Prejudging people you don’t know is prejudice…

Wow!…. Just wow! After reading the articles I had a completely different idea in my head of where the conversation would go about them. After reading some of the responses I was shocked to see that it turned to the prejudice (and yes as what I saw I believe was judgement of people that no one of us knows personally i said prejudice…) idea that these “older white males” were looking for a time when they were in charge. As a historian, I thought of the idea of reenacting as a way to keep history while also escaping one’s own grinding life as something both harmless and possibly exiting. I find it ridiculous that the practice happens to be more popular with a certain race, age range, and gender inherently makes it exclusionary, especially when both articles showed more inclusion on the part of the reenactors by far. I found the most important part of the article to be the idea that,”But what all institutions focused on the Civil War (era) all have in common is a belief that history matters… And in doing so, they believe that our lives and those of our communities are greatly enriched.”(“Why Doesn’t Anyone Think It’s Cool to Dress Up Like a Confederate Soldier Anymore?”) History is full of unfortunate things like racism, slavery, genocide, and general atrocities but that does not mean that people reenact certain times because they believe that these things are right but because they want to escape their own existence, which too has all of the aforementioned terrible things. Nor should it mean that we simply choose to forget the past. This video shows how even a single claim that a Civil War reenactment by Middle schoolers could be canceled by a single claim of racism or sexism. ( http://www.kiro7.com/news/local/parents-complain-schools-civil-war-reenactment-racist-sexist/266085812 )Are their racists and misogynists among reenactors? Probably, but that is in line with the fact that there are racists in the world today.

With the Wikipedia articles I felt quite different. It was made clear that people’s ideas were being suppressed because of their views, ideas or gender. Therefore I think that Wikipedia needs to reevaluate their process and goals. (Of course I do not really care for Wikipedia anyway nor ever have due to the idea that I have known people that think they know a lot more than what they do because someone told them so…)The only other thing I can say is somewhat of a repeat of what I stated above which is, the world was not and is not a perfect place. In opening Pandora’s Box of equality there is always a blow back of sorts from those that were/ are privileged.“It is ironic,” he said, “because I like these things — freedom, openness, egalitarian ideas — but I think to some extent they are compounding and hiding problems you might find in the real world.”(Define Gender Gap? Look Up Wikipedia’s Contributor List) Lastly I would say that I understand the idea that Mrs. Gardner said it best in the idea that all people should be encouraged to put their voice forward when she said, “Gender is a huge hot-button issue for lots of people who feel strongly about it,” she said. “I am not interested in triggering those strong feelings.”(Define Gender Gap? Look Up Wikipedia’s Contributor List)

One thought on “Prejudging people you don’t know is prejudice…”

  1. I want to address your post regarding the “prejudice” found in the blogs posted for this section. You are probably right to point out that most of us don’t know anything about reenactors and we should all be cautious about assuming things. I am chastened. In my defense, I could only draw conclusions from the materials we reviewed and my own limited experiences with the WWII and Civil War reenactors I know. Generally, and I emphasize that word, they view the characters that portray (none of historical significance) as better than citizens today. They portray people willing to risk their lives for a romanticized ideal, something bigger and more important than themselves. I respect that. Unfortunately, in striving for period authenticity, they portray men who are often sexists, racists, misogynists and cruel. I know these reenactors well, but in these portrayals I have to wonder how much of that is striving for authenticity or a desire to inhabit that world and those roles.

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