God, Guns & Other Prejudices

Are humans hard-wired for racial prejudice?
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Accept each other. Reach out to each other and restore relationships. Engage and expand your reach to grow, not to control. In a following presentation, Dr. The sacred Council now pleads with all to forget the past, and urges that a sincere effort be made to achieve mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all humankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom" no.

We want to allow a new relationship to be formed, said Dr. Rita George-Tvrtkovic, associate professor of theology at Benedictine University in Illinois, focused her remarks on confronting religious prejudice.

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Tvrtkovic encouraged Catholics and Muslims to work together on current issues like the MeToo movement, gun violence, immigration, and to team up in serving refugees. To share insight and learning; to humanize the other in our own eyes; to search for the power of love and to care for one another," said Omar.

All of us have a responsibility to accept each other as brothers and sisters. In the end, what is most important is not what each believes, but whether we act on what we believe. A forum of Catholic Thought. Please share this article on social media. Submit a Letter to the Editor. Help us expand our reach! Regular Contributors. Most Read Articles.

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An early Boston convert to Catholicism Thomas Lester. Reflections on the Blandensburg Cross Michael Pakaluk. Racism goes beyond prejudice an attitude to structure this power advantage politically, economically, culturally and religiously within a social system, whether it be simple as in personal bias or complex as in the role apartheid played in South Africa , which gives social advantage to some at the expense of others perceived to be inferior and undeserving.

In its essence, racism is culturally sanctioned strategies that defend the advantages of power, privilege and prestige which "Whites have because of the subordinated position of racial minorities.

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God, Guns and Other Prejudices by Warren Hodges, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Format: Kindle Edition; File Size: KB; Print Length: pages; Publisher: Working Title Publishing (Aug. 25 ); Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC.

It has behind it the moral force of an ideology of supremacy, an ill-will that claims racial superiority and pride of position. By ideology I mean a system of ideas and beliefs about the universe, to which a people adhere in order to justify their attitudes and actions. This ideology can have a religious or a scientific basis, depending on which one shapes our worldview.

Nevertheless the outcome is the same, where one group benefits and the other does not. Ever since the European restructuring of the world from the 16th century on, racism has become affirmative action for whites. It is both an attitude and an act of structural superiority, which justifies its very existence by giving biological differences, such as skin color, texture of the hair, physical features; or cultural differences such as language, religion, ethnicity, or accent, a negative value and meaning.

This negative meaning then legitimizes treating the Other as inferior to oneself or ones group. The result is an objective visible, measurable, tangible , differential there is an obvious difference between groups , and unequal treatment the difference in treatment is not the same , where one groups gets consistently short-changed.

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The working definition for both racism and sexism is the same. Both refer to evil perpetrated against others.

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The only difference is that in racism color is the excuse for oppression, while in sexism it is gender. But racism has very little to do with color, just like sexism has little to do with sex or gender. Biological differences are not the problem; they are merely the excuse for oppression.

Let me illustrate. No person of color has ever suffered discrimination because of the color of their skin. If color were the problem then the solution would be to change your skin color, an action which persons of color throughout history have often attempted, because of the wrong assumption that the problem was the color of their skin. Yet, the problem is not skin color, but systems that perpetrate evil against others and then justify that evil by blaming the victims.

There is nothing wrong with the color black, brown or yellow. It is not skin color that forms the basis for discrimination, but the negative meaning given to the color of skin. If gender were the problem then the solution would also be to have a sex-change operation. But the problem is not gender but systems which benefit men at the expense of women and then justify the evil perpetrated by putting the blame on gender.

Women are discriminated against because of the negative meaning given to their gender. It is not our gender or skin color that we have to change, but systems of oppression that benefit some groups at the expense of others. This whole process is what William Ryan calls "blaming the victim. The logical outcome of analyzing social problems in terms of the deficiencies of the victim is a simple formula for action: Change the victim! William I. For example, the congestion in an elevator or crowded subway is called "intimacy" at a party. This theorem has far-reaching implications for an understanding of race relations as well as the role of women in the church and in society, for "all social reality is defined, [and] power comes from the ability to control the definition of situations.

They end up being relegated to secondary roles, thereby making true in reality the definition enunciated.

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It also holds true in race relations. If African Americans and Latinos are defined as lazy, incompetent, unintelligent, culturally deficient and lacking leadership skills, they too will be relegated to a secondary status in society and not given the opportunity to advance, resulting in consequences which are real thereby justifying the original definition of their situation.

