Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Listen, hombre!

Condescension. The trait of displaying arrogance by patronizing those considered inferior. A communication that indicates lack of respect by patronizing the recipient. A congenital disease common to Westerners, white folks, people from the developing world with symptoms that range from disdain to, ignorance of and prejudice against people -- blacks, browns, yellows -- from the developing world (aka their former colonies).

Ever since I got to Ethiopia and met and interacted with more "white" people (I had a crowd of international people back home, but they were mostly like-minded liberals, activists if you must, with the occasional drunk prick lost in the islands looking for exotic women), I've been subjected to hues of prejudice, some negligible (the folly of being human) but most are annoying, deprecating and infuriating. Because, no these guys are good guys, essentially. Not the usual arrogant, insolent, self-complacent racist, xenophobic bigoted troll. I've shot back a few times but mostly let it slip by.

Today, I've had enough of it.

We were talking about food. And this guy went out of his way and lectured me about how food culture is developed. (This was not his first time, talking to me like I didn't know shit. Say, for instance, films. Unfortunately for him, that's a subject I'm passionate about. And achitecture. Arts. Music. Literature. History. Science. Politics. Development. Among others.) Thank you very much, but no thank you.

Me: You don't have to explain to me everything, you know. Like that way. And the problem even in your account is that you think everything is modeled around your history. Eastern empires are different from European monarchies. Civilizations thrive (and die) in different ways. That's fact.

Him: Well, how would I know that you know, you know.

Me: Well, I do. I took World History. And Asian History. (I probably know more shit than you do. Because we study your history but you don't study ours. You should assume that people know, rather than the opposite.)

Do I think that way about Ethiopians? Nope. I assume they know or ask them if they do. And if I don't, I tell them. (Only if they need to.) I check myself all the time. (I do.) Because I know how it feels to be at the receiving end of prejudice. And it's not fun.

What's fun is proving these condescending **** wrong. But that takes effort, to even care enough to prove them wrong. Because, sometimes, ignoramuses are just not worth it.

No comments:

Post a Comment