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Matthew Li


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Can racism truly be eliminated?

In Australia we live in one of the most multicultural nations, however every once in a while there are those people who publicly and abusively insult people from other races. I know there will always be those ignorant individuals or people who are scarred from people of other races (e.g wars, personal events or negative child rearing ), but can we truly eliminate racism in our world?

Possibly include jokes or stereotyping into this debate, are light jokes about other races or stereotyping racist?

Also take into consideration the media in movies or simply news. Are they doing a good enough job to tackle racism?


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    Jul 23 2013: part of our brain uses stereotypes to think fast.
    We cannot change or override that aspect.
    So as long as there are groups of people that show difference (which will also not change), we will make those fast judgement calls based on stereotypes.

    Applied to cultural and racial differences: will always remain.
    Unless culture is independent from race. Then there might be no reason to be racist, as it is uninformative for group-division and such.

    The problem is that groups and people need to avoid aggression towards other groups... not racial stereotypes as such.
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      Jul 25 2013: Thanks Chris i didnt know that about stereotyping i thought that stereotyping could be like prejudice, making it possible to voluntary rid our mind of common stereotypes. If we began recognizing that everyone is an individual and that no two people are alike will we then be able to get rid of these fast judgement?
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        Jul 26 2013: no, fast judgement overrides reason when you need to think fast... Besides, seeing things as belonging to the same class (like birds, chairs, trees, violence,...) is needed.

        I can't imagine (I really can't) a way of thinking that can't group or stereotype and still able to operate functionally (as we do, or better). I think We would be off far worse without this function.

        As for individuals: the moment you talk to a person: realizing it is an individual (when talking, while you have time to switch to your slower rational thinking), is essential, and probably a lot of the stereotype will be false for that individual...

        I think we can't get rid of them, and we shouldn't wish for it either. But thinking about it and when in contact with someone: please handle him as an individual.
        • Jul 29 2013: There is a diffrence between the stereotyping you describe and racism. We need to split and group our world in understandable units e.g. we will always think of an asian person when we see someone with asian features. Racism starts when we associate information with this group that are based on specifc experience with one member of that group.
          So Racism starts when we use induction on groups of humans. Especially when there are negative characteristics. So we need to stereotype, but we decide to which extend or which stereotpyes we have.

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