Saturday, June 14, 2014

Do better

I have an uneven relationship with BuzzFeed’s site, but many of their videos are awesome. The video above is an example.

“If Asians Said The Stuff White People Say” explores the silly things white people say to Asians. It’s a common enough tactic: Turn language around to highlight how ridiculous it really is. When it works—and I think this one does—it can be quite effective.

All people have prejudices—it’s part of being human. The fault, it seems to me, isn’t in having the prejudices themselves, but it not confronting them and dealing with them. This sort of video can help non-Asian people see their prejudices against Asians so they can deal with their prejudices (and stop saying stupid things).

Most of the time, however, we don’t have a useful tool like this video, so we’re on our own. It’s our responsibility to try and confront our prejudices and change our behaviours, even when either is hard to do.

Prejudice is not the same as bigotry, although all bigotry is built on prejudice. Prejudice is usually just based on ignorance, and that can be overcome with education—as the late, great poet Maya Angelou put it, “You did then what you knew how to do, And when you knew better, You did better.”

Sometimes, learning to know better can be kinda fun, too. Just like this video.


rogerogreen said...

I saw this before. I LOVE it.

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Yeah, it was all over my social media when it was posted. I wanted to share it, too, but also to comment. As I do. ;-)