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Charlotte Preston

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Do you feel comfortable talking to someone of a different race about racial issues and stereotypes?

I love to talk to open minded people about how silly and unnecessary it is for racism to exist. We have great liberating conversations that all suggest at the end of the day that all people have the same basic needs....Peace, Love and Happiness!

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  • Oct 11 2012: As a writer/poet, it always amazes me how quickly people get uncomfortable when hearing race issues expressed openly. Most people think they're cool with the discussion, until truth is expressed, as Bob Marley said, "if the cap fits ......",

    So, I feel comfortable speaking on these issues, but, people should remember that racism has so many subversive levels & subtleties, that, when people are asked to actually look at their behaviour & attitudes, that's when you see that this is a very prevalent problem & issue for numerous people, probably moreso, in a lot of ways today, than the days of the KKK ... etc ... It's easy to play along now, whilst harboring racist views & attitudes, hence, i'd suggest that, if you walked into a bar & started the conversation, many people would find a way to smoothly escape ... just my opinion of course.

    Finally, as a black man, let me just stress that racism starts in a lot of instances, within it's own racial groupings, a very important thing to recognise & for these communities to acknowledge ... caste systems etc & unbelievable levels of internal race discrimination within the black community, not fiction, but, FACT.

    Unity & frank open discussion is the only way to hopefully reduce that, which, will never be eradicated.
  • Oct 10 2012: Hi. New here, from UK. So take a chance and tell you that "race" is a social construct.....ie there is no such thing in "reality".....mainly what we call "race" was invented by a guy named A. J. Comt DeGobineau - you can probably Google him - my wife studied this for her Degree. She says "There is only one Race, the Human Race"... she was born in West Africa.
    The Neandethals might have argued this, but, according to Andrew Marr's "History of the World (BBC) , we ate some of them and drove the rest of them to extinction.
    • Oct 11 2012: Good points John.

      I also believe that race is a social construct but this does not make racism any less destructive or "real." I think that there is value in educating people about what it means to be a part of the human race ... and to go a step further, what it means to be a responsible global citizen by living honorably.
      • Oct 12 2012: Thanks Juniper Blue. I think what you are calling racism is based on a false premise ie. DeGob's idea that there are separate races - there is earlier work done to try to prove criminality was related to physical appearance (believe it or not), and of course later the Nazis tried to apply this kind of thing to the Jewish people they held captive during WW2. The idea is well known these days in Sociology leading to "Demonising" of a section of society etc.
        What interests me is Why people should want to do this. It seems to me that the need to persecute others is based on low self esteem, like other forms of "bullying". I agree that the answer lies in education and rehabilitation.
        • Oct 12 2012: Interesting perspective John. It may make more sense to use terms like discrimination, ridicule, battery, abuse, marginalization, inequality, exclusion, bullying, genocide, demonising, or other more specific descriptors to describe the phenomenon of oppression that underrepresented, underprivileged and "minority" groups experience in (generally) disproportionate degrees.

          I am not sure how language can be used most effectively to help people discuss and understand these issues. Education is essential in prevention/intervention and rehabilitation of the abusers and those targeted for abuse is also necessary. How to use language to improve our understanding?? You got me on this.


          Language can be helpful and harmful in that language has the abilty to promote ideas but also to perpetuate innacurrate ideas ( like the idea of race). Still, changes in terms, can be difficult to adjust to in that a term like "racism" or even "homophobia" has a certain established general public recognition. There may be better ways to communicate about these issues but it may take time to learn how to accurately address and describe social inequities and the roots of marginalization (etc.) behavior.

          I too, would like to better understand the "why" factor ... Yet, it seems hard to even determine and discuss the "what" here.

          Are there any liguists out there with helpul ideas in this? I am at a loss.
  • Oct 10 2012: I feel comfortable talking about racial issues and stereotypes. I see racism as any other problem that humanity faces; and I see all human beings as stakeholders in finding a solution to this evil.
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    Oct 10 2012: No, if the other side takes this issue too seriously.
    Yes, if the other side realizes how meaningless and ridiculous this issue is and is ready to laugh at it.

