Friday, July 17, 2015

On Racism, Violence and Oppression

This blog articulately reflects the reality of targets or racism (people of colour in general) but doesn't go far enough, in my opinion, to recognise that this is also the reality of all targets of systemised genocide, colonialism, violence (including war), trafficking and slavery (mostly women and children) and many LGBT. It's about a lack of empathy (not sympathy - not pity - but empathy). It's the inability to recognise "that could just have easily been me" or "that could just have easily been my child...partner...home..." etc. This lack of empathy is caused by an unfortunate quality of human nature to categorise "the other" as anyone far enough away either in difference or in distance. Just because it is a quality of human nature doesn't mean it can't be challenged or changed. We are also a creative species profoundly influenced by learning and the environment - so much so that learning can change our very genetic makeup. However it is a limitation of human nature we would be wise to be aware of and to challenge.  This limitation makes us vulnerable to being pitted against one another in such unfortunate ways as competing for a place in the "oppression lineup" and prevents us from working together to overthrow the sources of such mutual oppression.

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