based on economic system and lifestyle, but where do we stop? And, if there is no place to stop, what remains?

African philosopher Kwasi Wiredu claims that throwing the colonizing power out of your country is much easier than throwing the colonizer out of your mind. The real damage to indigenous people who are colonized by a foreign power or indeed to any group that internalizes negative assumptions about itself is the colonization of the mind. Women, gays, lesbians and bisexuals, and members of racial and ethnic minorities are especially vulnerable to mental colonization. We form our identity in large part from images of ourselves we fi nd in visual media and in language systems. If we accept the premise that all texts are constructed, one task might be to uncover assumptions of superiority-inferiority built into the language system. In this chapter we’ve looked at some of the more obvious tasks of deconstructing racist, sexist, and classist assumptions about reality. Many of us would agree that deconstructing these often harmful assumptions is a good thing and will help us reach a more neutral way of describing reality. But our second challenge is, Where do we stop? If everything is a text—your conversations and even your thoughts—and if all texts are constructed, must we keep deconstructing until there is nothing left? At its extreme, the process of deconstruction seems to take us precisely to this point. In a certain sense, there are no “neutral” statements. Every statement contains assumptions about reality, about the characteristics of what is being described, about what is “right,” “wrong,” “valuable,” “worthless.” When we start peeling away the constructed layers of meaning, we might agree that prejudice should go as should certain narrow ways of viewing the world that are based on economic system and lifestyle, but where do we stop? And, if there is no place to stop, what remains?

find the cost of your paper

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