Thursday, April 06, 2006

That low-grade bitchiness ain't gone away yet.

An instance of stereotypes against stereotypes.

So Dateline NBC wants to do something on anti-Muslim discrimination in America. All fine and good, I guess. I could tell them of several occasions when I've seen it in NYC, including one incident against this adorable little atheist Russian woman I know who made the mistake of wearing a long skirt and covering up her shorn head with both a knit cap and a scarf on a cold day.

However, they decided instead to send "Muslim-looking men" to the Martinsville race, in Virginia. After all, we NASCAR fans are all a bunch of unenlightened, racist yahoos who'd give 'em good footage, right? It makes me really furious that they decided to play to the stereotypes. But of course, portraying Southerners and rural people and NASCAR fans as potential racists who can't wait to pick a fight with people who look and act different is different from real stereotyping, right?

I think a comment to NBC is forthcoming. I may tell them about turning a Russian lesbian on to NASCAR, and holding her hand at the Daytona Superspeedway where everyone could see us, and the two women who grinned at us and gave us thumbs-ups. I may tell them about my mixed-heritage, mixed-orientation NASCAR gatherings in NYC. I may tell them about I will definitely be reminding them of what sport they broadcast for part of the season, and how many people watch it.


BostonPobble said...

Doen't sound to me like there's any reason for the low grade bitchiness to have gone away. I struggle with this stereotype as well. I'm always amazed by people who think "You don't seem Southern" is a compliment. Sometimes, contextually, I understand what they mean (no accent ~ whatever) or I know the person well enough to know on what they are basing that comment. But random people... I want to say "Why? Because I have all my teeth? Because I speak clearly? What exactly makes me NOT Southern in your eyes? Surely it's not the Texas flag that flies in my home or the hospitality I learned from my grandmothers or the ability to hug people when they need it and not feel embarrassed doing so. So...what makes me NOT Southern to you?" The funny part is, I rarely consider myself Southern. If you ask me, I'm a New Englander and Boston is home. Until someone *else* decides that being Southern ~ the way my father and my grandfathers were ~ isn't good enough. Then I become a raging GRITS.

Wow ~ didn't know I had that in me. Perhaps there is a lot of low-grade bitchiness just going around. ;)

clew said...

Hey Cracker Lilo -

Totally unrelated to your post ... I saw you told Ruben you have a crush on gray-haired Taylor. I do too, so I had to come over and say hi.


Tai said...

Rascism/sexism/ageism/sexual orientationism...anything anyone can find to fit into the "us vs them" little world mentality seems fair game.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Good post!

cats said...

a year or so ago i was at the grocery store and a young muslim woman walked in with a traditional headscarf and a t-shirt that read: "go ahead, profile me." i HAD to stop her. "i LOVE your shirt."

and i've encountered southern and northern racists and i'll take the southern racists over the northern ones any day.

wow, i just realized what a strange statement that was.

and go ahead and bitch all you want. (you too pobble.)