When Every Member of a Minority Group Represents All Others

The Worldnetdaily has this headline: “Lesbian student kills lover who wore sweats.” Now imagine what they would say if every article about someone doing something horrible made a point of saying they were straight, like “Heterosexual man kills his wife” or “Straight white man bombs abortion clinic.” This would never happen, of course, because we only do that to members of minority groups. For minorities, every single individual automatically represents every other member of that group and the whole group gets blamed for the bad behavior of any one member. It’s one of the many streams that feed into the river of bigotry.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/hmoulding Helge

    I think we really ought to start doing that. “Straight white man says something stupid.” OK, that’s me, but that’s the general idea.

  • tbp1

    In politics I’ve heard this called the “Ward Churchill Effect.” Anything stupid anyone on the left, no matter how obscure or lacking in influence, says or does is assumed to represent every leftist in the country, if not the planet. It never applies to conservatives, of course.

  • Chiroptera

    Now imagine what they would say if every article about someone doing something horrible made a point of saying they were straight, like…

    …seemingly nice Muslim neighbor recruits 14 year old girl to be ISIS bride and to be raped and tortured? It seems I’ve heard that one recently.

  • John Pieret

    How about “White Republican politician has sex with high school student and breaks anti-drug laws to pay off blackmail threat”?

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    And then there is the comments section. Oh, the comments section. One lesbian commits murder, then all lesbians are broken and potentially violent. If we carry this “reasoning” over to violence in heterosexual couples…

  • eric

    Slightly off topic, but this reminded me of John Stewart’s coverage of Caitlin Jenner’s ‘coming out’ last night. His point was: welcome to being a second-class citizen, Caitlin…it took all of about 24 hours for the pundits to stop talking about you in terms of your accomplishments (Olympics, etc..) and start talking about you in terms of your looks, dress choice, and whether you are too old to be f*ckable.

  • shadowwalkyr

    Actually, I’ve been thinking lately that this should probably be the explicit definition of a minority group.

  • rhebel

    As a teacher, this has always been a bone of contention–any time a teacher, or retired teacher, or former teacher who is no longer in the profession, or non-certified private school teacher, or teacher’s aide, or coach who isn’t even a teacher, or anyone somehow associated with a school does anything questionable or illegal, the headline always states “teacher,” even if the article itself later clarifies that they are not actually a teacher.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    At last, somebody recognizes and acknowledges the existence and oppression of sweat-Americans!

  • dingojack

    OK Ed, if one takes away the headline’s first word, is the result better?

    Do you assume that all students kill their lovers for wearing sweats?