In my book The Achievement Gap in US Education, I emphasized the distortions in thinking that can occur when people unquestioningly take the performance or behavior of one group (usually the majority group) as the norm and/or desirable, and evaluate all other groups by how they compare with that standard.
An example of that occurred a couple of days ago when John Sununu, former governor of New Hampshire and Mitt Romney surrogate, speculated in an interview that Colin Powell’s recent endorsement of Barack Obama was likely because Obama, like Powell, is black. After that gratuitous slap, he patronizingly went on to applaud Powell for his act of racial solidarity.
It seemed to never occur to the interviewer Piers Morgan to ask Sununu whether his support for Romney was because he was white. Such a question would have likely shocked Sununu. Even if the question had been asked and he replied that the difference was that Powell was crossing party lines to endorse Obama, the question could then have been posed as to why Joe Lieberman and other white current and former Democratic stalwarts who endorsed John McCain in 2008 were not speculated to have race as their primary motive.
One sees the same thing with sexuality where heterosexuality is taken as the norm because it is the majority. A key assumption of many of those who oppose equal rights for the LGBT community is that unlike race and sex, homosexuality is a choice and thus not deserving of legal protection against discrimination. Such people are rarely asked (except by comedians like those at The Hamster Wheel) at what age they themselves faced the choice of being homosexual or heterosexual or bisexual, and how they decided which way to go.
Being a member of the normative group means never having to explain your reasons.