The Undergirding Factor is POWER: Toward an Understanding of Prejudice and Racism

Thus the meaning that people give to their reality, whether or not true, causes people to behave in a manner that makes the original meaning actually come true. None of us sees the world exactly as it is, for the reality that we see is literally an invention of the brain, actively constructed from a constantly changing flood of information we take into our minds, which is then interpreted through our experiences.

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The visual field is made up of the light, colors and figures recorded by the retina. The visual world is made up of all the sociocultural experiences stored in the mind that define the image in the retina, giving it an interpretive meaning called "perception. What people actually "see" is not the reality of the image, but the reality of the perception. And however one defines the world, that is how it will be. Take a piece of cloth such as a handkerchief.

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What is the function of a handkerchief? Is the meaning of these functions in the cloth?

It is in culture, in our human society which has taught us to view and regard a handkerchief in this way. You can take the same piece of cloth and make it into a shirt or a blouse and give it the functions of both protecting and celebrating our bodies.

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You can also take this same piece of cloth, add some red, some blue and some stars and turn it into a flag, and it becomes the signature of a people, symbolizing their group identity and nationality. And many are willing to die and kill for it, and others to stand at attention with tears in their eyes in a moment of triumph, like the many athletes at the Olympic Games as their national flag is raised in celebrated honor of their world-record victories.

Over a mere piece of colored cloth! Not just any cloth, however, but a cloth imbued with meaning, significance and national symbolism and in which we invest emotions that bring spin-tingling sensations in moments of victory or patriotism, or outrage when desecrated, such as the political flap over the burning of the American flag. The problem is that for too long in American society we have been placing meaning not just on cloth, but on the perception of physical characteristics such as skin color, hair texture, gender, age, sexual orientation; or on social differences such as religion, ethnicity, language and social class.

We have relegated some people to be the handkerchiefs of life, and others to be the blouses and shirts, all the while securing a prominent place for those whom we chose to celebrate as flags. We even publish magazines and sleaze newspapers so that we can keep up with the daily life of our favorite human flags.

Humans Are Wired For Prejudice But That Doesn’t Have To Be The End Of The Story

I submit to you that the United States is not only a multicultural nation, but also a nation in conflict with its values, values of freedom, equality, liberty and justice for all. For the meaning is not in the cloth, the meaning is not in the gender, the meaning is not in the hair, the meaning is not in the color of the skin nor in the ethnic origin or language of a people, nor in the sexual orientation; the meaning is in the culture and in the socioreligious values transmitted from one generation to the next. The importance of all of this to society is that we often treat others, especially those who differ from us whether by race, class or gender, as below us and regard them as handkerchiefs, as menial and insignificant; while we regard others, our colleagues and friends, as shirts and blouses; and still others, such as leaders and those in positions of power, as flags before whom we do obeisance and pay our due respect.

What we have in American society is the problem of a homogeneous value system operating within a heterogeneous society. It is the problem of maintaining stereotypes and actions of discrimination which dehumanize, and in many ways make less of human beings. Yet, if we are good enough for God, we ought to be good enough for each other. The Issue is Power: Both Material and Moral: Racism, however, is more than an ideology, a belief system or a negative attitude towards others arising out of prejudice.

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Not all religions justify social inequality. These results underline also the problem. Does evolutionary advantage explain the unconscious favoritism found in the minimal group design? You May Also Like. Controlling global warming is a super ordinate goal which must be reached through the cooperation of all parties, and is essential to the survival of civilization. Those who thought the player was white, rated him as showing more energy and hustle, and as playing a smart game.

If that alone were the case, then racism would be "reduced to something which takes place inside human heads, and the implicit presupposition here is that a change of attitude which will put an end to racial oppression can be brought about by dialogue, by an ethical appeal for a change of mentality. They can thus afflict anyone of any gender, color, community, culture, or country, who craves power above the need to respect the Other. What is power? Power in its essence is the capacity to act..

Sociologically, power comes in two forms, as coercive and as choice. In its coercive form it is the capacity to act in a manner that influences the behavior of others even against their wishes. This is material power, the most prevalent and destructive form of power in society today, and appeals to the baser qualities of human beings, because of competition over scarce resources. Power as choice, on the other hand, is the capacity to act in a manner that influences the behavior of others without violating free moral choice.

This is moral power, which appeals to the higher faculties of humankind. This type of power gives rise to true power. The Material Base of Oppression: Racism is more than just a meaning system, a reinterpretation of reality; it is also a material system, economically and politically structured, from which this meaning system emerges.