We were created to be seen, heard and understood as individuals, yet are constantly being shuffled off in to groups with predetermined character traits. Women you belong here with the victimized, white males stand over there under the racist/sexist flag and minorities you’re in with the permanently aggrieved, government is your savior crowd. And oh, hey you gays, get in line over there with the rest of the sexually promiscuous crew.
It sounds so stupid, doesn’t it? Isn’t making assumptions about people based on their gender, skin color or sexual orientation the very definition of stereotyping and something to avoid? Apparently not according to Boston University’s Professor Saida Grundy, whose racist Twitter rants against white males have recently come to light.
“why is white america so reluctant to identify white college males as a problem population?”
“White masculinity isn’t a problem for america’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for america’s colleges.”
“Deal with your white sh*t, white people. slavery is a *YALL* thing”
Oh and she also exploded on a rape victim because she was white and told her to “go cry somewhere” during a nasty on line exchange. Classy huh?
Fortunately this is an extreme case and Ms. Grundy is being widely denounced, although still employed at BU. I’m not calling for her to lose her job but does anyone doubt this would be the outcome if she were a white woman railing against blacks?
Politicians are masters at this sort of thing, playing off stereotypes for votes by pitting groups against one another. Much chaos then ensues, which cues the candidate to feign surprise at how divided and mean spirited the country is and to lecture us on how to behave. Gee thanks.
Identity politics have been around since at least the 1970s, but the explosion of social media and the prevalence of victimhood mentality syndrome has brought it back with a vengeance. As it increases, the country becomes more tribal and divided and people become less inclined to take ownership of their problems as they subconsciously get filed away under “it’s someone else’s fault”.
What disheartens me most though is the shrinking importance and value of the individual experience. As the demands of group identification become more militant, the special qualities a person has, those traits that make them who they are, get discarded and a label is formed; one that defines how they are supposed to think, what they are allowed to say and who they are supposed to vote for. Saida Grundy’s devaluation of a rape victim’s experience because she is white is a classic example of this.
Everyone was born for a purpose and equipped with the specific skills and personality to fulfill it, As you move through life, your experiences add layer upon layer to this uniqueness, which provides perspectives, opinions and ideas that only could come from you. No one has been through what you have, or thinks the way you do, nor can create what you create. This is what defines you, not your gender, race or sexual orientation.
Have you ever been in the presence of someone completely in the flow of doing exactly what they were put on this planet to do? A flamenco guitarist strumming away as if possessed, an athlete effortlessly knocking balls out of the park, a caregiver tenderly wiping the face of a dying loved one, a child discovering their artistic talents for the first time?
It’s a complete celebration of a person’s uniqueness mixed with God given talent and is one of the most beautiful experiences imaginable. We should be fostering this individuality and encourage its growth, not smothering it under the stagnant weight of group identity manipulation.