Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On Meta Cognition

I just got finished watching the South Park episode "With Apologies to Jesse Jackson." You might remember it better if I describe it in its more deplorable monicker, the "Nigger-Guy" episode.

I generally have issue with ad hominem attacks, attacking the person making a claim rather than the claim, mostly because I'm a middle-upper-middle class, white, heterosexual male. Basically, I can do whatever the fuck I want in life, so long as I don't espouse tolerance for anything, really.

Oh, are you gay?

No, I just don't give a shit who someone else is attracted to.

Did you grow up poor and in a shitty neighborhood?

No, but I think social welfare organizations do a lot of good for the injured and public works programs create jobs while improving living conditions in the places they're needed most.

Of course this leads to an entirely new problem: now, when I walk past a minority citizen on the street, I suddenly become very self aware and start acting real shady because I don't care about race or socioeconomic status.

Worse, I only care about who a person is on the inside, so I start evaluating personally unique fashion and grooming choices, carriage, facial expression and attitude. Basically, I look them up-and-down from a distance and verify I would get along with them. Then of course I ignore them because we both have places to get to and I know they're good people.

So I look you up and down, then try really hard to not look at you….

Suddenly I'm obsessed with countering the way these thought patterns externalize themselves, and now I'm staring at a minority on the street. Oh god. Oh god oh god oh god. They're gonna kill me. They're gonna kill me for being an insecure, racist white boy. Crap, that's actually racist to assume, isn't it? What the hell? Where's the happy medium between being scared of seeming racist and being scared of appearing scared of being racist?

Probably somewhere in between the Colbert Report and reruns of Tosh.0.

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