Monday, March 21, 2011
Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear
Read a great article today on the Bonnie Blue Blog dealing with the topic of racism, especially the accusation thereof. Here it is at: http://thebonnieblueblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/on-racism-and-human-nature.html#comments
At one point, the blogger has this to say:
'The mere association of an individual with the label is enough to taint the person in the eyes of many, quite separate from the truth or accuracy of the label. With such a label- damaged reputation, the person's or institution's influence will wane. Such is the power of using public labels--the accuser is elevated, the accused is diminished.
In fact, this is a commonly used courtroom tactic: say something outrageous about the accused, or a potentially powerful witness, then withdraw the statement to avoid the objection, and the damage is done. The jury has heard the words. Their opinion is tainted, despite the judge's instruction: "The Jury will disregard..." As a lawyer friend of mine is fond of saying: "Just ignore the big pink elephant in the back of the room…" '
What is really great about this post is the way the writer describes our visceral reaction to differences in culture as being the delineator, not concerns about race, nationality, or gender. Ethnicity, yes, in the cultural differences that signal that ethnicity. Language, dress (costume), etc. While liberals attempt to define conservatives and libertarians with the racist label (and divert attention from their inability to argue logically) he explains the motivators that are fairly universal within the human race: the sense of "strangeness" that causes discomfort or distrust. Yet he speaks clearly of his attempt to censor these feelings when they occur, to try to judge individuals for who they are rather than categorizing them by their differences.
It is well written and worth the time. I didn't see anything in his post that I disagree with. Read it when you can.