Re: the Confederate flag

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Posted by Sadie from D007111.N1.Vanderbilt.Edu ( on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 10:10PM :

In Reply to: Re: the Confederate flag posted by Alexander from ( on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 8:53PM :

: I don't follow this generalization of "mideastern" categorization. Not to be rude, but I don't think of Iraq or Iran as "middle eastern" just like I don't think of Cuba or Brazil as "latin American". I don't want to sound negative, but I have to say it sounds strange to me when people refer to that region as the "middleeast" which is why when I speak about it I usually put quotes around it- like "Middle East" or I'll say the "so-called Middle East." No offense, just couldn't help the way it sounded to me when you said "middleeastern." :)

xxx Interesting. You know, I don't think that categorizing things in general, or people, specifically, is such a bad thing. It's only when one categorizes something or someone in a limited way, say taking stereotypes seriously, & tries to say that because that thing or person can be categorized this or that way, it/he/she is "good" or "bad." Or, for example, even if someone tried to completely define me, imposed limits on the way that someone saw me... that's horrible - it's like death because I have ceased to fascinate & to grow in that someone's eyes. But if a person was to say to me, generally, that I'm ethnically 1/2 European, 1/2 Mid Eastern, I wouldn't have a problem with that.

xxx So, when I say my father is Mid Eastern, I see no problem with that, because it's such a general categorization. & besides, I tend to see things that are Mid Eastern as beautiful, somehow related to me. & if someone said something was European, Asian, African, or North or South American, I would not have a problem with that, because I think that these are just such broad categorizations, that one can not, or one should not, associate only one or two specific characteristics with these categories (like hair, eye, & skin colors, or intelligence levels - those are silly ways of seeing groups of people). But that's just my opinion... Anyway, I was just being silly about Assyrians or Mid Easterners not driving trucks. I was making fun of a stereotype.

xxx Anyway, I'm wondering why do you have a problem with general categories by world region, esp. the "Mid East," but not with national categories? E.g. remember when you were describing Persian women as having blue eyes? Why is such a phenotypic characterization of women from another ethnic background OK by you & not the broad categorization of someone as Mid Eastern? I'm just curious... Do my questions make sense? I'm too tired to think straight right now...

-- Sadie
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