In an anthropology class I took, the teacher would mention a “We”/”They” attitude quite frequently. During the class I didn’t really understand much of what she meant but now, a year later, I see it.
I’m beginning to notice how people put all “good” and familiar people in a group labeled “We/Us” and all “bad”, unfamiliar people in a group called “They/Them”
I know that in the past anthropologists had considered themselves as “we” and the culture they were studying as “them” which made a very distinct line between the studyier and the studied which in turn made it difficult for the anthropologists to really understand the culture he/she was trying to study because they couldn’t accept the customs or beliefs because it wasn’t “their” culture.
(((( ^^Source: The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge by Jeremy Narby ))))
But I also see this when “normal” people talk about psychopaths. “They don’t have emotions.” “They do terrible things.” Its not “we do terrible things” or “Some of our fellow humans don’t feel emotions” (*Side note* That is untrue, psychopaths feel emotions, they just don’t sympathize if I’m not mistaken.)
Or “my son is getting bullied in school, they need to be taught a lesson” (*Another side note* Every female who has told me they were bullied as a kid either previously or later called me an uncalled-for nasty name, AND never apologized.)
But I guess what I’m trying to get at is why do we have these groups of “us”= good intentioned, often victimized by the “they”= bad, malicious people?
Why don’t we just accept that there is no “they” there’s just us, we are all part of humanity. And we’re not always perfect.
We spend our whole life making distinctions between people, between us, and them.
My distinction is between the corrupt in politics and the people. My Us and them is broader than most but i still dont want to be associated with them. For they are people i never want to become, they lie and cheat their way around for money. However i can understand how they can be we, how i can become one of them and how it would be a gradual change from straight as an arrow to corrupt dog on a leash belonging to the highest bidder, i see the attraction of easy money.
However most people distinguish between as you said, those they like and those they dislike. I got bullied as a kid by people who did not like the fact that i would not say anything unless i had something meaningful to say. They did not like me because they felt i was weird and didnt fit in since i refused to talk shit about people. In my head i called them ignorant and idiots but i never said it to their faces because i refuse to talk shit about people.
You see i call them they because im my mind we are so difference in ideologies, for i could never join their group for i wont talk shit about people and it is suprising how much of high school conversations revolve around talking shit about people.
For in order to say WE we must include ourselves in their group and accept their way of living. In order to say we, we must think they include us in their group. I cannot accept that they would. I say WE about you and me and the Heathens because we are free thinkers and i belong here. However they would never accept themselves as part of this community because they lack the thought process and would end up talking about how much the hate someone rather than what to do about it.
It is not natural for us to say we. It is habit to say they, as i understood when i started writing and realised i had been writing they. In my mind it is they who made this divide my making a point not to accept me rather than me not accepting them. Perhaps if this community made a point not to accept me then i might start referring to us as they with me out of the we
I thought to write something and here i have written.