At first, I thought this article at Salon was an April Fool’s joke:
But I guess it’s for real. Of course, every cultural product is fair game for critique — even TV shows about the zombie apocalypse — and the author makes some interesting points. On the other hand, it’s a TV show about the fucking zombie apocalypse!
Some of the comments below the article were fascinating:
mikill330399: How do people live based on seeing nothing but classes of people? I dont live that way and therefore this column offends me. I have white/black/asian/indian friends and I dont see or treat them any different. I dont even notice their ethnicity. To me it is racist to classify everyone and see them as different. Needing to be portrayed a certain way means you dont see them as equal. Im surprised the author is not fighting for the Zombies as an opressed class.
Carlos H: If you “don’t even notice their ethnicity,” how do you know you have “white/black/asian/indian friends”? Maybe, they are just all white or all black. Please. The 1970’s called, it wants its “know-nothing” rhetoric about race back.
CitizenRob: It is possible to not notice a person’s race. Oprah and Colin Powell are two people who I didn’t realize were African American until they themselves, or somebody else mentioned. It wasn’t that I didn’t SEE their ethnicity, it was that somehow their personalities never gave me a chance to actually notice their ethnicity until they themselves brought my attention to it, (or in the case of Colin Powell a newscaster mentioned it during a story.) My only wish would be that it were possible to always approach all people this way. (See the person they are before their race/ethnicity.)
I’ve heard people say this before (that they don’t notice race or ethnicity), and honestly, I’ve always found the claim difficult to believe. I suspect humans are hardwired to categorize the people they see on a number of axes, including gender, age and race — despite the fact that the categories are fluid and/or meaningless to some extent. Isn’t the important thing what you do with that information?
[X-posted at Rumproast]