Sunday, March 11, 2007

Because We Obviously Don't Have Enough To Deal With Already

No individual should be held up as a representative for an entire marginalized group. I can't even count how many times I've had someone ask me to explain why a particular person of color behaved in a certain way and I resented it every single time. Seeing that it is 2007 A.D., it really shouldn't be necessary for me to say that sharing the same skin color or sexual orientation or gender as someone doesn't mean that you are anything alike. Nevertheless, there's no escaping the fact that many people still haven't come to understand this.

Every person of color knows how it is when you hear about someone in your community committing an atrocious crime that attracts lots of media attention and you just hope and pray that it wasn't "one of us" who did it because, no matter how enlightened people may pretend to be, we know that when a lot of people see a Black/Latino/Asian perpetrator, they don't view them as an individual, they view them as confirmation of all the racial stereotypes in their head. Sure, most of the time when people of color commit a crime, it's other persons of color who are most likely to be the victims. However, we (POC) all get branded as dangers to society to some extent. And this phenomenon isn't just limited to violent crimes.

The same principle applies when the stupidity doesn't quite rise to criminal levels even though it's definitely most embarrassing then. Therefore, I have a simple request to make to any and all individuals belonging to marginalized groups. Can you please try not make it any harder for the rest of us? I'm not saying that we should all spend our entire lives working to be considered "a credit to our race" or anything like that but is it too much to ask that we don't go out of our way to make our own people, people who have it hard enough as it is, look totally irresponsible and untrustworthy?

Right now, there's a guy in the news who manages to simultaneously embarrass three different groups with his actions. Colonel Matt Sanchez is a student at Columbia University and he's been receiving a lot of attention from folks like Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, and Michelle Malkin. Sanchez claims that some really mean socialists on campus called him a baby-killer because he's in the military. The right-wing pundits just couldn't pass up the opportunity to give Sanchez' story lots of attention because it played right into the supposed anti-military/anti-war bias that they are claiming exists on many college campuses today. He was interviewed on television by Bill O'rly and Sean Hannity and he also made the rounds on a few right-wing radio shows.

What's ironic is that this Matt Sanchez turned out to be a gay prostitute, stripper and porn star with over 50 films under his belt. While he's talking about professors violating campus policies, he was and is violating the military's policies. What hypocrisy!

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