Chuck Terzella Editorial: The Bias by Us

I’ve been thinking about Asians. Well, more than Asians, I’ve been thinking about everybody and the way I react to them. My problem is I don’t know if I’m a biased or prejudiced person. I probably am; we probably all are in some way, shape or form, but my point is do the biases I have make me a bad person?

Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary tells me that Bias means ‘a mental leaning or inclination; prepossession; propensity towards an object; not leaving the mind indifferent.’. It also tells me that bias is a weight in the side of a bowling ball that causes it to curve in it’s course, not to mention a fixed voltage applied to an electrode which has nothing to do with what I’m talking about, but there you are.

Anyway, let’s get back to the real reason I’m writing this, which is how I perceive young Asian men. I can’t look at a twenty something Asian male without thinking that if he wants to he can kill me in a second with some esoteric karate/aikido/martial arts thing that obviously all young Asian males know how to do, even if they were born in Cincinnati and are Art history majors in school. ( You know, it must be great…. all’s you’ve got to do is stand there with a slight scowl on your face, looking all inscrutable and people automatically assume you’re a stone killer. Plus that straight hair thing is too cool.) You can even be a ninety pound weakling and it doesn’t matter, cause everybody knows that size means nothing when you’re a black belt heart pulling karate dude.

Of course, it’s not just Asian males that evoke some kind of biased based response. I can’t look at a kid in baggy rapper clothes and a parka without figuring that he’s carrying a Glock 9mm or at least a Colt and will start spraying lead wildly if I happen to beat him to a parking space at the mall ( come to think of it, I can’t look at any eight year old school kid, girl or boy, without feeling that they’re quietly planning out how to blow away the principal and a janitor or two at the local grammar school).

It’s not a racial thing either, cause every white guy in a pickup truck back in the mountains where I used to live was to my mind a racist red neck beer swilling wife beating mouth breather… and that goes for my friends too, some of whom aren’t even married. And don’t get me started on priests.

It’s not just me either. I believe everyone’s biased against me as well. I feel like every pretty woman who looks at me thinks I’m an ugly, disgusting letch (which may not be a bias but a sad recognition of an indisputable truth), every conservative I talk to thinks I’m too radical while every radical thinks I’m too conservative (actually, they’re both right- I like to think of myself as a liberal, tree-hugging gun lover).

I’m biased against religious fanatics of any persuasion because I perceive them to be, well, religious fanatics. I’m biased against George Bush because…uh, ok that’s an obvious one. I have a strong bias against people who think that it’s necessary to drive an eight cylinder SUV around town as their family car and people who moan about how much they’ve lost in the stock market while forgetting that they didn’t do anything to actually earn that money in the first place. I’m biased against people who invoke the name of God as a justification for going out and bombing innocent people, ours or theirs, ( and these are not just the religious fanatics either; remember, there is no cause that can be considered holy that involves killing people… it may be right and just or just wrong, but it ain’t holy.) In a related vein, I’m biased against people who consider Islam or Christianity or Judaism, Hinduism, Shintoism or any other ism you can think of as a ” religion of peace”. No religion is peaceful. None. Except maybe Unitarianism. I’ve never heard of a Unitarian Holy War. But maybe that’s next week.

You see, I have a lot of biases and I suspect you all do too. You might be biased against people who feel they have a right to spout about all the things they’re biased about. And quite frankly, I couldn’t agree more.