Saturday, June 11, 2005

Eugene Robinson's Thoughts on White "Damsels"

After seeing too much white "damsel" coverage for his taste, Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post thinks that:

"...the pattern of choosing only young, white, middle-class women for the full damsel treatment says a lot about a nation that likes to believe it has consigned race and class to irrelevance."

Which I think is completely untrue. It may say something about a nation's demographics and human nature, but it's not some kind of indictment of American race relations. People tend to viscerally relate to people that look like they could be in their family. America is mostly white. News stories live on ratings. News subjects tend to play toward the largest audience. Wow.

I don't think it's a problem that he notice this trend, I just think it's stupid to try to chalk it up to some kind of latent racism, and claim that "
those stubborn issues are still very much alive" in America today.

Obviously, Mr. Robinson is somewhat less affected by these stories of white women, as I would expect to some degree, but that doesn't make him a racist. I would expect him to more naturally relate to stories that he could see himself, a father of sons, in. For example, a story about a boy roughly his son's age that looks something like his son.

We all do it, all the time, and it's not a problem. Unless people try to make it one by creating mistrust and resentment that don't even exist.

I don't have a daughter or a sister, and I don't relate to these stories either. I do have a girlfriend in Thailand though, and I did relate to a lot of the suffering that went on after the tsunami there. But I did not, and do not, feel that America was somehow anti-Asian when most of the stories were about the few missing Europeans, Australians, or Americans.

It's harmless, it's not malicious, and it's just the way we are. Don't try to make it something it's not.


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