I was going to comment on the whole Women/Scifi/Brown people argument going on in other areas of this blog, but since the culprit said it better than I ever could have, I’ll just let his words speak for me. (Emphasis mine).
Now, does this surprise many of the readers of this weblog??? Ed was implying that only whites are the elite, but the reality is that Indian Americans might not be absolutely represented in the elite (being fewer than 1% of the population), but any given brown American is likely to be quite well off. There is at least one other regular brown frequenter of the wine bar, this, in a community with a trivial brown presence. I suppose Ed’s point was that stereotyping is pernicious, but I would contend that inaccurate stereotyping is especially pernicious, and I can’t believe that the snippet above reflects anything but rhetoric. Most Americans might be a bit surprised that Muslim Americans tend to be more well educated than the norm (this is true), but brown Americans, with our “dark skin” and “shiny black hair” are pretty visible in American life in particular positions (5% of American MDs are brown). We drive cabs, own and run motels, are physicians and college professors. We’re a diverse lot, but on average, brown Americans are well off and characterized by a high SES. I can’t believe Ed is so ignorant that he doesn’t know this, instead, he chooses to consciously be coarser in his classification of my identity and simply lump me into the broad amorphous swath of benighted colored folk. That’s fine, but the reality is that he has enough information to know that the characterization is just not accurate. That being said, we are a diverse community, and Bangaldeshi Americans are much more likely to be working class than Indian Americans. And I am a Bangladeshi American. But on a further level of granularity my father has a Ph.D., and you would assume that someone who has the leisure to blog and read as much as I was not derived from deprived circumstances. The more information you have the more accurate and precise the picture becomes, and where you stop dictates your assumptions based on generalities framed by a variance or error. I think that most Americans know today that South Asians are rather affluent, but I do not believe they know that the very small Bangladeshi community is not so much, nor do most Amerians know my own background. I conclude therefore that Ed was being disingenious because he wanted to portray me in a particular manner.
I think I’m gonna cook up a heaping plate of crow tonight, I wonder if perhaps anyone would like some for dinner?