Saturday, December 20, 2014

Zombie Prejudice

'Canada will never be a safe haven for zombies,' according to Foreign Minister John Baird. 
During parliamentary discussions on crisis response, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird stood up and, with a straight face, assured the nation that zombies would not be welcome in Canada should the U.S. devolve into a zombie wasteland. "I want to assure this member and all Canadians that I am dedicated to ensuring this never happens. I want to say categorically to this member, and through him to all Canadians, that under the leadership of this Prime Minister, Canada will never become a safe haven for zombies.  Ever." The room burst into applause.

We all laughed, of course.  It was a joke.

Interestingly, similar thinking has been popular in the past, and it wasn't humorous. Depending on who and where you are, your history includes a vicious unwillingness to make a place for Africans or Jews or local natives or members of some other class than your own.

The Irish weren't welcome in America in the 19th century; the prejudice against them was old by then, though.  In the 12th century, the Irish resistance to invasion and domination gives us our first look at their "barbarous nation" with "filthy practices".  The Gaelic Irish lived under the weight of such characterizations for centuries, and in some regions they still do even now, in the 21st century.

Black Africans, Asians, Latinos, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and Jews; the list of those unfairly judged is long and persists in cultural thinking.

None of us are free of prejudice.  We're generally unaware of its extent in us.
... according to social science and psychology.  Do the research yourself if you're curious.

It's deeply pervasive.  Beyond the obvious prejudice about race or skin color, we find similar discrimination against people on the basis of body type, employment area, education, dialect, gender, tribe, hair style, religion, and their social class, wealth, and home size.  Every culture has their own version of these or others.  Destructive, in every case; from anorexia to ... zombies?

Prejudice - defined

A hostile opinion about some person or class of persons; prejudice is socially learned and commonly grounded in misconception, misunderstanding, and inflexible generalizations.  
Most often rooted in personal fear or insecurity, we perhaps fear loss of what we have or how we live.  It's as though we fear a dilution of the 'good' we deserve if these new players join.  Prejudice feeds on our perceived need to be better or superior in some way.

There is a way out, of course; and toward what we hope for in ourselves ... clear thinking, compassion, kindness, graciousness to others, and patience.

Both our culture and we ourselves can change. Though neither quick nor simple in either case, such cannot be ignored by a good conscience.  True?

Some resources ... here and here and here.  I couldn't find anything to help with the zombie problem, though.