A Blind Eye
I am not saying that all Asians look like, just that all Asians look alike to me. I know they don’t all look alike, but I know that in the same way I know that the moon landing was real, I take their word for it even though I can’t see it for my own eyes.
That is of course an exaggerated version of my experience well-documented “cross-race effect,” that it’s harder to tell people of other races apart.
Maybe there are some in-born genetic components to this, but I assume it’s because our brains don’t bother storing data they don’t think they’ll need. If you interact with a lot of white people in your daily life, you’re going to need to be able to tell them apart, and the more of them in your life, the more finely detailed your memory will need to be in order to distinguish between all of them.
On the other hand, let’s say you somehow know no one of any kind of Asian descent. Maybe you live in Bumfuck, Kentucky and suddenly a Korean accidentally moves to your town. All your brain would really need to store would be his Asian-ness, and you’d be set for never mixing him up with anyone else.
You’d probably also store his gender and a few other basics such as height and age guesstimations, but not much, just enough to tell him apart from that psychologist on Law & Order: SVU. If pressed for a description, you’d probably only be able to mention dark hair and “funny looking” eyes, the kind of stuff you’ve automatically stored just by storing the fact that he’s Asian. It’s not your fault. Though, if you ever get out of your shit hole town and move to a city with some diversity, it would behoove you to not think yourself a worthwhile eye witness to any crimes involving someone from a race not your own.
For the rest of us, the effect isn’t that strong, but it’s on a spectrum.
- Posted in: racial tension ♦ samples