News and views from the award-winning author of the Class H Trilogy: AMERICA LIBRE, HOUSE DIVIDED and PANCHO LAND

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An indictment on the violent nature of white Christians?

Spotted at church and once again behind bars in Arizona, escaped murderer Stacy Province is tied to last week’s slaying of an elderly couple at a campground in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Were Mr. Province a minority or a Muslim, this story would be about race or religion. But "white" is the default setting for U.S. culture. So we just assume he is simply a dangerous criminal, not an example of the violent nature of white Christians.


Convicted killer Tracy Province told authorities he was relieved the manhunt was over when he was arrested.
Full New York Times story

There is a universal human tendency to generalize about people different from ourselves. We deny the individuality of "others" yet freely acknowledge the variability of character within our own group.

The anti-immigrant ethnic finger-pointing over the tragic deaths of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz and Sister Denise Mosier of Virgina demonstrate how this human frailty is being abused by a growing number of opportunistic politicians and pundits.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez

2 comments:

Vincent said...

Forgive me for nitpicking here, dear Raul, but in this sentence -

So we just assume he is simply a dangerous criminal, not an example of the violent nature of white Christians.

- doesn't your use of "we" imply that you expect your reader to be a white Christian? Or at any rate sympathetic to them?

Raul Ramos y Sanchez said...

Thanks for your comment,Vincent. I use "we" to include everyone -- in the U.S at least. I believe there is a widespread mindset in the U.S. that "white Christian male" is the default setting for membership in our society. That's why even women, who outnumber men, are still considered a "minority." This misconception is so pervasive, one could argue it's subconscious. What's more, it is not just limited to white Christian males. Even members of our ethnic and religious "minorities" often fall into this mental trap.