    The irony is that if either side has these stereotypes, it's very difficult to discuss them in a civilized manner. If the other side does not have these stereotypes, there is no reason to discuss them.

    Both ways, keeping our mouths shut is, often, the wisest choice. Even if we don't have any stereotypes, our words are very easy to misinterpret. We cannot know if the other person has stereotypes without knowing that person. We need to listen first to know what to say or not to say. We also need to watch carefully if we ourselves don't have the very same stereotypes.

    Same goes for religion.
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      Oct 10 2012: Not sure what you mean by "how meaningless and ridiculous this issue is," because I don't agree that racial stereotypes are either of those things. I think they're powerful cultural forces that can cause all kinds of harm, from embarrassment to genocide, and not everyone is exactly in a place to laugh about that.

      And keeping your mouth shut is wise if you're keeping it shut in order to listen, but not simply to avoid saying something wrong. If you have genuine questions and pose them respectfully, that can be the best way to let go of your stereotypes.
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        Oct 10 2012: Yes. Thank you for disagreeing with me. You added the other half of the puzzle. Your comment illustrates what I meant when I said that even if we don't have any stereotypes, our words are very easy to misinterpret :-). We find our way in unfamiliar situations by comparing them to what we have seen before and finding similarities. This is how we learn, but the dark side is that this is how we create prejudice and stereotypes. With every new person we meet and every new thing that we see, we must proceed with caution, realizing that all our previous experience is prejudice. "All we know is just another brick in the wall". Or, quoting Yoda, "we must unlearn what we have learned". This way, we will encounter only pleasant surprises in this life and let go of prejudice to learn new things. Your first paragraph explains my first sentence.

        Re: "And keeping your mouth shut is wise if you're keeping it shut in order to listen, but not simply to avoid saying something wrong."

        I understand what you mean. However, "saying something wrong" is ambiguous. Possible meanings are "false", "morally wrong", or "politically incorrect". I don't have a problem saying things that are "politically incorrect", but "true" and "morally right", in a respectful way. But these three meanings are too frequently confused. We need to understand ourselves first before casting our opinions. As we do that, we realize our own identity - racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, and come to respect identity of others. And, yes, understanding who we are is a great power.

        There you go. I opened my mouth and now I have to explain myself. This is why it is often wise not to say anything :-). I just hope, I did not offend anyone or created more confusion :-).
        • Oct 11 2012: By making yourself more perfectly clear, you showed us a way to get wisdom among many wonderful ways. Love the way you talk as much as I love Morton's reply. :) I'm kind of afraid when people with different race get scared(in advance) just before they talk about racism in front of me or other Asians. They’re indirectly trying to apologize to me or them like, "don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Asians can't do that. I'm just..." I'm okay that they care about someone's delicate feelings, but they should have known that people had no intention to "misinterpret" their saying in the first place.
          Talking about racial issues is quite okay. Rather, sometimes should be freely welcomed in a way that it connects people without fake biases(could be real, though).
          What makes me uncomfortable is people's too serious reaction that unintentionally makes me behave carefully not to ruin the conversation.
          Why not feel free to talk about it with this kind of lesson in mind?
  • Oct 10 2012: Never had a problem & hope to continue in that light.
    Once you drop labels (which can be hard to do) the real conversation(s) starts.
    One word that needs to be added: Compassion. Very little of that now a days.
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      Oct 10 2012: Humility is the other word to be added. "I don't have stereotypes, you do" is the mother of all stereotypes. "I'm reasonable, you are not" is how all nonsense arguments start.
  • Oct 10 2012: Charlotte; referring to "someone of a different race" IS promoting a stereotypical viewpoint.

    What do we mean when we use the term 'race' other than the human race? In conversation, if a person states that I only said something to them because they are black (white, pink, green, orange, yellow, blue or polka dot) I always respond in the same way and say to them this:

    Really, until you mentioned it, I never noticed the colour of your skin.

