In response to my question on whether or not America was more sexist or more racist, reader Paul Jang sent me an article he had written for Sierra Vista High School’s newspaper, The Messenger:
If You Want Equality, Don’t Promote Exclusivity.
By Paul Jang
I had to check for current events one day after school for a school assignment. Figuring BBC would be a better outlet of international news I went ahead and clicked. Lo and behold did I find the most ridiculous piece of news ever.
The Gay World Cup kicked off on Sept. 25, 2007 in Buenos Aires Argentina. The World Cup showcased over 500 soccer players from 28 different countries.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any sort of bias against people of LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transexual) but just the fact that there is a separate World Cup besides the FIFA World Cup just had me straight puzzled.
Let me explain why. Over the years, people in the minority, whether of the different race, orientation, or some other thing that made them stand apart, has fought for equal rights and to be on the same stance as the people in the majority. And because people back then generally lacked the tolerance, acceptance and understanding behavior, special interest groups have been created, such as the Black Panthers, The Gay Liberation Front and others.
In the past, the creation of certain special rights group helped their cause and put them on the map. But with today’s ever changing and ever-fusing society, people can actually be hurt by these groups. As far as I know in American society, there have been leaps and bounds in the civil rights for equality among all people. Even though it’s far from perfect, we’re heading into the right direction.
But why and how does the Gay World Cup come into this? Easy. By creating a new organization exclusively for the people of specific gender, race or orientation, they are doing exactly the opposite of what they’re fighting for. In the race for equality, they are excluding themselves the equality and going straight for dominance, figuratively speaking.
Scenario: So there is a Gay World Cup. Does that mean the Fifa World Cup’s for straight people? If it is or they create a “straight” World Cup, you can bet that there will be protesting against the creation and implementation. Does that mean that the majority is denied something the minority has? Is it because that they are the minority that they get special treatment? Some equality.
New example: Cultural History Months. We celebrate cultural history months such as Black History Month in February, Asian-Pacific Heritage Month (Yes, there really is one of those) in May, National Hispanic Heritage Month in September and Native American Heritage Month in November. Yes, I’m aware that many view the races above as oppressed and exploited. However, where is European History or even European Heritage month? Not all white people were oppressors and exploiters. Many did good things for their fellow man—mixed races alike The North in the Civil War was fighting to free the slaves. Should we think of them as oppressors?
It doesn’t take a genius to see that the world is becoming a more unified place, not just the US. It can also be said that in the future, mixed marriages are going to be very commonplace to the point that specific gene pools are diluted enough that it can turn into someone saying, “I’m 1/32 Irish” or “I’m 1/64 Chinese.” I’m not saying to dump national pride of your homeland, but here, in the US, be united in the fact that you are human beings. Humans first, race second. These groups veer away from that, it creates tension and furthers racial difference. Don’t be politically correct, be real, but don’t be egotistical as to think one type of person is better than the other.
I’m sure I can say for any ethnic family that their parents are somewhat critical about mixing races, orientation or something like that. They are from that generation of where special interest groups were pretty much family, and still is. Adults, don’t pass on your irrational intolerances. Don’t be hypocritical in the sense that you teach tolerance and acceptance and be double-faced.
Paul’s got a point. Reverse discrimination is not the answer to years of repression. We can’t truly celebrate diversity if every group has their own separate but equal social environment.
At the same time, I think it’s important to celebrate our diversity and high profile events, if promoted properly, can serve to raise the awareness of groups that have previously had little public voice. The trick is to make events like a Gay World Cup inclusive to all groups, to invite teams and fans to participate regardless of their sexual preference.
It’s a shame to have to put the burden on the minority groups, but in order to truly celebrate diversity, it is up to them to recruit outside of their exclusive group. It’d difficult because when you create an ethnic or sexual preference or whatever else specific group, the genus of the members is common experience. There’s a safe comfort level that’s tough to break out of. And yet, we must always challenge our own perceptions if we are going to accept those who are not like us.
If exclusive groups strive to overcome their exclusivity, a more true celebration of diversity will emerge.
Thanks for the thought provoking article Paul.