• Jack Cummins
    1.4k

    I am not sure what you are trying to say. I am interested in discussing prejudice and I don't consider my background as being 'snug' or'posh'. I would argue that that the striving to overcome prejudice goes beyond being a progressive idea and is central to any genuine concern about human beings.
  • Bitter Crank
    9.1k
    " I'm not a racist, but..."Kenosha Kid

    "I'm not a murderer, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." (attributed to Mark Twain)

    I think that the idea of 'cleansing' of prejudice is a bit problematic as a metaphor. It reminds me too much of the whole racist of the idea of ethnic cleansing. It also conjures up images of antibacterial gel and disinfectant, as if being applied to our thoughts and feelings.Jack Cummins

    It's not problematic a bit. Your memory associated the word "cleansing" with "ethnic" and we are off to the [horse] races. I used the word "fumigating"; when I typed the word, I remembered that Zyklon B was used to fumigate insects and rats from food storage areas. It was invented by Fritz Haber (1868 - 1934). It was also used to fumigate Jews in the gas chambers. Oh, oh -- Fritz Haber must be a very bad man. Well, no--he also discovered how to make nitrogen fertilizer from air (Haber-Bosch process -- Nobel prize, 1918). It is said that 2 out 5 people on earth owe their existence to Haber -- because his discovery enables the world to greatly increase food production. Are you going to avoid Bayer aspirin? Bayer was part of I.G. Farben--the manufacturer of Zyklon B.

    Just because we free associate one word with another, doesn't mean there is an operative connection there.
  • Bitter Crank
    9.1k
    Lots of people here born in warm, snug, semi-posh academical families with ”progressive” values, seemingly.Ansiktsburk

    Warm, snug, semi-posh, academic progressives--hmmmm. Yes, please. Unfortunately I missed the boat on that one.

    But then you add the word "seemingly".

    True enough, progressives (whether they are warm, dry, and academic or not) are not perfection personified. Neither is any other group on the continuum between troglodyte and enlightened.

    So what?
  • Jack Cummins
    1.4k

    I know that some people have criticised Carl Jung for a possible bias in favour of Germans rather than Jews at the time of Nazi Germany. In particular, he treated some Nazi's as patients and did a speak not speak out about what was happening at a critical time in history. Some people have dismissed Jung's ideas on this basis but I think that his whole idea of the shadow is a useful idea for thinking about collective evil, including prejudice.

    The whole way in which we take on board ideas is questionable too in some ways. For example, on one course I did a tutor said that the external examiners questioned the tutors on why all our essays seemed to adopt feminist ideas. It was queried whether we were being indoctrinated. I believe that we were adopting feminist ideas because we were all critical of sexism.

    There are also disagreements within sections of communities. One particular one is how some radical lesbians have been fairly hostile to transgender people. When I was at college I knew a woman who had been identifying as a lesbian. Really, she considered herself as bisexual and she told me how when she had an affair with a man, she felt her lesbian flatmates were more hostile to her than any heterosexual people had been to her about her lesbian relationships.

    So, there are many possible issues and debates , and they are all relevant when thinking about the whole nature of prejudice.
  • NOS4A2
    4.2k


    As an aside, I took Harvard’s Implicit Bias Test and came away with results showing I have a bias against European Americans. I don’t know how I should feel about those results.
  • Janus
    9.9k
    Yes, the Holy Inquisition were "looking for God in everyone" as well.baker

    That sounds unlikely! More likely they were simply seeking acquiescence, or revenue or maybe they just enjoyed torturing people.
  • Bitter Crank
    9.1k
    It was queried whether we were being indoctrinated. I believe that we were adopting feminist ideas because we were all critical of sexism.Jack Cummins

    Were you against sexism because you had first hand experience as the victims of sexism, or were you indoctrinated by others who were, or thought they were, first (or second) hand victims of sexism? I'm not suggesting that you (plural) should be sexist; it's just fairly likely that the men in the group were probably not first hand victims of sexism so needed a push in that direction.

