portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

human & civil rights | media criticism

Is there a word

Is there a word for this.
Something clicked when reading about Spain's basketball team doing the Chinese eye thing. My mind wondered back to The story a couple years ago of the German solders making derogatory comments about Harlem and black People. Both of these stories highlight
socially unacceptable behavior being committed in an environment of different social norms. At first I thought the word was hypocrisy, where always doing things here In America that would be considers socially abhorrent elsewhere.
But Then there is the Hubris, this assumption that our norms are so prevalent and widely held that we demand that they be respected even in other countries. When I was is first or second grade I remember Doing the Eye thing, I didn't invent it I just picked it up from other kids. So her I am an American with 6 or 7 years of cultural indoctrination doing something racist and abhorrent in complete ignorance of the hurtful nature of my actions.
Then their is the transference. I mean the comments about Harlem black people by the German solders was the friken plot line from "Death Wish" and "Dirty Harry".Also the Asian eye thing if it wasn't invented in America it's perfection as a racist gesture certainly was.
Our culture created the pain that these actions elicit. We should be evaluating our culture and it's frequent tendency to abuse outsiders. Instead We are taking our abstracted cultural crap and exporting it as if they where golden nuggets of divine wisdom. Then when other people misinterpret our exported cultural crap we blame them for the crimes that gave rise to the crap in the first place.
Anyways if there is a word the describes this please tell..Otherwise I nominate "Culture Crap" as a fitting description and request that we immediately stop it's export. We cannot ship it overseas to relieve or own shame.

what? 24.Aug.2008 11:14

Clyde

You think this is an export of ours? The fact that it happens, elsewhere, and the fact that many people think it is distasteful, is not a result of the US in some way.

Ignorance is, unfortunately, a universal trend found in all countries. Racial slurs are are not an American export, nor is the mockery of another person's appearance, color, or ethnicity.

These things have been happening for a very long time, and to assume that the US is responsible somehow for these actions is just wrong.