We should never discriminate, but how feasible is that really is?
Like many others before have said, I believe that judgement is innate and inevitable. The way we change, what we change, and how we judge is, of course, from the messages that media show to us, but what many forget is that our background, role, family and environment are equally as important, which I feel like @bebe, @cherryblossom, and @BlueWhale24 all sort of alluded to. Even if we do live in this American society, each of us will have slightly different ways to judge someone or interpret something differently simply because of our life situations. Somebody who also has a stutter, has a family member who stutter, or a parent who works with stuttering patients can immediately emphasize and understand what a person with a stutter is going through. Those who have never encountered this condition will simply think they are awkward or “slow” or dumb or a bumbling fool. We can’t help the backgrounds and circumstances we are born into, but one thing we can change of course is our mindset.
But like what @ernest. wrote, believing you’re totally not a racist/sexist/homophobe etc isn’t enough because these unconscious thoughts surface in the most unassuming of moments, and these unconscious thoughts surface because of what we see in our daily lives. We see certain people more in certain situations, therefore our brain unconsciously connects the two. It’s why Trump’s words or anybody of Trump’s caliber is so dangerous. Powell understands it well and deduces it’s why people are so drawn to him - the fact that he says what everybody is thinking unconsciously. However, what he says is not the whole truth. He simply grabs the most obvious part and runs with it. Instead of challenging people to question why certain people appear in certain situations more often and examining the framework of society in which these things happen, we don’t. And when powerful politicians also don’t examine the statistics or the underlying reason further, people don’t feel the need to. In other words, they remain complacent.
Like @ernest says, things like choosing whether or not the bread should stay longer in the toaster are trivial, because no one around you except for your family will see your choice. However, some things that we think are trivial, like choosing your outfit for the day, are influenced in part by how we want to represent ourselves and how we want others to think about us. This brings me to Iyengar’s Ted Talk. I’ll be blunt, though I wholly welcome a new perspective in examining what choices can do to us, I deeply disagree with her. It is true that having too many choices can cause anxiety or that making a choice from a sea of options can make us have second thoughts about what could have been if we had just picked a different option, but choices fundamentally represent freedom. It represents the different ways we can express ourselves, and if nothing else, having that choice there affirms the idea that it’s okay to be different. When the Polish man said that having different kinds of bubblegum is artificial, I disagree, because what’s wrong with someone simply disliking a flavor and preferring something else? “Because you don’t like chocolate ice cream, you must be blank.” “It’s wrong to like sugar with green tea.” This circles back to othering, showing that it’s everywhere, even in the most mundane of places, culminating into prominent examples of othering such as race.
Choices allow us to support what we want to support and push for. The Russian participant claims that choosing from many brands of soda is just choosing soda at the end, but what the participant missed is that it’s also about choosing which company values you want to support. If we only have one soda brand, we would be forced to indirectly support whatever horrible action that the brand does. However, the more brands that pop up, the higher of a chance an ethical brand could appear, which means that now we would not be forced to support a horrible brand. Of course, that’s one of the arguments for capitalism, but whether or not that could happen most of the time is an argument for another day, though @BlueWhale24 discusses a bit about the issue and @ernest discusses whether or not forcing yourself to do the ethical thing every single time is feasible.
To answer @vare’s question: The question I would like to ask is, how is a person’s stance on discrimination and judgment influenced by those around them? Is it something that they can change as they mature? I think of it as the mirror effect. Humans do this unconsciously, we mirror the people around us because we want them to like us, fit in, or think of us a certain way. Even though many of us might disagree, we are sociable creatures by nature. Our first activities have been all about hunting in groups after all. We are reliant on those around us, therefore if our parents believe a certain way, we would also be inclined to believe a certain way. If this news network that’s on TV right now thinks this certain way and presents these facts in a certain way, then the people currently watching it would be inclined to believe them in this certain way as well. If all my life everybody around me, my neighbors, my classmates, my teachers, and my family firmly believes in this one thing, it’s hard to get into the mindset that they might be wrong. After all, how do you know something that you’ve never known before?
Change happens to each and every one of us. They could be as little as preferring yellow over orange, or as big as a change as moving away to a new place. Adults tend to be more responsible, more rational, and more cautious. Do they want to admit that they were wrong? Do they want to consider new perspectives? Perhaps changes along their life, like the meeting of new and diverse people, could help bring further change. We have the capabilities to change, but the question is whether or not the person wants to change. How mature is this person? What did they encounter along the way?
One of the main points that Garza pushes is the complexity of intersectionality and how that means we have to enlarge our conversation and consider issues from many, many different sides. My question to the next person is this: Should we encourage organizations that focus on one singular aspect, such as the perils of transgender women, to better focus and hone in in that area or should we create a general organization like a group that focuses on all black issues to mobilize more people for a common goal?