I like to reflect on philosophies. Don’t ask me why. Must be one of those silly “growing older” things. Well, it happened again today. But I’m going to use this post to tell you all about it and at the same time answer a meme.
So, here’s seven things you need to know about me before I start:
- I’m Caucasian.
- I was raised Baptist.
- I’m male.
- I was born in the United States.
- I live in the United States.
- I’m a Southerner.
- I’m right handed.
Ok. So some of those might be a little obvious. But it’s important for you to know them. Or is it?
First, let me say, “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.” Avenue Q. Love ‘em. Here’s the song:
Now. Back to my philosophy. Let’s take that phrase just another step:
Everyone’s a little bit biased.
It is absolutely human nature to be biased towards some group they belong to. Humans like to belong to something and they normally protect that group fiercely. Religious wars are based on a bias towards a certain religion. Fights break out in the streets over a bias towards a certain race. People get beat up in back alleys because of a bias towards a sexual orientation.
Bias is natural. Bias is not a bad thing. It’s ok to be proud of your background or proud of a group you belong to. The problem with bias is when it becomes so forceful that anger and hate come into the picture. And that normally happens when people feel they are being treated differently than those in another group.
“What’s your point?”
My point is this: When you get into a debate about some topic such as racism or sexism and you’re claiming someone is being one of those1, you really need to carefully consider the level of bias within the situation. When a bias is so strong that hatred rears it’s ugly head, then there are problems.
For instance, if a group of people who are in a guild together while playing World of Warcraft decide to all meet in Vegas to hang out, is it too biased of them not to invite others to do so too? However, if a group of people decide to go kill someone who is not the same religion as they are, are they being too biased? Has hatred entered the equation at this point?2
So, before claiming racism, sexism, or some other bias, think logically about the situation. Did the other party/group truly mean to be hateful when they treated you differently than others in their group? If the answer is “no,” there is no argument needed. If the answer is “yes,” it’s time for something to be done.
- DO embrace your differences.
- DO realize that everyone holds different things to be dear to them.
- DO tolerate those differences and learn from them.
- DO understand that people will treat those who are within their groups differently than those who are not.
- However, DO NOT ever accept hatred as a treatment.
Oh. Here’s another part of this post where I completely break the rules of that meme, as I’m going to tell you an 8th thing about me:
I’m human. So are you3.