    Basing our prejudiced viewpoints on nationality or geographic location is plain dumb. We cannot decide upon the parents of whom we are children nor can we do anything about the culture or the country into which we are born.

    I will happily talk about anything to anyone. Some of my best friends are human.
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      Oct 10 2012: I am with you, Jeff, in not caring what people look like with whom I am having conversation.
    • Oct 12 2012: Jeff: I agree with you that "Race" is not a biological term, but a political one, and used mainly for insults. But we should not be so naive as to think that all people are the " same". They are , in fact, just as unique as are snowflakes.. The confusion arises from our social rules of thumb, for voting , for instance, or under Law, we pretend that all people are "Equal", because there is no practical alternative. But a further reason for confusion is human nature. The Confucian scheme of society was based on "Relationships", with different intensities considered appropriate.. Ones parents were to be treated with much more attention than strangers, let's say. Much in tune with human history. In the West, it is more like the opposite. For religious reasons mainly, everyone is to be considered "Equal". This kind of thinking has led to the idea that "Stereotypes" are bad and should be prevented by Law. Which is very far from Humanity's norm. No, stereotypes are necessary for survival, like evaluatiing the safety of hot stoves (stereotypically bad) However, it IS necessary that stereotypes be accurate and realistic, which they often are not. But then, most people don't have a very realistic view of statistics, which does cause trouble from ignorance. But the bottom line is that civilization does require "civility", but at the same tiime , it is both uncivilzed and damaging to insist , under penalties, that everyone has to agree that every individual should be treated "equally" at all times. That's like , "Oh , anyone can marry anyone, it's insulting to suggest that some people do not belong together". Not so. Groups, especially Ethnic groups are extremely longstanding, far longer than any "Nation" and they do seem to develop unique habits and characteristics ("stereotypic behavior") why is that bad, as long as it is civilized? No one would say that one could just as well marry anyone; we all know that is not true. So why pretend? I
      • Oct 13 2012: [SD] But we should not be so naive as to think that all people are the " same"

        [JC] Yes and no, Shawn. Humans, despite nationality and racial characteristics are, for all practical purposes, from the same species, hence they are the 'same'. The division of people into everyone equal before the law and then those disadvantaged by social mores and legislative methods of removing equality between people, is a dichotomy that is introduced by humans rather than specific (and reproducible) for clearly defined sub-groups of the species; homo sapiens.

        [SD] No, stereotypes are necessary for survival

        You appear to be underpinning the rationale for humans engaging in stereotypical identity activities with evolutionary imperative. This notion is new ground to me and because I can find no evidence for that viewpoint, I would appreciate you directing me to the relevant science and evidence.

        My suspicion is that you have conflated the recognition of a particular class of things (humans) with the need to identify humans who will not harm us and can be relied upon to help us if we have some difficulty to overcome. Our social milieu is where our understanding of familial and interpersonal relationships is forged.

        During the 60s, it was quite acceptable for people to run away from their home, family and their friends and go to live in communes. That social blip may have died a natural death but Kibbutz in Israel still exist and adults take on a shared and collective responsibility for raising the children.

        The communal sharing of responsibility for the growth and education of the Kibbutz community's children stands your stereotyping being necessary for survival model on its head. Children will assume that all adults are a natural (and friendly) part of their childhood experience, even for those adults who may just be visiting the kibbutz. It would be interesting to see how those children manage in the wider society to be found outside of a kibbutz.
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    Oct 14 2012: Yes. I think I am comfortable doing so because I have my own opinions and wouldn't feel out of depth. Also, being willing to listen to others with the same degree of belief, similar or not, installs a respect that creates comfort.

    Talking about racial issues and stereotypes, I personally believe that we are all in fact different. I hastily add however, that I do not believe we should all necessarily be treated different and/or treat others differently. We are the human race, but within that race there are differences and they should be recognised, and even more importantly in the essence of equality... respected.

