2017-03-19 Sun

Racism

Back on Tuesday 2017-02-28 I wrote about racism.

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Unless you are blind and deaf, you must be racist, by definition.

If “Race” is defined as “major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics’”, then any sighted person will be aware of differences in skin colour, and even if only the colour of skin is different, that is, for a sighted person, a distinct physical characteristic.

Likewise if you are blind, your ears can distinguish accents.

Being aware “distinct physical characteristics” is to be someone who is aware of races.

Treating a person differently because of “distinct physical characteristics” is another thing, and it is not necessarily a bad thing.

I have helped ninety-year old little old ;ladies cross the street. I have walked with cane-tapping guys and girls.

I have helped tourists who are obviously lost and confused, even though their skin colour was black or brown or orange or brown or green or purple. (You’ve surely witnessed Toronto’s Pride Parade each summer time!).

If being aware of peoples “distinct physical characteristics” makes me a racist, so be it. I can wallow in the rich tapestry of mankind all the more just for knowing that I am a part of it.

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Whether you know it or not, your human brain is hardwired to differentiate between opportunities to eat and lost opportunities to be eaten. We are survivors. We have evolved as the best rapid-decision makers about whether the movement in the bushes is a tasty rabbit or is a dangerous panther.

Deep in something that sounds like The Amygdala is wiring that makes millisecond-judgment on how different someone is from us, and the more they look like us, the more likely they are to be kin and share out genes and feel kindly towards us.

And the more they look less like us, the less likely they are to be kin and share out genes and feel kindly towards us.

That doesn’t mean that someone who is not mi sister, mother, father or child, is out to kill me. Not at all. It means that they are further down the sliding-scale as it passes out of primates and into jungle cats.

Noticing differences is a vital part of our survival.

Treating everyone who looks different as an evil person remains an evil act.