I do think we can universalize about perceptions of race.
I do think we universalize about that perception and its relationship to nations and governments.
I don't see the same thing with sex or gender.
I agree with your point, but need to add: Race can be universally benign; but I think Fear is what causes malignancy.
And I agree it’s not the same thing when gender enters the equation. It’s the perception of power.
I don’t bite about the female thing as Prez, because there hasn’t been one in the queue that I’d vote for, yet, but when one arrives and she’s got the proper creds, I hope people, in general, will focus on those creds and not just her personal appearance and choice of wardrobe.
I mentioned Thatcher because she’s really the first female in power that wasn’t born into a royal or politically influential family, unless I’ve missed someone prior to her post. If so, please, let’s hear it for those girls!!
I doubt you, threadbear, are as inherently prejudiced as I am, but you ought to know that there is considerable racial tension going on in the country today. And religious tension as well. It is unpleasant and unnecessary. It obscures strategic thinking and intelligence gathering.
Actually, stirring up fear based upon race is a very strategic and intelligent leverage tactic, which works, The same way fire and brimstone might fill the church pews in religion. I agree it’s unpleasant, but for people who NEED “The Village,” it’s necessary. They feel safe there for whatever personal reasons. But, if people venture out of the village and embraces whatever’s out there, they’re not always out of control. They’re just out of the village. I’m sure that will make sense to some and absolutely no sense at all to others.
I’m leaning toward threadbear’s assessment:
Everyone is either prejudiced or racist in some way. I've yet to meet a person that didn't have a preconceived notion about Muslims, the French, red-haired people, whatever, but there is always at least one group of people that makes a person 'a little bit jumpy.' It's our maturity as adults that keep 99% of our feelings in check and gentlemanly. I can live with that percentage. It's unreasonable to expect people who never grew up with Muslims, red-hairs, or French to understand them. That is where much of true racism is born: out of geographical isolation from exposure to another group.
Or such isolation/withdrawal/detachment, etc…is simply a personal choice. It helps that I take my notions straight to the source, if possible and within reason (not the likes of Hannibal Lecter. Someone at that level of villain deserves someone more qualified for an interview. Ha.)
If I want to know something about Muslims or the French? I make a point to talk to them. Because I’m a redhead!!! LOL. And I’d like for the Muslims or French to talk to me and get the facts if they have any preconceived notions about “Red-haired” people, for example. They may be delightfully surprised as I often am when opening up to someone who’s different from me.
This tends to soothe many tensions, so I don’t deny the existence of racial issues. I just don’t allow such issues to control my chances and choices in life with other human beings. If I fail to make friends with a cheerleader due to some incompatibility, I’m not going to take issue with her whole squad and the team she cheers for, even if they did gang up on me and kick me off the field.
Anyway, President Obama is fully aware of his leverage. I just pray that he uses that leverage symbolic of the Peace he was highly awarded for. Or he can lean forward on the outdated notion of the oppression of the black man. What higher office can he reach, now???
And yes, the race card is so old now that many black persons are calling it "Racial Buffoonery."