It could be because of the new women I’ve started to follow on Twitter or it may be that this stems from an emerging (good) trend where more and more people from the east have begun to reassert their identity as they themselves choose to define it (as opposed to being seen through a ‘western’ prism).
As a brown person who has lived in an Arab country for over 20 years, I am not only a target of racist stereotypes formed by local Arab nationals but also by Western expatriates.
What I am however against is this routine bashing of all white people as though they are a monolith that represents complete ignorance. It is ironical that the idea behind such writing is to protest against stereotypes and racism. While I don’t have many specific examples to illustrate my point, the most glaring example I can see is this blog.
As someone who has volunteered in Africa and lived for a long time with American, Canadian, European and Australian volunteers, I know and understand where the creators of this blog is coming from. There are a few volunteers from these regions who have never travelled outside their respective countries and are very young (18-24). Their motives for volunteering could be to just have this trip added as a trophy philanthropic achievement on their resumes. Their overwhelming sense of amazement and wide eyed wonder at everything ethnic is occasionally funny and frequently jarring. But they all mean well. In their own, small, seemingly insignificant and often clumsy ways they do the best they can to ‘make a difference’. Their idea of what needs to be done to ‘save africa’ is a far cry from reality. That said, not all ‘white gurls’ or volunteers are the unidimensional white-trash that they’re made out to be.
What I’d however like to see is volunteer organizations that educate their volunteers instead of creating exotic-voluntourism packages. To mock them all does not educate them in any way. It is mean spirited and a form of racism, no matter how much you deny that it isn’t.
This just an example, of course. But in every debate when you reduce Americans to a caricature of ‘ignorant/gun toting/war loving’ group, you must question if you’re perhaps committing the same mistake that you’re protesting against.