Submitted by KM Hills.
From a fairly young age, and I assume even younger in today’s society, I was taught stereotypes are the wrong way to judge others. I learned that we need to get to know a person and judge them on their own content and actions. This week I read an article, about a middle school in the Issaquah School District, where an English teacher had students watch a YouTube poem about “white Hollywood” by Joe Limer. The poem reflected the insecurity Hollywood, and the white culture at large, has with diversity. While the complaint to the school district was over the sexual content of the poem my concern is more about the racial content. This spoken word performer stereo types white people which makes me question why it is OK to stereo type any race to include whites; especially when that is what the performer railed against.
The conversation of race certainly has heated up in the last year and I agree it is an important conversation. Many times in the last year I have heard the media compare races saying “can you imagine” the shoe being on the other foot “if they (insert any other race) made these comments?” However, to stereo type, balme and compare others is the wrong way to move the conversation forward.
In my opinion, Critical Race Therory (CRT) is also not helpful to promote a healing conversation. I heard an example of CRT and in the example a shop owner has two customers (one white and one minority) who walk into the shop at the same time. It goes on to say that no matter who the shop owner helps first it is a racist decision. If the minority is helped first it shows distrust of the minority and if the white person is helped first, clearly it is a white privledge thing. There is no winning so how can CRT be helpful. Something I read on social media this morning fits well with the CRT example. It read “in order to have empathy we must first believe someone else’s experience.” The problem . . . that is their experience and only their perception. No two peoples perception is the same. If two people witness the same accident from two different vantage points on opposite corners of an intersection they see things differently. Most likely they give differing accounts of who they think is at fault so which perspective is correct?
In closing I will leave you with two suggestions. The first is watch the 1996 movie “A Time to Kill” and follow along at the end when the lawyer, played by Matthew McConaughey, asks the jury to “close your eyes” and at the very least is to please re-read the first two sentences of this submission.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.