I often don’t sleep well. This morning I woke up at zero dark thirty because nightmares. They vary, and they are unimportant. Often I cannot return to slumber, as was the case this morning. I find myself surfing, or thinking through a plot twist, or trying to write. This morning it was surfing.
The electronic crumbs people leave often take me to places I would rather not go. This morning, I found myself reading a rant that began, “Shut up cuckold” and continued, “We want our country to be white.” Let’s explore that idea, as reprehensible as it is, for a moment.
What would change for this particular person in a country that was racially homogeneous? Would his personal problems go away? Of course not. The psychology of racism is pretty simple: blame all your life’s problems on a group that you aren’t part of. Racism gives small-minded, often perceptually disenfranchised people an excuse for why they aren’t doing anything great with their own existence. Some people inherit racism from their family, but a lot of them pick up the banner later in life.
It fascinates me when people blame the problems in their life on anyone but themself. The kind of weak-minded thinking that believes life would be utopia if only (insert external factors) is the kind of weak-minded thinking that makes a place worse, not better. There is no science to support racial superiority of any kind. Thankfully, we are all individuals. Special snowflakes, if you will.
Scientists tell us that diversity makes us smarter. We become better at problem-solving the more diverse we become. Being exposed to, and being open to considering, people who aren’t like you, offers many opportunities to grow and changes the way you think, often in positive ways. The most successful organizations are also the most diverse, which is why a default state of hate is a stupid way to live. It’s also why racists have increasingly been pushed to the fringes of society (where they belong).
When you encounter someone who thinks that a particular group doesn’t contribute as much as their own, remind them that:
- All of us originated in the same place, Africa
- The ancient Egyptians first came up with surgery and concrete, which was then refined by an Englishman and again by a Frenchman
- The Arabs invented mathematics
- The wheel comes from Mesopotamia
- The compass comes from China
- The Germans came up with the concept of the automobile
- An Italian invented the telescope
- Two American brothers came up with the airplane
If you know someone who lives in a default state of hate, remind them of that. Tell them they belong on the fringes unless they are willing to see the world through a wider-angle lens.
All of us are stronger than some of us. Exceptional tribalism is exceptionally stupid.
Photo by marksdk
Also published on Medium.