Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tim Wise on "White Priviledge"


Now that there is a Black man in the White House a lot of Americans have become, perhaps a bit unrealistic, in believing that changes in the society's attitudes and opinions on race will change dramatically overnight. There are many groups that campaign on Obama's behalf that seem to think that their agendas will be realised with him in office and some have seen progress as the President has already taken steps to make good on some of his promises. He has started an effort to reverse Bush's economic policies and signed legislation to shut down the Guantanamo internment facility for example.

America's problems with race and class divisions, however, are something that can't be harmonised and made better by an act of legislation. Hatred is best defeated by education as hatred itself is usually based on the fear of the unknown, the fear of the "other". It has been shown that, once a person is educated about the object of their hatred, they tend to be less intolerant. Unfortunately, the information that would best educate against intolerance rarely sees the light of mass media attention. I realise that bigotry and intolerance of others will never go away because it is in human nature to fear the unknown but I do believe that we can work to a better understanding that would lead to a more civil society.

This video is a step in the right direction. I'm going to try to find more on Tim Wise, and those like him, in the future.

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