Friday, October 20, 2017


Excuse me for trying to simplify things - Einstein did say it was a virtue to make things as simple as possible but no simpler. I suspect that the issue of racism, or racism or white nationalism, bias, and bigotry, etc. is being over-analyzed. It is likely that natural selection has selected a trait in humans that leads to tribalism (which benefited tribes and therefore assisted the survival of those tribal members) and it is a powerful trait in some of us and less so in others. This trait also does not have to be based on skin color, but could be based on other physical attributes, gender or even non-physical belief systems.

I remember watching a documentary on TV about a fellow (African in ethnicity but light skinned and who could pass for white) who could get brown-eyed people all worked up against blue-eyed persons in his seminars in a matter of minutes. The audiences did not seem to realize they were being manipulated to be against the blue-eyed people. They were ready to persecute the blue eyed people even though their own "ethnicity" varied from European, African to Asian, etc.. They united against the "blue eyes." It was easy.

Here is my point; us humans are often largely irrational. We are largely idiots. We are subject to impulses that may have been useful in some way in the past in order to survive but are useful no longer.  Once upon a time, if an individual’s “tribe” was more likely to survive, the individual was more likely to survive as well.  We therefore became tribal in behavior.  We began to be biased towards the traits of those in our "tribe."   Now, however, the world has shrunk – we are pretty much now all in the same tribe.  Tribal behavior can be dangerous in this world.

The struggle is to behave rationally and with concern for others. This is no easy thing. We often fail. It could be anyone one of us at one time or another. We need to continually question our beliefs and behaviors to make sure they are rational and compassionate.

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