1. The speaker in the poem, "I, Too" by Langston Hughes, tells of the discrimination he receives from the white people he works for. He is othered and shamed into to the kitchen when the white company enters the room. He says, "I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes" (Hughes 2-4). This is an example of racial othering. The speaker is forced to conceal himself from the prejudice minds of others in order to follow America's past social norms. However, Hughes does not dwell, rather he explains to readers how this bias will soon end. Racists will learn that the act of othering those with different skin colors will leave them will guilt in the future. He illustrates, "Tomorrow, I’ll be at the table when company comes... They’ll see how beautiful I am and be ashamed— I, too, am America " (Hughes 9-10, 16-18). As an African American, the speaker recognizes the beauty of his culture and has faith that one day African Americans will be seen as equals in their own country. 2. Racial otherness is also shown in the novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird. African Americans in the town of Maycomb are treated with disrespect and bigotry. Scout's father, Atticus conveys his contempt towards racists. He says, "There is nothing more sickening to me that a low-grade white man who’ll take advantage of a Negro. Don’t fool yourselves -it’s all adding up and one of these days we’re going to pay the bill for it” (Lee 296). Atticus explains to Scout and Jem some of the realities of black prejudice. Unlike most of the town, Atticus continuously recognizes the horrible othering of African Americans in Maycomb. Both pieces show the reader the consequences of othering African American's the effects it has on those who practice it.
1. Actress Thandie Newton describes during her TED Talk, her journey to accepting her "otherness." Newton was raised by an English father and African mother, whose lifestyle was not always accepted by her small town of England. She uses the term "self" throughout her speech, as an ever-changing identity which is formed on the basis of others. She also refers to the idea that when a person reaches a certain age, their life becomes determined by separatism. Thandie Newton was othered by her peers whose words caused her to define herself with anxiety and shame. She says, "The self is a projection, based on other people's projections." Newton explains how the opinions and judgments wielded at her began to shape her self. Even from the age of five, she knew she was an anomaly. For years she struggled with low-self esteem and the constant feeling of otherness. However, as Thandie Newton speaks, she relays to the audience the reasons for her strong desire to belong. She says, "The self likes to fit, to see itself replicated, to belong. That confirms its existence and its importance... But my skin color wasn't right. My hair wasn't right. My history wasn't right. My self-became defined by otherness." Newton felt as though she was considered an "other" before anything else. The discrimination she felt left her no pride in her culture or self. 2. In To Kill a Mockingbird, there are instances where Scout feels a similar kind of otherness. Though her separation was not according to race, Scout too had trouble defining herself among the conservative, "stuck in their ways" people of Maycomb. Unlike most girls in the 1930's, Scout was a tough, strong-minded, and curious girl. She was often ridiculed for wearing overalls and playing with her brother. Scout tried to fit in with her Aunt's group of friends but finds herself struggling to please them. Scout was unsure of how to act and unable to define who she truly was. However, just like Newton, Scout eventually learned how to continue growing without shame and embrace her otherness.
1. The document, "Us and Them," by Jagoda Romanowska focuses on ethnocentrism as an aspect of otherness which is described as “The conviction that the observer’s society occupies a central – and thus privileged – position in the world, while other societies and cultures remain on the outskirts of ‘our world" (Romanowska). The article also speaks about the intolerance and hostility that is brought out by the division people create between those different from them. An exhibition called "Us and Them" created by the PAU-PAN Scientific Library in Krakówthe demonstrates otherness through collections of illustrations and films. An anthropologist named Sir Edmund Leach who is analyzing the exhibition says, “us” and “them” dichotomy stems from the binary opposition between “human” and “non-human”. It is the reason we divide ourselves into “us” – or true people, and “them” – or false people" (Leach). Associating ourselves with different categories from others only enforces the idea of othering and deepens issues of someone's attitude towards it. 2. In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, the examples of othering, specifically relating to superiority, closely resemble those in the article. When Aunt Alexandra visits the Finch's, she reveals to Scout her sense of self-importance and often speaks as if their family should receive higher standards than others. When Scout questions her disapproval of her friend, Aunt Alexandra says, “Because---he-----is----trash, that's why you can't play with him. I'll not have you around him, picking up his habits and learning Lord-knows-what” (Lee 301). Similar to the people described in the article, Aunt Alexandra chooses to separate herself from others. Her example to Scout reinforces the idea ethnocentrism and dehumanization, and exhibits Leaches' analysis between the binary opposition of "human" and "non-human" or "us" and "them."
1. The article, "The Problem of Othering" by John a. Powell and Stephen Menendian, exemplifies "the other" by explaining how it has become the source of almost every global, national, and regional challenge. The document emphasizes cases of othering that are expressed on the basis of group-based identities or membership, such as race and religion. Examples of group-based othering are exhibited in the report by those in positions of power such as Donald Trump and his opinions on Muslim bans and border control. The article quotes other politicians condemning the current president. They say "it's creating scapegoats of Muslim and Mexican immigrants" (Powell and Menendian). The document claims that blaming specific ethnicities for a country's pressing issues, enforces othering among a population, and the"persistence of discrimination" of those being othered. The article also relates group-othering to a much less severe feeling most people have experienced. The authors describe, "such as discomfort of entering into a conversation in which we are not well versed or the embarrassment arising from being dressed inappropriately for a place or occasion" (Powell and Menendian). 3. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, there are many examples of othering, especially surrounding the idea of group othering. Scout resembles this feeling of discomfort described in the text when she and her brother Jem attend Tom Robinson's trial and are seated by Calpurnia in the section for African Americans. She says, "they did not want us here. I sensed, rather than saw, that we were being advanced upon… In her place was a solid mass of colored people." Scout and Jem are first exposed to racial othering themselves during this moment and from then begin to see how African Americans in Maycomb must feel each and every day.