Confused over Racism, Stereotyping, and Literature

*REPOST because I think this is worth discussing from all sides an angles.  Special thanks to Nephyo for being honest and well written in his answers.*


There is a new series on television called Legend of the Seeker.  It’s based on the book series called The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind.  I LOVE THIS SERIES, so you can imagine how excited I was to see that it was being turned into a television series.  I knew it would be partially butchered, but I sucked it up and started watching it anyway.  And it was while watching this series that a thought process set in.

I can admit I am prone to stereotyping people.  I don’t do it out of meaness -intentionally- ever.  However, in the course of a conversation I will tell you that all black people order chicken sandwiches with “orange drink” from McDonald’s and say “Have a Blessed Day” on their answering machine while being total chicken shits about haunted houses and scary movies.  I will tell you ALL Mexicans listen to Mexican polka even outside of a restaurant, live with thirty people in their homes, and can fit more of themselves into a car than clowns at the circus.  I will tell you all white Southern males go deer hunting, spit chewing tobacco, and think cowboy boots are really called “shit-kickers”, and let’s not forget all the women are barefoot and pregnant.  I am am equal opportunity stereotyper.

Now, I am not going to lie and say you would never hear these things come out of my mouth because you will.  I’m a hypocrite to an extent because I HATE labels defining people, yet, I do stereotype.  However, I am not racist.  I would never say any of those things in an attempt to hurt someone emotionally.  I’ve been hurt by those kinds of labels myself.  I would prefer that people can look at some of those stereotypes and laugh at themselves a bit.  If Carlos Mencia can do it and get rich off of it, then we should all be able to do it.

But then…then this odd defining moment happened while I was watching this television series.  One of the characters was dark skinned.  I want to say he is black, but I don’t think he fully is, and when I saw him my jaw hit the ground.  I was in denial…CHASE?!  Chase is not black?!  What in the hell happened there?!

I’ll tell you what happened.  I actually stopped and tried to decide if I was being racist because I assumed he was white.  The author (to my immediate recollection) didn’t specifically say he was anything other than white, so I assumed he was.  I actually sat around and pondered this for some time.  I quizzed my roomie and she does the same thing.  Now, I KNOW coming from her it is not a racial issue because she is in a interacial relationship, has been for years, and they are stupid for each other…or just stupid in general but I digress…HA! (Tammy and Jason, you know I love you and I am teasing!!!)  I quizzed Jason and he said he assumes they are white because most major figures in literature and television are white.  I quizzed a buddy from Scotland and he said he doesn’t do either one, but goes completely on the author’s description.

Then I finally came to a conclusion.  I blame one of two things on this line of thought.  1.  Terry Goodkind for not describing a major character well enough and 2.  Terry Goodkind for not throughly describing the character enough that I remembered it if he did.

Since, I quizzed everyone else in my life, now it’s your turn.  When you read a book do you picture the main characters like you if the author does not give a vivid description?  If so, do you consider that a form of racisim or just your way to identify with the characters?



Straight out of the camera

I went on a photo expedition today with the roomie and our company.  These are some of the photos I took today.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Mater, Daniel, and Toltec 200

These are roots from a bald cypress tree.

Mater, Daniel, and Toltec 205

That is one of the bald cypress trees in the water.

Mater, Daniel, and Toltec 210

I actually was able to grab some nice fall foliage.

Mater, Daniel, and Toltec 190

The moon above Toltec Mounds.

Mater, Daniel, and Toltec 199

This one is my favorite shot!