    I think our yearning for equality is an excuse to try and make a complex situation, simple. It is a utopian like effort, and I do believe there is respect across the board within the cause which is in my opinion, wonderful! However, I also believe that people over look the reality by labelling equality to hastily. An almost religious like response in the passing of responsibility. In the words of Einstein "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler". We should all be treated with respect, we should all be given the opportunity to voice opinions, share ideas, make friends, learn, etc. We should all be treated equal, but why are we so scared to recognise differences?

    I must add that identifying differences is no pledge of racism. I earnestly and effortlessly respect all. It's not in my blood to hate.
  • Oct 13 2012: Charlotte, When I become comfortable with people of another race and someone else starts talking about race, I feel uncomfortable, along with my friend. It's a trigger thought. Everyone is fine and then, in comes the thought that we are different.

    Men and women are different and they sometimes feel uncomfortable talking about their physical differences. The cultural laws prevent us from being completely open with one another and we are all trained in those laws from birth.

    It's our differences that make us unique but, when we speak of those differences, we feel a bit odd.

    There are routes to establishing relationships with one another and a chance meeting is not usually the best way to introduce the physical differences between ourselves.

    I think people are usually, for whatever reason, in too big a hurry to enjoy the ritual of developing a long term relationship and chance encounters just don't offer the opportunity to complete the process.

    Relationships ebb and flow to different heights and lows. In a well developed relationship, when the issue of race comes up, it is automatically taken as an outside issue of the relationship. Then we examine and wonder about it, without reflections on the personal relationship we share. But, we first have to develop this relationship before we come to that juncture in social discussion.

    If, in a general social population (group) where there are no real social racial problems, the group can be part of an established relationship where everyone feels a part of the group. If the group is not well established along racial lines, then the problems will be felt at every instance the differences are displayed.

    When we talk online, the only real differences we see are in the area of attitude. The idea of race seldom becomes a problem unless we give clues to our race. I have never seen an ugly person but I have experienced some ugly attitudes.
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    Oct 13 2012: Hi Charlotte!
    I am absolutely comfortable talking with someone of a different race about racial issues and stereotypes WHEN/IF the person I'm talking with is comfortable as well. I also LOVE to talk with open minded people about how silly and unnecessary it is for racism to exist. It is from each other that we learn and grow in ourselves and with others. We are all more the same then different:>)
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    Oct 13 2012: It depends on the person to whom I am talking because in our society talks like this are considered controversial.

    But personally I really like to talk on issues like this but with care I remember that once I was talking about the same issue but the person whom I was conversating started fight with and take talk personally which really tensed me that how he has misunderstood my arguments.
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    Oct 12 2012: Yes, we need to talk about those all things what could be changed. What a unbeatable opportunity is to side with other people to understand and defeat what racism is
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      Oct 13 2012: i always think racism brings us more to lean and we are all curious about difference .we sholud have tollorce
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    Oct 11 2012: Weirdly,racism was an opportunity to critique my own culture. I listened to my friends speak about the destruction my cultural had imposed on their geography,importing customs and ideas foreign by force. In a twist of truth history tells of them being deficient excusing genocide,robbery and slavery. I listen patiently,seeing their anger and pain. I then study history again curious to reveal a balanced tale of events. I learn about buried ways of living,untruthfully discarde as primitve bulldozed over with conscripted truth. I feel deep shame as another group tells me correctly mistakes still currently in our system that enveloped better systems. Racism while painful,was the sharp wakeup call for me to look at my own history again and feel distress about how we made many mistakes,fail to self adjust and force all other cultures to be as miserable and petty as my race is capable of being.
  • Oct 11 2012: You know, sometimes it is worth getting out of one's comfort zone.

    I sometimes feel uneasy discussing racial stereotypes with friends who are the targets of racial stereotyping (and often racism) but these conversations are common because friends support eachother when they are stressed. Being met with stereotypes is often distressing especially when one is not expecting to be treated differently and is hit from out of the blue with some stupid comment or question that is asked ... AGAIN... after how many years??

