props to anyone who recognizes this name before reading my article, you probably already have an idea where this is going
According to science, familiarity breeds good will among those of varying races. More specifically, rats who are familiarized with other rats of a different breed/different fur color/etc are more likely to help rats of that other breed escape a trap. In humans, this concept is called “contact hypothesis.”
I happen to believe that this hypothesis is correct. Spending time interacting with someone of a different race will make a person less likely to treat a third party of their friend's race differently from their own race.
For MLK day, this is what I was thinking about. It was illustrated by a feelgood story about someone who I consider to be a personal hero.
If you're active on the parts of the internet that debate racial aspects of RL politics, you've likely passed by this image or something similar at least once:
Well, it's not bull. That guy is real, and he puts contact hypothesis into practice in a big way. I won't waste words here, I'll let you hear his story directly from him if you so choose.
his voice is smoother than the sweet music he plays
So I've been thinking about Daryl Davis this week, and comparing his life to the iconic quote: “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” I think Mr Davis is living out the dream that MLK Jr was talking about.
Daryl Davis is not every human, though. There is a lot of hate out there. There are a lot of people who dislike others before even having met them, and race is not the only reason for their hate. Yes, white ethnonats exist. There are people, as Daryl has seen firsthand, who believe that the races would be naturally more content and more harmonious if we all lived in our own communities, separated from people who look different from us. If you dive down the rabbit hole, you'll find they make good arguments for it, too. They talk about how the culture and individuality of many smaller groups across the globe is dying. They talk about the value of visiting India during Holi, or visiting Mexico on Cinco de Mayo, and seeing things as a tourist that you can't get anywhere else in the world. And they use it all to justify their desires for America to be split up along racial lines. I've talked to people who literally believe that something is to be gained by making Chicago a black-only city, California a hispanic-only state, and large parts of America white-only.
They may use flowery rhetoric, but their ideas still contradict what I believe to be a truth of human psychology: familiarity breeds good will, and distance breeds mistrust.
So what do we do about it? How do we respond to people who think that way?
One option is what big tech companies have been doing: ban them and hope they go away, or at least stop spreading their views. Out of sight, out of mind (at least until gab and bitchute slowly gain steam and eventually surpass the gradually-declining youtube, facebook, and twitter). I see this as creating more problems than it solves.
On a more personal level, option one can include cutting off friendships, and even familial ties. My family actually had a large rift over politics since 2016. My grandmother and her sister, who have been friendly their whole lives, spent multiple months of 2020 refusing to speak to each other, because they disagree about Trump. I'm sad to say there are friends I have some great memories with who I no longer talk to, as well.
Another option is allowing hate to take over.
forgive the weeb trash, but there's a good message here, and it ties in directly to the next part of my article
I've seen it from other people, and have been disgusted by it. And I've seen that type of hate within myself, and jumped through mental hoops to find why it was okay for me to feel that way, but not for others.
I've talked to someone from Palestine who believes a special tax just for Jews is good and justified. I've seen friends celebrate and make light of the violent deaths of police officers. I've talked to CCP members who believe the people of Hong Kong are race traitors for refusing to accept one single ethnically-unified government, that is essential for a unified defense from the hostile influences of the West.
It's easy to say that other people shouldn't feel those things, but it's hard to put down the molotov cocktail ourselves and actually have a conversation with someone we hate. What we should be doing is connecting souls, to find out why they think that way. It's something I confess I have a very hard time doing. That is why I admire Daryl Davis so much, because he is able to easily do something that I struggle with. The content of that man's character is superior to mine.
In hopes that this one didn't come off rambly, let me illustrate the third option by giving you a challenge:
Find someone from That group. You know which one. The one you swear you hate. The one that you secretly rejoice whenever you hear about death or misfortune befalling one of them. The one that you simply cannot understand WHY they think or act the way they do, and the one you're sure has zero human sympathy in their soul. Find someone from that group, and try to understand their point of view. Try to find some condition that would make you (or someone you consider a reasonable human being) shift into a line of thinking similar to that of your “enemy.” Or failing that, take baby steps. Bond with them over a shared interest. Music, games, sports, anything. Find an ice-breaking activity, a key to connect your souls, and start from there, with the earnest goal of mutual respect and realization that you're both human beings who deserve sympathy.
And I'm not just spouting idealistic drivel with this challenge to you. I have faced racism in my own life. In fact, I've had my entire life direction changed by racism. I know how easy it is to hate, and I make this a challenge to myself as well, because as I mentioned, it is something I struggle with.
If we want to end that cycle of hate, we need to do it.
Rioting and looting will breed distrust. Getting inflammatory online will breed distrust. Taking violent action, or celebrating violent action will breed distrust.
If we want to lessen the amount of hate in this world, we should follow the example of Daryl Davis. Talk with “the enemy.” Make friends with them. Be willing to see them as human, and hopefully, they will be willing to do the same.
There. I spent an hour and a half on this article, which is an hour and a half more than this game deserves from me.
Now kindly, leave me alone.
Oh, and stay jazzy