Friday, February 15, 2008

Secret Prejudice, Overt Stupidity

And it's not just race. A large and growing number of psychologists now argue that a welter of prejudices are simmering just below the surface of society: prejudices against many ethnic groups, against women, gays, the elderly, and outsiders like the homeless and drug addicts. The big question is whether these unconscious animosities are potent enough to actually shape our actions, to make us do things we ourselves find shameful. A new study suggests that, unhappily, the answer is yes.

Would you hire a drug addict? Let a homeless person to baby sit your kids? No? Then you sir/madam are worse than Hitler. I joke of course. Disliking someone because of their parents place of birth or the color of their skin without any knowledge of their character is prejudice. Disliking or avoiding somebody who continually does something untoward is not, it's common sense. I think Martin Luther King may have described making this distinction as "...not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Continued drug abuse and homelessness are character issues. Being born Hungarian is not. You would think that Wray Herbert, the author of the tripe above, would know the difference.

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