    Consciousness of exploitation (class, race, sex, orientation, etc.) is usually acquired from first hand experiences, and/or it is acquired through teaching, discussion, reading -- indoctrination. My consciousness as a proud gay man (back in the halcyon days of gay liberation) was greatly aided by indoctrination. My consciousness as an exploited worker (mostly during the presidency of Ronald Reagan and George Bush I) was acquired largely through indoctrination.

    For me, it's less a question of whether one is indoctrinated, and more a question of WHO is doing the indoctrination, and toward WHAT end. IMHO, there is way too little working class indoctrination to balance out ruling class indoctrination.

    One particular one is how some radical lesbians have been fairly hostile to transgender people.Jack Cummins

    I generally stay clear of radical lesbians. My experience with them hasn't been very positive.

    Lesbians in general tend to have more complex sexual histories than exclusively gay men. I don't know exactly why that is, but it is probably related to the available roles that women have had open to them, and the way women in general socialize (which is different than the way men in general socialize).

    Some radical lesbians and some heterosexual women both have been very hostile toward transsexuals. I have my doubts about trans-genderism in general, and the deeper one gets into politico-sexual theory (radical and not) the murkier it can become. Like... mud?

    There used to be a Friday night coffee house for lesbians in Minneapolis (held in a church basement). the radical lesbians in the group disapproved of lesbian mothers bringing their very young male children into the space. Women-only -- period. No XY chromosomes allowed.

    So, there are many possible issues and debates, and they are all relevant when thinking about the whole nature of prejudice.Jack Cummins

    Indeed.

    Here's a quote I like by a lesbian writer:

    There's nothing better for a city than a dense population of angry homosexuals.
  • Jack Cummins
    1.4k

    I think that I dislike sexism in some of its most stupid forms or what appear as stupid to me. In particular, I dislike the whole way in which shops divide books and birthday cards into those for men and women. When I go to buy birthday cards I just want to find a nice one, whoever it is for, and find the categorisation as ridiculous, especially when the ones for women seem to come in pink.

    I am very bi and do go to gay pubs but can't say that I find them particularly friendly. I used to prefer them to straight pubs but now I think that some of them are a lot more cliched. But I have heard that a lot of Soho may never reopen and I think that will be a great shame. I don't know how Brighton will be affected, but a few of my friends have moved there because they feel that it is the most tolerant and open minded community in many ways.
  • Ansiktsburk
    126
    I am not sure what you are trying to say. I am interested in discussing prejudice and I don't consider my background as being 'snug' or'posh'. I would argue that that the striving to overcome prejudice goes beyond being a progressive idea and is central to any genuine concern about human beings.Jack Cummins
    It´s very easy for people from a academical, semi posh background to be theoretical "world savers", typically, not suffering from the consequences. While blue and white collar people gets heavily affected.

    A locally famous Philosophy professor in my home country grew up in a not-so-good suburb, but her mother being from a posh background made it so she went to a posh school where no troubles were, coming into adolescense, and she florished in Wittgenstein and what not.

    She and her daughters do now push hard for immigration to be expanded in a country that have allowed much more immigration than other neightboring countries. Our prime minister has admitted the immigration is not successful due to the large numbers of immigrants. There is an enormous lot of problems due to this immigration.

    Those problems will not affect the professor and her daughters, but her classmates from her old school, the nerdy ones that took care of their studies, but cannot afford living in the academical parts of towns, their kids will face almost mandatory bullying by immigrant gangs in the schools of the not-so-good suburbs.

