Monday, September 24, 2007

Reader comments #1

On "I Have the Right to a Toilet.",

Anonymous said...

I like the racist = collectivist theme.But from a purely genetic point of view, is it not true that people from within particular racial, and or social or geographic groups display some form of collective trait (it could be greed, generosity, kindness or whatever)?

People who have lived in small geographically 'isolated' areas have similar attitudes.

My reply:

I have not read any research that talks about certain collective traits being genetic or racial. At this point I believe tendency toward traits are CULTURAL.

For example, people who grow up in very poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods, have the "Pie is not big enough" mentality and tend to become criminals themselves.

See my post regarding "the pie is not big enough":

If one has had the experience of meeting several [insert group here] people who all were [insert trait here], then one cannot be faulted for assuming when meeting new people of the same group, that there is a good chance that the person is [trait]. That in my mind is not racism. Some may call it stereotyping.

However, if one then over extrapolates that and assumes that all members of the [group] are [trait], rather than giving the person that they meet for the first time the benefit of the doubt, that in my mind is racism. (And illogical) The worst kind obviously is when it becomes hatred. Hatred at certain minorities, again comes from the belief that "The Pie isn't Big Enough". e.g. "these immigrants are taking our jobs".

Remember, the smallest minority is the individual. We are all individuals.

Scoots wrote:
I have a story for you. My brother and I were at a movie several years ago (Falling Down) and during the long opening scene when there is no dialog we could hear someone narrating everything on the screen right behind us (we were in the front row) "It's a traffic jam. It's a hot day. Michael Douglas has a buzz cut and is sweating in his car. There is a schoolbus of kids making noise." and so on. My brother, always one to nip such behavior in the bud, stood up, turned around and said "DO YOU MIND NOT TALKING DURING THE MOVIE" to which he recieved the following stunning replay "HEY, JUST BECAUSE WE'RE BLIND DOESN'T MEAN WE DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO SEE A MOVIE!" To which my brother replied "YOU ARE BLIND. YOU CAN'T SEEEEEE A MOVIE" He got applause and the blind people left.

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