F. is German. Everything she does I interpret through my stereotype of Germans. Usually I try to override stereotypes I have learned consciously - but not with Germans. For me, Germans are their stereotypes and they always will be.

Today it was her efficiency. Sometimes it will be her sense of heirachy that I will focus on.

I know it's bad. Rationally I know I should be working against all stereotypes. Rationally I know that all nations or cultures have good people and bad people, people who are greedy and people who are generous, people who are spiritual and people who care more for the material, people who are lazy and people who work hard, people who are smart and people who are stupid, etc etc.
Besides, I know stereotyping is at the bottom of all racisms.

And yet I willingly stereotype and propogate stereotypes of Germans. Why?
Because, on some level, I don't believe they have learned from their history. I believe or fear that the culture that created the Holocaust (specifically, the Shoah) is still alive.

But still, I also know that no nation has really learned from its history. Arguably some of the elements that created the climate of British colonialism are still present. The attitudes and institutions that maintained slavery are arguably still around - even to some extent in liberal circles.

But it is Germans who are fixed as bad guys for me - fixed in their stereotype.

<< | >>