Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Me in We

Here's another one of those distinctions that I make and some hate.

While on a work-related trip, this year, I attended a training session that really wasn't worth the time, effort, or expense. Despite that, I and most other associates kept quiet while the speaker spoke and participated here and there as necessary.

Unfoetunately, there were a couple of associates who talked, giggled, and distracted during the presentations. It was frustrating for a number of reasons - one of which was the fact that these young women were Black.

On some level, I felt that their juvenile behavior could reflect on me ... or "us." (And somewhat rightly so.)

So the distinction I mentioned? Here it is:

I hate the idea of being judged by the actions of others who happen to share my skin color. But I sure do understand why folks would do it.

A distinction without a difference, you say? Maybe.

I guess I'm saying that if any group has, claims, or deserves ANY reputation (good or bad), then it MUST be based on the qualities and actions of members of that group. That just makes sense.

I just wish some folks would remember that individuals are just that - and may surprise you any of the week.

We all deserve the opportunity to prove the stereotype right or wrong.


Angie said...

West - this is a conundrum that I think about often. I have in the past judged all white people by the actions of a few. But the thought of them doing the same thing to me is maddening! LOL

When I seperate people, one from the group, and see them that way - it changes my perspective. As you said "individuals may suprise you any day of the week" : )

Liz said...

I've been running a training for new teachers all week and sadly enough, the black folks that are not paying attention/are talking are so much more obvious because there are fewer of them. If a couple of the black folks skip out on a session, my colleagues immediately notice because there are less of them. Sure, most of them are 22 and maybe don't know any better but I just wish this generation had more of a sense that their actions reflect on us all.

B. Good said...

It seems that only the negative actions or "characteristics" get grouped, while the positive ones are left to the individual......something like an "exclusion".

For if you ALL were quiet and paid attention, no one would award "us" for being quiet and attentive people. But then again, negatives always seem to outshine the positives in any situation. *shrugs*