Racial and Ethnic Stereotyping
The ab0ve link has a purpose, How can this English troupe, portray the French is such a light and not create a great stir, and possible incidents? Few (Though more than we’d like) nations have such a long running enmity, yet I can recall no French person ever protesting, or being concerned with such trivia. They can be aroused, as protest over McDonald‘s and Disney Theme parks have shown, and the relations of Quebec, to the rest of Canada have evidenced.
My understanding is that they are not particularly enamored (until their last election?) of George W Bush. I recall Chris Matthews and Patrick Buchanan discussing Rudy Giuliani’s Florida Strategy, where Buchanan said he was acting like Charles DeGaulle (they will come to me) and Chris said so you’re calling Rudy a Frog? , to which he immediately broke up laughing, and they determined that this was not a winning strategy in the United States.
Now I do not at this point advocate such insensitivity to Ethnic, Racial or Religious divisions in the United States, I would like to examine how the English and the French got from there to where they are now. While jokes like that would fall flat in Paris, they don’t really care about stupid stuff like that, and don’t seek confrontation over them, so you can crack a joke without any meaningful consequences.They remember, I’m sure all the stupid stuff and can recite it, but it no longer resonates in any meaningful way in their interpersonal relations, maybe never did.
The Frog vs the Goddamns was the cast of the Napoleonic Wars. Now, they just press for the best balance of Mutual Prosperity How did they move away from mutual antipathy, excepting fighting two wars together against Germany, whom they both also view less adversely now. I was actually thrilled to find that both France and Germany were united at one time in their low opinion of George W Bush, preferring to concentrate on that wonderful union as amazing even though it meant we were the villain of the moment.
The stereotypes themselves are basically false, The British (and we Americans) tend to portray the French as obnoxious twits ( which is oddly the way we view our elites also). The French got tagged as poor soldiers (after the swift 1940 collapse) which considering they marched all over Europe under Napoleon Bonaparte, and were anything but poor soldiers. The Italians also get pegged as losers on the battlefield when they were the Roman Legions. It’s just not true, yet we giggle and laugh and make snide remarks.
The Jews have been pegged as being “Rich and Powerful”, when the Jews of Poland or Russia (those still left) would beg to differ. Hermann Goering and Hitler and the Prewar Japanese, had us pegged as self absorbed hedonists that could be disregarded easily, never mind the Unconditional Surrender we imposed on the South in the first total war. Or was it, considering we fought both world war enemies with essentially one hand tied behind our backs like we fought the South (Germany was 1st but you would have had a hard time convincing Japan of that). The point being, that most of our prejudices are subject for comedy only and bear no relation to reality. If we just throw out the misconceptions that we have formed, or at least recognize them, them we can have the talk between us we need. Then in the future, we can look back at this with the detachment (yet the connection) that the French and the British display towards each other now?
It’s not that they cannot be “Racist”, they can, but they no longer single each other out anymore. It goes all the way down the line Black, White, Hispanic, Rich, Poor, Republican, Democrat, Gay, Straight, Catholic, Protestant and so on. How did they do it, can we do it as well, or do the British and the French still despise each other and I don’t know anything. The old line was God created a paradise (France) on earth, then he said, this is “too perfect”, so he created Frenchman? I’ve seen Frenchman laugh at that one. they care I’m sure to some degree, but it’s generally irrelevant to them? How, what can we learn and apply it to our own ills? Can we speed it up and control it, or should we wait for our children to eventually say they don’t think that way anymore or both?