    Despite the occassional awkwardness, it feels good to be able to "be there" for others. In return, my friends show their support when I need to "vent" about incidents of stereotyping regarding my gender or sexual orientation or when someone assumes that I am 'white' even though I am Latina. So, we exchange support and we learn from eachother. We learn most of all, that we have so much more in common that what may meet the eye of an outside observer.

    This reminds me of a very interesting TED Talk:
    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie quoted:

    ( Please forgive me but I am trying to remember this one, it may not be word for word but: "The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete."

    "If I had not grown up in Nigeria, and if all I knew about Africa were from popular images, I too would think that Africa was a place of beautiful landscapes, beautiful animals and incomprehensible people, fighting senseless wars, dying of ... (at 06:07)"

    http://www.ted.com/quotes/if_i_had_not_grown_up_in_nigeria_and_if_all_i_knew_about_afri.html
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    Oct 11 2012: do you like a person with the same face-looking to you .
    so we should enbrace difference.
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    Oct 11 2012: In my home town which is predominately caucasian, it is always interesting to see how "the race card" comes up from time to time. They're aren't too many people of any other color besides white around here and needless to say it's culturally drab. I have a friend who is from South American decent, but was born in the states. People around here holler at her while they are driving and call her a dirty mexican. She also was asked at her place of employment if she had a green card. Sure there is blatant racism in my town, but there is also ignorant racism. I have always had friends of all different ethnicities and it would be incorrect to say I enjoy talking to them about racism... but i do benefit from it because I learn firsthand what their experiences are. I got to meet a friend of mine's family living in South Carolina and listened to stories about what it was like for them as African Americans living in that state. They told me so many instances of blatant racism and true hate that it really gets me motivated to speak more openly about this with others and to learn... and be grateful I never fell prey to thinking that there are different races, other than the human race.
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    Oct 10 2012: Well, I wouldn't bring up the topic right away after just meeting but as long as I've known this person for a long enough time, why shouldn't I feel comfortable?
  • Oct 10 2012: The question is "Do you feel comfortable" while wholeheartedly agree that race is a social construct I live in a very racially aware part of the world. So, in honesty, yes, I feel uncomfortable starting these conversations. But, it is that discomfort that means I need to start the conversation and hold many of them. I have had fabulous wonderful, enlightening conversations and I have been yelled at and called names.

    Race is a social construct and it is only through dialogue that we can reconstruct it.
  • Oct 10 2012: I do not recall having a conversation about racial stereotypes, with anyone.

    Racial issues are people issues, and I would feel comfortable talking about them with any open minded person. Trying to converse on this topic with a racial bigot, of any race, is not only uncomfortable, it is a waste of time.
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      Oct 10 2012: It may be, Barry, that you just don't remember such conversations. Racial stereotypes have been a popular topic of conversation in schools at every level for at least fifty years. Or at least that has been my experience on the West coast of the United States.
    • Oct 12 2012: Barry : if you are saying that "Race" is a useless term in science, and used mainly for insults, I would agree with you. But if you mean by "racial bigot" , one who has observed that ethnic and other social groups can develop unique habits and attitudes, which may differ so radically from others that they are rather unfriendly, then I certainly cannot agree. Especially on whether it should be discussed. This social engineering idea, that we can all be manipulated to pretending to have values that we do not have, I see as hypocritical and self defeating. ciivilitly should mean not going out of your way to make people feel bad, but the "War on Stereotypes" has not had that effect, it has merely made people into hypocrites. Like the middlle class people who would do anything to get their kids out of public schools, but at the same time , push for "integration" , as long as THEY don't have to do it.
      • Oct 13 2012: The American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition:

        big·ot n. One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.
        ------------------------------------------------------------
        Shawn, it is the intolerance of bigots that makes the conversation a waste of time. Racial intolerance is not based on objective observations.

