Thursday, May 03, 2012

"Guilt-by-association" is not fair, but...

I understand that people look at me, see my appearance and/or behavior, and make judgments. Those judgments may not be "fair", but they will be made. Even less "fair" is when the judgments made about me are applied to other people who are not me, or when judgments made about other people who are like me in some way, but who aren't me, are applied to me. Maybe because they also have long hair, or wear a hat, or call themselves a libertarian.

Because I don't want people judging me for things I didn't do, but that were done by someone who is seen as similar to me in some way, I cringe when people who are bound to be associated with me are seen doing something I would be ashamed of doing.

If this happens I am likely to loudly condemn the one taking the "bad" action in order to make it known I do not approve and I am not "like" that person. It's why I hate it when a statist tries to claim the label "libertarian" without having any qualities of libertarian in them. It's also why I address those who try to condemn libertarians without having any clue what "libertarian" means. If you're going to pre-judge me, at least get your facts straight.

If I am silent, then when people prejudge me for things other people- whom they associate with me in some way- do, then I shouldn't be surprised. To then whine about "prejudice" or "discrimination" is stupid. It is in your power to fight it, but not if you don't address the cause. And that root "cause" is almost never really about what you believe it is about. It's not about skin color, "culture", the way you dress, or things like that- no, it's about actions, responsibility, and consequences.

A vast majority of the people I see, with my own eyes, doing things that bother me in this town, are of a particular "ethnic group". Noticing this is not racism. Most of the people in that ethnic group are not doing those things, and I see bad things that people of other ethnic groups do and I don't cut them any slack, either. But, the majority of the property damage, theft, and aggression that I see or hear about in this area (not to mention littering, and most violations of counterfeit "laws", which I don't even count as being bad at all) is done by a small number of individuals, and it just so happens that most of those individuals belong to the same ethnic group.

If you don't like people thinking poorly of your ethnic group- or whatever group you may be included in by people who don't know you- then you really should do something to set yourself apart. Or, even try to fix the problem if it is within your power to do so. I certainly try to when it's my "guilt-by-association" cropping up. Because it may not be right, and it certainly isn't "fair", but it is reality. It will happen, so deal with it.


No comments:

Post a Comment