martes, 21 de septiembre de 2010

The "right kind"

I am very pleased to find out that some Lebanese people are reading my blog. I even found out that one of my blog posts inspired another blogger to write something about kindness and how some think Lebanese are only kind to the right kind of people.

The "right kind" is a fascinating (not to say delusional) concept that human beings have developed to refer to the people that a) look like them or b) they wish they looked like them (i.e. we all agree Cristiano Ronaldo and Angelina Jolie are the right kind no matter what we look like).

Jokes aside, I have heard from my Lebanese friends and also from expats that there is a widespread racism among Lebanese against the "wrong kind": domestic workers, people who from South East Asia and people from African descent. Like a cast system. You look a certain way, you are not allowed some places, you are discriminated upon, you are treated like a second class citizen.

To comment on the topic, I want to highlight that in Mexico we have the same thing for anyone who isn't fair skinned, so the Lebanese are not really innovating here. And to be fair, this racism is not particular to the Lebanese or to Mexicans. Just ask a Muslim woman in France how she is feeling right now...

What I want to point out to in this blog is how ridiculous, subjective, and completely detached from reality the whole "right" and "wrong" kind is. To me, these categories are just the visible symptoms of the absolute insecurity and sense of worthlessness of the ones who made them (i.e. I make you little because I feel little). Plus, this putting people in categories business can make anyone go bananas, just by travelling across the world... No matter where I go, there will always be a wrong kind... But I was actually very surprised when I moved to Lebanon and suddenly became the "right kind" after living in the United States and being the wrong kind for years (I am a dark-haired-darkish-skinned Mexican).

What changed? I kept asking... Did I loose weight?? Is it my new haircut?? I am still wondering...

On a personal note, I can only say that this was a lesson for me to stop thinking about what people think of me. Who cares if they think I am the right or wrong kind anyways??

And on a humankind note, I would like to add that we, as people, should stop being so effing shallow. People look the way they look. I can't certainly help looking the way I look. Can you?
I invite us to just get over ourselves and focus on far more productive discussions. Such as: if you see someone being discriminated upon in Lebanon, or elsewhere, don't keep your mouth shut. It could be you next time...

1 comentario:

  1. You're so right. It's been like that for ages: humans need to feel like they belong, and in order to do that they feel the need to find people that don't belong, thus the "right/wrong" kind are essential. I agree with you in saying that this is something to think about, ¿is my worth measured by the way the others see me?