Small Blessings # 3: Harmless Stereotypes

November 24th, 2015, 11am

Stereotypes can be one of the most dangerous forces for evil in the world. They are the mechanism we use to dehumanize, to demonize the “other”: Blacks are lazy; American Indians are drunken; Muslims are terrorists; the elderly have dementia; Jews are greedy; blondes are dumb; Albanians are thieves . . . However true or untrue, these epithets become evil when used to characterize an entire people.

Australians can get very cranky at the beer-drinking, beach-culture stereotypes that circulate. We are not just a nation of beach bums and surfies. We are proud of our cultural institutions and humanitarian instincts. Our indigenous people represent one of the oldest continuous cultures on the planet, deeply spiritual and complex, distinctive and diverse. And come to think of it, we do rejoice in our beautiful beaches. Why ever not?

Small blessings: a walk on the beach. or under trees, or just down an old track.

Peter and Adrian said thanks.

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David Wade Chambers

Born in Oklahoma: 30 years in US. 6 years in Canada, 40 years in Australia. Academic field: history and philosophy of science. Currently, teach indigenous studies online at Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM) and Brandon University (Manitoba). Come visit our B&B on Australia's Great Ocean Road. Mate's Rates for Hi community! (

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