Dangers of a Single Story


The Strongest
Sep 3, 2015

What do you guys think about the dangers of a single story? Do you think this is what manifest stereotypes? Have you ever engaged in the dangers of a single story within your lifetime? What means who we have to take, as writers, as educators, as future bringers of the generations, to avoid such a thing?
This brings to mind a few things actually.

The first is the old stories one hears about the Fifties period of America, pure and innocent, the American South before the Civil War, a place of farmers and loving wives and children, and going further back the Catholic Church, a bastion of hope and defense against sin, the power of the British Empire and how it was "uplifting the savages," and other romanticized by-gone eras constructed by those with particular nostalgia and a hatred for modern times. The Fifties were racist, filled with mob corruption, and the pure goodness of God certainly didn't exist everywhere. The American South was built on a system of back breaking slavery justified by how "pure" and "cultured" those who profited off the system were. The Catholic Church, though a bastion of hope and goodness and responsible for civil rights advancements in some areas, stagnated, sheltered corrupt priests, and ordered the execution of the Templars for no good reason. The British Empire was racist, insufferably, and morally damnable in a lot of situations, not to mention the forced "uplifting" and indoctrination it preformed. From what the video says, these kinds of positive "single stories" are created to try and force an justification of the system post hoc to try and regain power by those who had power during those eras.

As to how to deal with the single story, the simplest answer is to teach people from a young age that there is no such thing as a single truth. A centimeter is exactly 1cm, but at the same time, it is also 10mm, and 0.01M. These views, some simpler than others, are all not wrong, but they are all only mostly right. Choosing only one would be leaving an incomplete view of what a centimeter is. The same can be said of people. These past sexual misconduct trials has people formerly safe in the seat of power screaming about how their rapist colleagues will only be remembered as rapists despite all the good things they did. Bill Cosby, Jimmy Saville, others I can't remember. And they have a point. The history books will jot them down as "secretly a rapist for the past twenty years of my life." And I know a sex offender. He's kind. He's sweet. He's caring. He's a wonderful father, and an amazing friend. He's brought a lot of joy into my life. But he statutory raped a girl and refuses to ever say he did anything wrong, and acts as if it doesn't matter. And so I won't remember him as a single story of a rapist. But I suppose it's a cultural thing to try and enforce that single story. Stupid, idiotic media trying to dumb down everything into just the headlines. So yes, rapists will be remembered as just that, no matter what. It's not wrong, or right, it's incomplete. They should be remembered for both the good, and the bad, as even Hitler gets that treatment with the "committed the third largest genocide ever, destroyed Europe, but hey he got Germany out of a depression and got them food again."

I don't know how to make all the villains and the heroes of life remembered like Hitler. For both the good and the bad. But I know it starts by solidly teaching nobody is ever just one thing, and making that lesson extend as children grow older. When they see the "British" character in an action series, they should intrinsically know that he's not representative of the country of Britain, he's just a funny guy with a monocle and a space blaster. That one news story doesn't define an entire country, or an institution. And that being a serial rapist makes someone horrible, but they made a lot of people laugh and cry through their childhoods. That is what the next generation needs, freedom from the culturally phenomenon of the single story.
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