Monday, April 28, 2008

"They"

I often wonder how people can be marginalized, oppressed, abused so openly and without shame. I'm not sure why I wonder, because the truth is I already...we already know the answer.

Almost every one of us, as a professor once lectured, is a "they." We each belong to some group of people, whether it be women, a socioeconomic status, a religion, a race, a nationality...Each group is considered a "they" by some other group of "they." When we can look at our fellow human beings as "they" they can begin to appear less human, less like us (because we only focus on the differences) and it becomes easier to hate, to torture, to kill. The "object" of the hate is seen as inhuman and can be dealt with in the absence of guilt. It's easier to divide people into different groups of "they" because then we can forget that this is someone's child, someone's father, or mother, someones friend or teacher, instead "they" become objects, something so distant from ourselves that it is easier to justify hate.

Dividing people into groups of "they" allowed genocide in Armenia, Rwanda and Dar fur. It resulted in the Holocaust and social Darwinism and forced sterilization and experimentation like Tuskegee or the TB studies. The idea of "they" resulted in religious persecution around the globe, the Spanish Inquisition, Bloody Mary's reign of terror over protestants, The Crusades...the list goes on and on, it has happened for centuries. One would think that we might have learned from Histories lessons, yet "they" are still as present today as in the Old Testament.

If you think of any people as "they" and think in stereotypes or hate, I challenge you! Have a conversation with one of "they," look "they" in the eyes and hear about a family not so different from your own, or beliefs more similar than different."They" might start to look more like one of "we," for WE are all part of a human family, WE all bleed, love, learn and hurt. WE are all made the same, WE are all fabulous, WE are One!

If all else fails, remember the golden rule..."Do unto others"...

4 comments:

Mauzy said...

As a parent of a child with Down syndrome, when I hear someone say "They are always so sweet" I say "Come on over to my house sometime".

come visit for a chance to win a free copy of GIFTS

FAB said...

Thanks for the tip about GIFTS. I was over there, love the blog!

saraarts said...

Nice. I hope a lot of people accept your challenge.

Kewryta said...

Thank you for this post. I have long believed that the "us" and "them" mentality is one of the most destructive forces in the universe, and have blogged on this theme myself.

People are people. End of story.