The creation of otherness is a western creation which relates to an individual or something that is placed in the ‘them’ category. One example would be ethnic appropriation: used in western society. For instance people involuntary use ethnic terminology to describe people in the ‘Them category’. For example a White person would be described like ‘did you met my friend Dave, big bulky guy’ as opposed to the description of an Ethnic person being ‘Did you meet my friend Dave. Big Black Guy’. This creation of otherness however goes deeper than just ethnic appropriation. All of which comes under Binary Oppositions.
Binary Oppositions are terms which are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Whether that’s Man or Women, White or black, Civilized or Barbaric ect. However these opposites have created many stereotypes with the ideology of Us and the them. For instance with Western Society seeing themselves as the pinnacle of civilization, they see the Middle-East for instance as uncivilized. With many people seeing the middle east as misogynistic and sexist with many of the right-wing news outlets in UK for example painting a picture of Muslims as terrorists.
This Us and them Ideology is not just with the Middle Eastern ethnic group but all people of non-white descent. For instance in the Tv Series ‘Daredevil, season 1’ , the Antagonist’s are all categorized from their ethnic descent apart from the American’s. In their case they are given backstory to why there in Crime. With the Chinese, the Japanese and Russian just appropriated with the fact that they are from the Other category so that’s the reason they had to turn to crime. This exemplifies the western trait of being above the rest.
(I am Not black, you are NOT white, 2015)
This term of power in Western Society is highlighted with the description of Black People throughout Western history. As you all know the history of western society with Black People has gone from slavery to Segregation to Racism to Categorization. With a result of this many different black images have been painted by the media in western society. The Tom image is one example. This paints the picture of a person who has internalized the hatred to white people who have oppressed him, usually in movies he is portrayed as a butler to the white family. The Buck is another example of a black image. This image on the other hand is the exact opposite of ‘The tom’. This image portrays black people to be highly sexual and primitive creatures. This is image is usually associated with gangsters and in the past monkeys such as King Kong for instance.
This trend however stems to rest of the world being inferior to white people ‘with a booming ‘rent a foreigner policy’ (Chen, 2016) aimed at domestic businesses that want to appear more western’. As we see people judged just on there race as being above on another person.
With these binary Opposites of us and them. There is intense pressure on Ethnic Descent in White Society to become almost White. With people made to idolise blonde playboy models and reject their Afro Hair and straighten it instead. In society today we do have some black empowering figures such as Beyonce however western society I believe have used them to keep the peace between the Black and White people. One example would be having a token black women in a movie to show multiculturalism.This however does not solve the issue that ethnic people still have a greater challenge in breaking into the music industry than a white person for example. In order to solve this problem we need to remove binary opposites present in western society. With western society not just accepting people due to their ethnic descent but for their individual talent.
Prince EA (2015) I am NOT black and you are NOT white Available at:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0qD2K2RWkc (Accessed: 30/5/16)
Anelise Chen (2016) China’s Rent-a-Foreigner Policy at http://www.vice.com/read/chinas-rent-a-foreigner-industry-is-still-a-real-thing (Accessed on 1/05/16)