    Its easy to be a Robin Hood when you do not take the consequences yourself. In other words : The acadademic that pushes for stuff like immigration should bloody well make sure that their kids are sent to the downtown high schools.
  • Jack Cummins
    1.4k

    You say that, 'Its easy to be a Robin Hood when you do not take the consequences yourself'. I can assure your that I am not leading the most comfortable life. I don't have a job and feel very uncertain about my own future. So, I don't feel that I am writing from the perspective of advantage. I also think that many of the categories between working and middle class have broken down. Also, academic qualifications may not count for that much nowadays.

    So, my whole discussion of prejudice must be seen in the context of a rapidly changing world and of changing values. We may be moving into a world in which yesterday's prejudices may be receding and a different set of new biases and inequalities surfacing. Therefore, my consideration, which was stressed in the opening of the thread, is not simply about seeing prejudices 'out there's in the world but about the whole way in which we think ,form and hold on to preconceived ideas about people. I see us being in this altogether, despite our often lonely struggles, and the only solution I see behind it all is a general need for compassion.
  • Book273
    287
    I do believe that overcoming prejudice is important, and is an ethical ideal, so I am asking to what extent can we reach this ideal, in order for people to live more harmoniously with all others?Jack Cummins

    That isn't really what people do Jack. We don't live harmoniously with others, not even our families. For any disagreements we may have we seek a reason, outside of simply having different values, because that would mean we could both be right, and hold on just a damned minute, YOU can't be right because I am right. So we look for any excuse to explain our differences, other than values, so I blame your disagreeing with me on your gender, or race or whatever, because otherwise I might have to come to terms with the concept that there are other, equally valid, world views, which my fragile condition cannot abide.

    My thoughts on overcoming prejudice are simple enough: treat the person in front of you as they deserve to be treated based on that individual. See them for who they are and respond to that.

    I do not have a problem with any race or gender. I have a problem with assholes, but first they have to demonstrate that they fall into that category, until then, everyone gets treated equally. I have found that nasty people are not limited to any race, gender, or age.
  • Jack Cummins
    1.4k

    Your thoughts are
    'treat the person in front of you as they deserve to be treated based on that individual. See them for who they are and respond to that.'
    If all people thought like that it would be great, but the question is how many people do think like this, really?
  • Book273
    287
    Not enough. It cannot be taught in schools or through government programs. It comes from within, if one is willing to honestly look at one's actions and reactions, and assess the why of them. Willing to accept being wrong and truly wanting to improve oneself. Those are rare traits, especially in the young.
  • Jack Cummins
    1.4k

    I definitely believe that the whole approach to prejudice cannot be taught easily in schools or government programs and you are right to say that, 'It comes from within, if one is willing to honestly look at one's actions and reactions, and assess the why of them.' It is a matter of perspective and a whole way of seeing.
  • OneTwoMany
    26
    The easiest way to overcome prejudice is to work alongside the person and to realize he is not all that different from you. I'm from a conservative country and its when I moved to the US, that I realized, after working and socializing with different groups, that not every white woman is a porn star, not every black man is a thief, not every Asian is smart, not every Mexican mows lawns and not every Arab works with explosives. Having traveled the world a bit, Americans get a lot of slack for their government interfering in everyone's affairs. They are also considered to be loud and obnoxious, though I will agree with the loud part. If you remain in your cocoon of a town or village, you will give yourself every reason to distrust others and deny yourself the opportunity to mature and grow.
  • Jack Cummins
    1.4k

    I agree with you that it is important to 'work alongside the person and see that he is not that different from you'. I think that this is a far more understanding and effective way of exploring than one which is harsh and critical. We need to work with what knowledge and experience a person has to increase this rather than simply being judgemental about prejudice. Perhaps that is where simply trying to be politically correct falls short because it doesn't go deeper and work with increasing knowledge and enabling people to gain critical awareness for themselves.
  • Ansiktsburk
    126
    You say that, 'Its easy to be a Robin Hood when you do not take the consequences yourself'. I can assure your that I am not leading the most comfortable life. I don't have aJack Cummins
    You say that, 'Its easy to be a Robin Hood when you do not take the consequences yourself'. I can assure your that I am not leading the most comfortable life. I don't have a job and feel very uncertain about my own future. So, I don't feel that I am writing from the perspective of advantage. I also think that many of the categories between working and middle class have broken down. Also, academic qualifications may not count for that much nowadays.

