About Pet Sins Webzine
Skip navigation and go to main content

Pet Sins July 2005 Issue
The particularism of non-Europeans vs the universality of Europeans?

With the media focus on stories of ethnic conflict in African and Asian countries and the necessity of Western intervention to 'solve' these problems, many people in different parts of the world have the notion that non-whites are generally parochial in their world view and hopelessly divided. Westerners, on the other hand, are seen as open-minded, globally-conscious people who can broker peace between non-Western peoples.

Many non-Europeans look to the West for salvation, seeing the white European as the 'universal acceptor' who is innately able to interact successfully with people from different cultures. The white European is also seen as the 'universal donor' whose face and culture the rest of the world can identify with. Sounds a little far-fetched? Then why are we seeing more white European faces than native or other non-white faces in the advertising displayed in non-European countries?

In this issue, we will take a brief glimpse at views of the European as 'universal donor', and question the notion that only Europeans are 'universal acceptors' who possess the global outlook for working across ethnic lines. There is nothing at all wrong with the West helping the rest of the world. We merely wish to point out that non-Western countries and individuals also possess the power to aid one another, and have been doing so since antiquity.