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View Diary: Research Study Explains How U.S. Media Brainwashes The Public (288 comments)

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  •  Great piece! (8+ / 0-)

    I agree with everything you said. I'm a 51-year-old white woman. I find Tim Wise's tone creepy and off-putting. He doesn't seem to offer a path by which we could all grapple with the ways in which our shared human nature leads us to be complicit in horrific acts and institutions. Instead he seems to be bent on making racism a unique failing of the white race and, as you said, reading the minds of white people and declaring that we're incapable of understanding this, that and the other thing. He comes across to me as someone who would like to score points for being the white person who kicks white people the most. None of that is helpful in encouraging people to employ empathy, imagination and a desire for justice to racial issues.

    I also strongly agree with you about the fact that we have imaginations and can, if we put our minds to it, go some fair distance towards empathizing with other people. That's different than saying that we know exactly how things are for them or presuming to speak for them. But to declare that people can have no idea what it's like is essentially to let them off the hook, to say that they shouldn't even bother trying to imagine. For instance, I don't think that you, as a man, can know exactly what it's like for us women to have to plan or curtail our public activities with the thought always in our minds that someone may decide to physically attack us and subject us to horrific sexual torture. But if you put your mind to it, you can imagine a fair bit. Similarly, as a middle class American woman, I don't know exactly what it's like to be a woman in Afghanistan, where the physical attacks on women come far more frequently than they do here and do much, much more to make women afraid to set foot outside their homes even in broad daylight-- but if I put my mind to it, I can imagine a fair bit. None of us knows exactly what it's like to deal with any of the crap that other groups have to put up with, but that's not a reason not to try to imagine -- and then do something about it. Demonizing groups and declaring that they simply can never understand anything and that they are uniquely evil in their inability to understand -- that isn't going to get us anywhere except into narrower little boxes.

    Please visit:

    by Noisy Democrat on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 09:15:06 AM PST

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