        I am not disagreeing with you regarding the "War on Stereotypes." But, regardless of what anyone might observe about a group, individuals should be judged as individuals.
  • Oct 15 2012: Jeff: what you say is undoubtedly true, but stereotypes ,which need to be usefully accurate, are for those many cases where there is simply no time or ability to take the "individual" in all the usual variety and ambiguity. I don't see why you are reluctant to use generalizations for guidance, everyone admitting that it won't cover every case truthfully. So What? When there is leisure to get to know someone, then we may find out that the stereotype is inaccurate for them, but that doesn't make the generalizations wrong, necessarily, That's just basic statistics.
    I didn't really understand your point about the bank robbery.. So a stereotype might have misled someone. But in those situations, you go with the stereotype: the guy with the mask and gun is the robber , not the cop. This is not all due to movies, i can tell you from personal experience. There just isn't time for too much thinking.
    • Oct 15 2012: Shawn: I was trying to illustrate a point by my example, that is all. The use of generalisation (with the exception of we are all human) in dealing with other people tends to be a cursory pigeon-holing of them based upon appearance and their import to you at at that moment in time. In the case of the use of the term, 'humans', I use that generalisation to confirm for me the class of thing I am dealing with. (Humans will not eat me but... e.g. tigers will)

      Aside from the given example, what reason can you have for not considering the person as a whole. You say... "When there is leisure to get to know someone, then we may find out that the stereotype is inaccurate for them. If we don't stereotype people then we don't have to face the possibility of being inaccurate in our assessment.

      Take your name... you are either male or female. I don't know and cannot tell from your name. You may be Irish but once again I don't know. Rather than make any assumptions (all people called Shawn are male and Irish) I will either ask, if the matter suddenly becomes vital or I will continue to assume that you are a human.

      I am happy with that and do not need to classify or categorise you in any other manner. I don't need to know anything about your nationality, gender, ethnicity or religious belief system before engaging in social discourse with you.

      I have no need to fit you into some stereotypical viewpoint with which I am comfortable. How difficult is it to understand that as a viewpoint? You appear to be struggling with my lack of need to put people into specific boxes.
  • Oct 14 2012: My friends and I have had this discussion and we all agree that we are all of one race. Human. A Barbarry lion doesn't discriminate against an Asiatic lion because of where it's from. So why should an African HUMAN discriminate against an Asian HUMAN for the very same reason? As for stereotyping, I will say this. Some are offensive and some aren't. Some are true and some aren't. It's not a bad thing, it's just a thing. Saying tall people are better suited to play basketball is a stereotype. Some might say its true and take offence, whilst others will say it isn't and take no offence. Its the way and spirit in which they were intended and the way in which they are perceived/received that will determine whether it's offensive or not. So who could possibly know what will be taken as offensive? My friends and I take the piss out of skin coulor height, weight and anything else we can because we can. We all care enough about each other to know that nothing is meant to hurt or embarrass. Once you take racism, which is a flawed concept to begin with, and turn it into a joke, you destroy it's power. If everyone everywhere thought like this, racism would disappear as if it never was.
  • Oct 13 2012: Juniper blue: There seem to be very good reasons for this idea that the group of people you grew up with are "good" and that others are "other". How else would babies know who their parents were, etc. And any social group, teams, sororities , churches, nations, whatever, all have speciial rituals , songes, ideas, behviors, etc, which set them apart from the "others". It doesn't have to be bad, or uncivilized, though it can be. i think it is remarkable that humans have enlarged the "group" to be sometimes millions, in only a few thousands years.
    • Oct 14 2012: Thanks for this John .. it is remarkable that people have been able to expand thier circles to include many more than an immediate family (even into the millions.)

      I am going to re-print Barry Palmers dictionary post:

      The American Heritage Dictionary, Third Edition:

      big·ot n. One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

      It is the intolerance that causes the trouble.

