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View Diary: Ending racism—one person at a time (549 comments)

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  •  Racism is as human as opposable thumbs. (7+ / 0-)

    Hardly the exclusive province of Americans.

    Probably even served a useful purpose at some point in our evolution in terms of rapid friend/foe decisions.

    Does that mean that we're stuck with it?

    I hope not.  

    We are endowed with more than our hard-wired reactions.  We also have brains that can learn and can analyze the facts independent of any hard-wired reactions we may have.

    Every child that learns that friendship has more to do with being there for you instead of looking like you is a step in the right direction.

    Even if we don't reach every child.
    Even if we can't eliminate that primitive wiring.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 01:48:02 PM PST

    •  Well, we tend to think of racism in terms (11+ / 0-)

      of black/white/brown, etc, but use the term "ethnicity" when it comes to groups of white people discriminating against one another. However, if you go back and look at the "ethnic" tensions in the late Austro-Hungarian empire which were still being played out in the Balkan Wars of the 90's (and are still not finished playing out) and if you look at how people were thinking and writing at the time, they were thinking in terms of race, in the sense of an Hungarian and a Croat were different races, the "Slavic race", the "German race", etc.  

      In that way, racism is everywhere.

    •  "We are endowed with more than our hard-wired... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve Canella

      ...reactions.  We also have brains that can learn and can analyze the facts independent of any hard-wired reactions we may have.
      But how does everyone learn?
      Some, possibly based on their brains hard wiring may learn by "manipulated rationality".  Hardly an alteration
      method for a change in what has been hard wired.

      •  Ain't that the big dilemma? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bkamr, ChurchofBruce, Steve Canella

        I've seen huge changes from my childhood days, so learning must be possible.

        The single most powerful teacher I can think of is personal experience --- if you encounter people you like, respect, love (or hate) it will affect you.

        In adults, it may be nothing more satisfying than "he/she's not like the other (fill in the blank)", but if it gets the kids together with a chance to know and like each other, maybe a little bit of progress is made.

        I wish I knew something better to say than that, other than the obvious vigilant efforts to stamp any legally recognized vestiges of segregation and inequality.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 02:43:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This partly depends on what (0+ / 0-)

      you mean by racism.

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 02:37:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's an interesting comment (0+ / 0-)

        And a point well-taken, because there is the sort of built-in instinctive "not like me" racism that we're all born with, but there is also intentional kind of racism a la Nazis and the Klan.

        I wonder, though, if the former fades away, how the latter can continue outside the realm of misfits and malcontents.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 02:46:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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