    So, my whole discussion of prejudice must be seen in the context of a rapidly changing world and of changing values. We may be moving into a world in which yesterday's prejudices may be receding and a different set of new biases and inequalities surfacing. Therefore, my consideration, which was stressed in the opening of the thread, is not simply about seeing prejudices 'out there's in the world but about the whole way in which we think ,form and hold on to preconceived ideas about people. I see us being in this altogether, despite our often lonely struggles, and the only solution I see behind it all is a general need for compassion.
    Jack Cummins

    Sorry for late answer, aint here too often..
    From an overall perspective I do to a great extent agree with your views here. But the ways to adapt to a changing world can be good or bad, and the ”posh children leftist-Activism”, similar to the ”students” of the 1968 revolts has not proven to be the best catalysts.

    Even if the world is changing the ”end of history” kind of paradigm is imho worth fighting for. Not necessarily capitalism as we see it today but still the relatively well working idea of a western social-liberal state where people are empowered and takes resposibility.

    MLK probably did not have the vision of the rap/gangsta culture that has spread from the USA to the immigrant suburbs of European states. Higly unliked by the ”daytime workers” that do live close to the "no-go-zones". The situation in the US differs in a way from my Scandinavian home country since the gangstas can be traced back to the Slavery, people involountarily transported from Africa to work at the cotton fields in the south, while the gangstas in my home country mostly are children of people having been admitted as refugees. But still there is a similarity - its posh people that brought slaves to US (Englishmen stemming from british gentry), and it´s posh leftist people that heavily supports unrestricted immigration without making sure integration works. And those posh people also do have in common with the gangsta community the lack of Daytime job for daytime jobs sake.

    I think this is the formula - Daytime job for everyone. Of course that requires a weaker capitalism to avoid unemployment, also good since capitalists(as well as a lot of academics) produces drone offspring, IE people that do not work with what they best serve mankind with.

    The concept of "school" or "working in a bigger organization" is a very good concept. You do stuft that needs to be done, good for the community. If you do it good you get a good grade in school and you get a good raise working for an organisation. I think this should be the story for EVERYONE.

    And when you do not work, you can pursue whatever art project, sport or whatever you like. But the discipline of getting your comfort from your own hard work is from every political point of view a good one.

    Equal opportunity? Tax to make sure that opportunity is equal? Of course. But the standard you have is fair and personally earned.

    Well-to-do mommys will of course have a challenge to adopt to this world view
  • Jack Cummins
    1.4k

    Your idea of a formula sounds fair enough, but whether it is one which will be implemented in most societies is one which I would question. I see the idea of day jobs for all as an ideal, but whether that will be implemented is uncertain. I am not sure that in the aftermath of the pandemic, whether or not we will see a greater divide in the rich and the poor and more inequality. I believe that it could go either way and, of course, it may vary in certain parts of the world. Let us just hope that we see some positive changes coming and, I personally hope that this is the new 1968. Perhaps we need a bit of flower power to cheer us up. Bring on Bob Dylan...
  • Ansiktsburk
    126
    Rather than Dylan and that 68 I wish we could get to something better. Flower power just pisses daytime workers off. A worldwide movement towards empowerment and responsibility. As a matter of fact I do think this IS actually happening. But very, very slowly.

    The key at the moment I would controversially say - is to bring in the women into that loop. Women need to start to see people as people and not as roles. Their children, other peoples children, oppressed people and whatever. People need, worldwide, to take personal responsibility, not to be taken care of. I am NOT saying that women do not take responsibility, they do - too much! They need to make other people take responisbility. Do their part of the chores that need to be done. Starting with their own children.
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