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View Diary: Am I Racist? w/poll (87 comments)

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  •  interesting... (3+ / 0-)
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    davidincleveland, Wary, NCrissieB

    does this suggest that it has more to do with human nature than anything else?  Is it simply our "nature" to form certain bonds and defend against "outsiders?"

    •  When the "outsiders" were hungry lions.... (5+ / 0-)

      We didn't concern ourselves with the morality of tribalism and protecting our own when the "outsiders" were hungry lions.  Protecting "our own" against the "outsiders" is how Tree Apes survived as Plains Apes rather than becoming Pootie Poop.

      The fact that we're no longer a comparative handful of newly-relocated Plains Apes trying to survive on the savannah doesn't erase millenia of evolutionary adaptations, including the cognitive adaptations that encouraged us to protect "our own."

    •  Yes, but (5+ / 0-)

      the nature of those bonds and the definition of outsiders is malleable and changing constantly.

      •  Yes, and it is easily misused. (5+ / 0-)

        The impulse to protect "our own" against "outsiders" is a biological trait shared by most social species.  Indeed, you could argue it's one of the traits that defines a species as "social."  It's not very highly advanced; even ants colonies do it.

        Like any of our biological traits, we can and often do misuse it.  Our opposable thumbs make it easier to swaddle our babies to keep them warm.  But the same opposable thumbs make it easier to strangle someone, or grip a weapon with which to beat someone.  But we don't blame the thumbs when someone does that.... :)

        The impulse to protect "our own" against "outsiders" belongs in the same box as opposable thumbs: it is a biological trait for which we are morally responsible in whether, when, and how we apply it.  In the case you described, I think you applied it well, and have nothing for which you need to apologize.

    •  I don't know (3+ / 0-)
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      davidincleveland, Wary, NCrissieB

      I chalked the whole thing up to boys being boys, but was totally disgusted with the adults who were watching what should have been a teachable moment.  Maybe it is a matter on adults merely looking on and not taking leadership?

      In doing what you did, you assumed the role of a leader and lead the incident to a workable and peaceful conclusion, but in a situation that could have become a mob mentality moment.  One doesn't have to be a particular race to indulge in mob mentality, although stereotypically, whites attribute that to AAs more than they do to themselves.  

      "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

      by JFinNe on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 05:02:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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