I recently had to think about the difference between preconceptions and stereotypes or racism. I met 2 people that I had only ever spoken to over the phone. They both had Spanish or maybe Portugese sounding names and so when I spoke to them, I visualised what they looked like, based probably on stereotypes.

When I met them, one was very un-Spanish to my mind, being tall - though I once had a very tall Spanish friend who looked like an El Greco painting and I know that Spanish people from the North are generally tall - and a dark skinned black woman. Is it racist to have these kinds of preconceptions? I know I imagine all sorts of physical types based on the voice on the phone and I guess informed by the person's name... I was surprised when I met them. But I don't think it's racism. I was surprised but there was no feeling of superiority, or fear or hatred or disgust or dismissal... So it wasn't about racism - just preconceptions... the equivalent of a soft-sounding voice coming from a huge burly man. I just wouldn't expect it...


I heard on the radio that newspapers in Damascus are reporting that Israelis are being used in the US airforce and being given fake passports in case they are shot down. Is it likely or is it borderline anti-Semititic propaganda? I wonder when the USA government is so isolationist whether they are likely to look for outside assistance with their skills in bombing and flying. It's like admitting they are unable to 'do the job'. But maybe...? On the other hand, maybe it was reported because the suspicion of Israeli participation will consolidate the Muslim and/or Arab world against the USA invasion...

The first casulty of war is truth, they say.

<< | >>