Tuesday, September 24, 2013
HONY Captures A Common Misconception
Everyone was telling me their ethnicity. (From right to left: 'Jew-rican,' Puerto Rican, African-Cherokee.) When it came around to the girl on the left, one of her friends said: "She's just a white girl."
To which she responded: "I'll have you know my great grandfather eloped with a Gypsy maid!"
The HONY (Humans of New York) Facebook page is one of my favorite instant media outlets, in terms of how I'm able to get a better look into the lives of diverse New Yorkers around me in the form of stunning portraiture.
A few days ago, HONY photographed this group of friends. They each told their ethnicity to Brandon, the man behind the camera and the work of HONY. However, the three 'ethnically diverse' friends on the right labeled their friend on the left as "just white." This really bothered me, because I feel that there is such an emphasis on the idea of the minority that anyone who is white is dismissed as being "just white." I'm making the point that no ethnicity is more important than another, and we shound't dismiss one because of the color of that person's skin.
This makes me thing of scholarship essays for students in college, as well. Many organizations that give out scholarships provide for minorities, or what they believe to be the minority. When I had to apply for college, the common joke around me was that everyone wished they were Native American or Chinese, because then at least they'd get a shot at a scholarship.
What do you guys think? Is the idea of "just white" a dismissal of the cultural background of an individual? And what do you guys think about the idea of a white student with scholarships?
Here's the direct HONY like, by the way: