I have been studying culture since the dawn of the millennium, when I took modules like "New Media Cultures" and "New Media Societies." In 2008, I published an ethnography showing how stereotypes in Black culture were represented in the people who used online communities.
When I say Black culture, I don't mean people with "black skin" only, I mean people who identify and express their experience of the difficulties faced by Black people over the centuries -- whether having to overcome suppression and having their property taken away, or having to overcome prejudice to excel in a field that they would normally be denied access to because of discrimination.
A new concept to think about is "White Culture." Is there such a thing? I'd say there is. If you look at dominant White people like Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue, there is a clear set of characteristics among them. These characteristics include either striving for perfection or a presentation of grandiose characteristics that suggests success or superiority. In the case of Kylie's videos, she is presented as being a perfect person, as tall as everyone else with the perfect and most desirable body. This is also seen in lad-mags where White women are heavily Photoshopped to resemble perfection. In the case of Robbie, his videos, including new ones with the group Take That, show him winning at some elite activity, like ice skating, motor sports, or boat racing. This can be seen in the media, where celebrities are presented as perfect, only to have their imperfections exposed -- meaning they either need the strength of determination shown in Black culture or they need to puff themselves up and assert their pretended dominance as in White culture.
It is White culture that is holding disabled people back. Albert Einstein said that everyone is a genius, but if one were to judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it would live its life thinking it was stupid. Disabled people, like myself, have to come to terms with the fact that we are not perfect. We might try to be more White and present the best side of us, but then we get called "arrogant," "delusional," "big-headed" and other similar names. So maybe we should be more like those in Black culture? If people were to realize all that we have been through to get to where we are, maybe they would see how far we have come despite not having the perfection demanded of us by White Culture?
Maybe we could get further if people saw we had inner beauty and potential like in the Black culture song, "The Way I Are" rather than having to be "fine" and "fresh" like in White culture songs such as Katy Perry's song "California Gurls." Maybe instead of job interviews being like Britney's White culture song, "Oops, I Did it Again," where we are strung along and made to believe we have a chance, only to be turned down for unfair reasons, we are judged on what we can do and not what we can't. What if, like in Rhianna's Black culture song, "Umbrella," we were allowed to shine in the sun of fellowship and togetherness with other people in the workplace? All too often we leave a job interview and think "we've heard it all before," like in Madonna's song, leading to us being forced to convince ourselves of White culture grandiosity that employers aren't "half the people we are," and trying to delude ourselves with the notion that "we can take care of ourselves" without anyone else's help, like presented in that song by Madonna.
So if David Starkey is right that "White people are becoming Black," then maybe it is because White culture is coming to terms with the fact that we can't be perfect in all ways, and that we should accept that, like in Black culture, we should tolerate one another because of who we are and not because of who we can't be.
Hi, my name is Jonathan Bishop. I like to provide an alternative view of topics like religion, culture and equality through challenging beliefs that are taken as given. I am the editor of the book, "Examining the Concepts, Issues and Implications of (more...
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