      If it is possible to raise one flag and still equally honor other flags, we would have few conflicts in the world between people and groups of people. However, as history has shown, it seems difficult to raise our flags at equal levels. It is true, when we grow up under a flag, we tend to grow fondest of this emblem under which we are born. This, in and of itself, is not the problem. The problem seems to stem more from the tendency that groups often grow threatened by other flags. This is the core issue that seems to lead to conflict. I am not saying that we need to discard our flags and adopt one flag but we do need to learn ways to share respect and power if we are to honor diversity.
  • Oct 13 2012: Jeff: "stereotypes" is a useful term, if used in the sense of ""Generalities" , or Rules ot Thumb. It is especially useful in case of dealing with new situaitons where one does not have experience , or acquaintance. I'm always reminded of Jess Jackson's admirablyhonest story of how he was walking down a lonely street at night, turned around on hearing someone following him, and experienced relief on seeing that it was a white guy. Now i am not acquainted with him, but I venture to say that he is not prejudiced against Blacks.That being said, stereotypes , and generalities, can certainly be wrong in specific cases, but that in no way diminishes the usefulness of generalities. Of course, people should be treated as individuals; personally I think Malcolm X was a really great men. But that doesn't mean that cultural stereotypes are inaccurate, though of course they may be. It's kind of an ongoing process of validation. Some of these stereotypes just fade away, like the idea that Catholics were "beyond the pale". But others get constantlyeinforced, by behaviour, beyond just talking it up.
    • Oct 14 2012: Shawn: One issue which I cannot ignore is that the stereotype is a behaviour modifying belief which leads the believer to expect a typical expression of conduct from the group being typed. It is frequently a self-fulfilling prophecy that is prejudicial to the interests of the group who were ascribed the stereotype and reinforces the stereotype. Stereotyping serves to justify the person who believes the stereotype to exist, in holding the viewpoint that people who are not from the same group as the belief holder will tend to exhibit a specific type of behaviour.

      Stereotyping a group of people is merely 'mental short-hand' (tm) which underlines the failure to consider every case as an individual case on its own merits. If a group of people exit a bank while running and shooting witnesses randomly, it is reasonable to assume that all gun toting folk exiting the bank are intent on getting away and will take any steps they can to evade capture. The stereotypical notion is probably derived from action movies because a large majority of people will never have witnessed such a scene.

      I recall a recruitment poster for the London Metropolitan Police which showed two men running (the first was white and about to exit the image frame and the second was black and almost centre stage) while a third white male entered the image frame from the edge and was dressed in police uniform. Observers were invited to guess what was happening. It appeared that two criminals were being chased by a police officer but the reality was that the second man was a plain-clothes police officer who was about to apprehend the criminal.

      It was an exemplary illustration of stereotyping based upon racial division. Sadly, even Google cannot find the example image from the 1970s, which the Metropolitan Police force of London were using to recruit open-minded people.
      • Oct 15 2012: Jeff : and another thing: each incident is a chance to reinforce the stereotype , or weaken it., depending on the case. What is wrong with that? Validation, in other worlds, or not.
        • Oct 15 2012: Shawn: Validation or lazy thinking?
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    Oct 13 2012: I do think that it's completely absurd the existence of racism. Nobody is different for the colour ot their skin. Racism, is, in my opinion, product of a kind of mental darkness. I respect the thoughts ot those who think there are differences for the colour of the skin, but I'll never agree. Those who think so, they ought to have a talk with someone of "the other colour"... have they tried it?
  • Oct 12 2012: Oh, just to clarify....I am suggesting the racists are the ones with the false premise, not you :p)
    I realise that you are using the term to describe one aspect of the other terms you have listed.
    But you are well on the ball to see that I often question language to arrive at a different viewpoint.
    I am in no way seeking to deny or excuse the behaviour of the "racists" ;
    I seek to deny them any justification for their actions.
    If you want to squash an intellectual racist I would refer them to the Andrew Marr documentary I mentioned above.
    He told us that various groups of Homo Sapiens emigrated from North West Africa but only one survived to populate what is now India, Australia, China and eventually the rest of the World. He told us that geneticists have traced the mitochondrial DNA to one woman in that group. Yes, we are all (except those in or from Sub-sahara Africa) related to that woman. We are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants, and we are all related.
  • Oct 12 2012: Racism comes about from religions that are based on the ideology that the people that believe them are in some way special. For if those people did not believe that they were special, then there would be no need to have a person to belittle in order to prove that they are more special than that person.
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    Oct 12 2012: i think "race" can be a very sensitive word. well, that remind me of sth interesting happened on the sihn cafe bus in vietnam. we sat at the last row with two Israelites, one of whom is very talkative. after a 1-hour chatting, he said:" linda, can i ask you sth serious?" i nodded. and his words was like:you chinese people are so clever and amazing, but why are you supporting Palestine, such fucking country?
    suddenly, i became speechless. i could never imagined a man from trip would bring up sth about either politics or racial. so i answered: sorry, i'm poor in history , and i have no idea about this.
    also, i think, this is more about the phylosophy one adopts. if we all seek more harmony in living with others and desire less, some radical person would have less market.
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    Oct 12 2012: Yes.
    To have "the same basic needs....Peace, Love and Happiness", we have to eliminate racism.
    Otherwise, with today’s technology, there will be human self-extinct in the only earth eventually.

