Wednesday, August 25, 2010

why she was so impolite

Politeness is needed as part of the art to meet someone new. It is a social skill. Being polite doesn't mean being cold or distanced. Politeness implies, "At this moment I hardly know about you, but the future is open." Treating someone new to me as if this person is my kind of people from the beginning is not only impolite, but also sometimes oppressive. That's why I cannot use a certain kind of words to someone I don't know. Forcing frankness can be a gesture of discrimination. Discrimination can occur not simply when treating someone as the Other, but either when treating the Other as my kind of people, or when treating my kind of people as the Other. I know this person wants to either step in or step out my territory, so I can use it for my good: this exploitation is discrimination.
It is not a problem whether Laura Schlessinger hates inter-racial marriage or not. Even it is not a problem whether she dislikes black people or not. What she said to the black woman performed as a racist act, therefore Schlessinger is a racist. She acted as if she already knew the black woman from the beginning in order to show her refusal to be responsive to the woman's trouble. Her act was oppressive.
Everyone knows her rather reactionary view about relationships. Why many people continued to listen to her show was not because she was good at attending someone's trouble, but because they wanted to hear what they wanted to hear, and she knew it. Her target listener was her kind of people and she liked to preach to the chorus. She clearly disliked the Other intruding her territory and tried to stigmatize the woman in front of the chorus, perhaps even in order to amuse them. Her priority was rather reinforcing her relation to the listeners. In this sense she was hypersensitive about what the listeners wanted.It is easy to laugh at Schlessinger, and in fact she has been mocked by so-called liberal media. But, my ultimate question here is why the media don't talk about this kind of conspiracy between the performer and the audience.

No comments:

Post a Comment