay. They have to find other ways to be.” ― C.J. Flood, Infinite Sky

People who define others in stereotypical terms reveal more about their attitude than about anything else.

Sometimes I wonder how it would have been if I had been born as a different person. Lets say I woke up and found myself as a Chinese young man in Chongqing.

Seriously, what would I think of my country’s history? Of Mandarin or Cantonese, of my people the Chinese people, our food our culture? What version of events that have shaped history would I subscribe to? The version of events I was taught or the power structures uncovered through private study. What would I think of the Yuan, of chairman Mao and comrade Xiaoping, the current squabbles around the South China Sea. Of Russia and Iran? What would I think of China’s current economic success? Of the recently relaxed one-child policy; of the smog over Beijing?

Would I think Vietnam was a threat now that they were becoming as entrepreneurial as China was in the 70’s and 80’s through to the 90’s? Have they always been a threat, or does the threat they pose depend on who I talk to? If this sense of a threat is subjective, is it real? Is Vietnam really a threat, or are my fears based on an illusion (or at least a false sense of reality that constantly evolves). Isn’t this threat driven by greed and selfishness? That just because China wants the pie only for itself, anybody else who dares match up is a threat…

I wonder, whether I would dislike the Japanese, primarily because I find myself in a Chinese body, and have been told thoughout my upbringing of their hostility towards Chinese people… how they became our enemies. Are they really that bad? Do I hate them because there really is something wrong with them, or because there is something wrong with my people – who keep planting stereotypical poison into their children about how bad the Japanese are? Clinging to old hurts…decade after decade….for centuries to come.

Never mind the Americans, but what would I really think of the British? Or the Arabs? Or of Taiwan? What would I base my opinions and thoughts about them on? Would how I perceive them be based on concrete facts, heresay, or unsubstantiated illusions? Would it be based on a truth that is static, or on a continuously changing ‘reality’ (if we can call it that for a moment)?

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