    Racism makes INVALID happiness, which could exist only in ancient time.
  • Oct 12 2012: I agree with you that "racism" is silly and unnecessary , and that people all have the same basic needs. But I see no requirement at all that we adopt the idea that all people's habits and attitudes are "the same" ,interchangeable, and that we need to pretend that we don't have serious differences. Everyone has "free will", but still I wouldn't want to marry a drug addict. Groups are a lot like individuals in that they actually do have long standing stereotypical ideas. If you want some laughs, read Tacitus' book about the Germans, from two thousand years ago.. The stereotypes are thousands of years older than "Germany". And some of them are quite admirable, even if you don't share them. It is not civilised to tell them that they are silly and unnecessary.
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    Oct 12 2012: I feel comfortable talking about my views on race to whoever. Corrupted business practices makes people do all kinds of harmful mess to each other and we all have "white" skin on the undersides of our hands and feet. Those two things sum up the whole of my views.
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    Oct 11 2012: Here is a good essay on the dangers of "victim mentality".

    http://www.richardwarrenfield.com/essay034.htm

    One way to stop insults is to stop "feeling insulted". Nobody can make me feel insulted without my permission. Unfortunately, this philosophy does not work for physical violence or actual discrimination.

    Here is another essay on absurdities of "political correctness".

    http://www.richardwarrenfield.com/essay035.htm

    "Political correctness" emphasizes inequality instead of getting rid of it. The best way to solve "racial issues" is to stop seeing race as an issue. The whole topic should not even exist. Talking about these issues is acknowledging that race is an issue. The puzzle is that the issues will not go away unless we openly discuss them. Is there a problem in our life that does not feed itself?
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      Oct 11 2012: "One way to stop insults is to stop "feeling insulted". Nobody can make me feel insulted without my permission. Unfortunately, this philosophy does not work for physical violence or actual discrimination.

      Here is another essay on absurdities of "political correctness"."

      Sticks and stones... But this is easier said than done. It's easy to feel frustrated when you're dealing with negligence or you're trying to communicate to people who don't respect who you are and what you say.

      ""Political correctness" emphasizes inequality instead of getting rid of it. The best way to solve "racial issues" is to stop seeing race as an issue. The whole topic should not even exist. Talking about these issues is acknowledging that race is an issue. The puzzle is that the issues will not go away unless we openly discuss them. Is there a problem in our life that does not feed itself?"

      As far as I know, political correctness is the resultant metagame within the game called politics. This game has design flaws and therefore needs some patches or makeovers to afford more desirable behaviors (honesty, transparency, openness, all voices/points are heard).

      "Talking about these issues is acknowledging that race is an issue. The puzzle is that the issues will not go away unless we openly discuss them."

      Hmm, yes, openness is the key.