Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Racism, Bryan Adams, & You.

I think there is good racism and bad racism. Some people claim that they are not racist, but the reality is that everyone makes judgments in their everyday world from incomplete information. In such a situation you have to make conclusions from previous experience. Plus, as we all know from the Broadway play Avenue Q, everyone is a little bit racist.

Now all that being said, let's go back to my earlier premise that some racism is good. I'm not talking about "good racism" being stereotypes like Asians are good at math and Italians are good at cartography, but rather that some racism doesn't have any ill intentions. For example, I was talking to a friend, we shall call her "White Friend" for anonymity's sake, about my post on growing up listening to Indian music ("Essay of an ABCD," 5/15/06) and she mentioned that she's continually suprised hearing about how desi parents growing up in India have the same love for old Western songs as elder people from America (e.g. Elvis, the Bealtes, etc.)

While someone could construe White Friend's comments as being stereotypes, "I didn't think brown people would like Western music the same as people here do," they're not harmful in anyway. It simply is the realization that some cultures unexpectedly have similar experiences with others and it just requires being informed. Maybe "racism" isn't the right word but I would say this is more like "okay racism" versus the typical "bad racism."

The weird irony in this music example is that anyone who has cousins in India can attest to the fact that everyone of them grew up listening to classic rock. It's nuts. As a law, every Indian kid born after 1975 must love Clapton. As a kid visiting my cousins during the summers, I learned more about classic rock from my cousins in India than being at home. Oh yeah, by the way, it's also a law that everyone in India must love Bryan Adams. He is one of the incarnations of Vishnu.

Which brings us to candy. Anyone who knows me...my apologies...knows that my typical dinner at home consists of coke, cheetos, and twizzlers. On days that I'm feeling particularly hungry I will add a Hot Pocket into the mix. They're really quite refreshing. The funny thing about candy is that I like them no matter what they are. If I'm at a grocery store line, I'll just buy a pack without really knowing what it is. I will gladly judge a food product by it's color.... if it has bright colors, a cartoony font, and a cardboard box, I'm in. I am a Candy Racist.

And thus I hope this has been an informative and educational look on racism in your world. For further reading I would recommend scores of books at the Library of Congress.

2 comments:

arati said...

Shockingly, my mom loves Bryan Adams!

Shakes said...

oh shnap! oh the humanity. ooh the humanity...