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We are only a sort of They

Fellow correspondents tell me that they are noticing the same trend that has been worrying me for a while: newspaper editors seem to increasingly see Asia as a far-away place that doesn’t really need that much attention. “Those Asians, they are so different from us, their experience doesn’t relate to our daily life,” some seem to think. That of course, is a very limiting way of thinking. Some one hundred years ago, British author and poet Rudyard Kipling beautifully expressed how They are really Us:


Wednesday May 20, 2009
Japanese Stereotypes

All good people agree,
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And every one else is They:
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
As only a sort of They!

And as such we must keep our hearts and minds open and learn from each other. If we don’t, we quickly see only degrading stereotypes.

Image shows two US propaganda posters of WWII when stereotypes sunk to their lowest levels.

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