Saturday, 5 May 2018

Power of Opinion

Saturday morning, and, having decided to cut my weekly washing into 4 loads rather than 2, I'm awaiting the machine wash-cycle's pleasure and watching the news on the BBC.

(I watch the Beeb because, frankly, I prefer their use of language - rather than the parochial butcherings of the US or South African news services.)

A segment on Honduran immigrants to the US comes on.
The Trump 'regime' (it's really a shit-show lead by an incompetent con artist, but 'regime' will do) has decided to end the protection given up to now to refugees from Honduras.


An elderly Honduran woman is among those interviewed. Speaking in Spanish, she opines that, while 'gringos' are undoubtedly intelligent, they sure aren't hard-working like Hondurans.

Now, that is a blanket statement of racial bias if ever I heard one. But she is elderly, non-White...and a woman. These 3 characteristics give her a status slightly above a doormouse in the social hierarchy. If she had been, say, a middle-aged White bloke, her statement amounting to "Whites are lazy" would have been roundly condemned, and probably not been allowed to be aired at all.But there she ws, on international television, blithely calling Whites lazy and no-one batting an eyelid.

What this underlined most strongly for me was that your position on the social ladder determines the power of your opinion. Someone (that middle-aged White bloke for example) has the power to,presumably, hire and fire people, and his opinion carries a much greater weight of authority than that of the elderly Latina woman. So she gets away with it, whereas he, these days, wouldn't.

And that's OK. With great privilege comes great responsiblity, both for our selves and for others, so the higher your social standing, the more powerful your every opinion truly becomes.

But for this morning, I just had a laugh-out-loud moment.