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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Unlearning Hate

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Author Topic: Unlearning Hate
Milke
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Member # 961

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No one's born tolerant. Some of us are lucky enough to be born into situations where diversity and tolerance are a given, and that's a great way to grow up. Others find ourselves dealing with parents or friends who are happy to show their bigotry and prejudices, and sometimes finding our own minds in that sort of situation is difficult. It's easy to say that it's wrong to be hateful, or dislike certain groups of people for something as silly as their skin colour or sexual orientation, but sometimes it's hard standing up to people we love who disagree with that.

If you've grown up having to deal with situations like that, how have you dealt with it? Have you been able to sort out your own thoughts from what's been taught to you, or do you feel you still need some help? Have you been able to overcome biases? Have you got any ideas how other people could do the same?

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Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It's not always going to be this grey


Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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(Just a minor quibble: "No one's born tolerant."

Really, there's just no sound basis for that statement, IME, and we have no big reasons to belive that's so, especially since there is so much showing that most INtolerance tends to be learned, not innate, behaviour, and that much of it isn't at all apparent in early childhood, but comes into play, if and when it does, later, after a whole lot of social conditioning, and more often than not, those intolerances are very obvious and direct reflections of familial and community infuences.

Sociology and child physcology studies and basics being what they are to this point, I'd be more inclined to say that no one is born INtolerant.

End small quibble. Great topic!)


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Milke
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(I see what you're saying. I certainly didn't mean to suggest that anyone's born intolerant, just that when we're tiny and haven't had much education or experience we're pretty open to suggestion. That's a great thing when what's being suggested is positive, and not so cool when it ain't.)

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Milke, with an L, Mrs BD to you, RATS, TMNTP, MF, CWCD, WAOTA

Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It's not always going to be this grey


Posts: 5122 | From: I *came* from the land of ice and snow | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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Absolutely agreed.

And it's a testament, really, to how intense and forceful that conditioning can be in young children -- who instinctually tend to be very, very concerned with fairness and equity (thus the incessant 4-to-onward-year-old battle cry "But it's not FAIR!"), far more so than nearly anyone else.


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Dzuunmod
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Well, okay Heather, but I'd say that that four-year old battle cry is misused, as often as it's applied properly.

I can certainly picture a parent saying to a child, "okay, you've had your turn, but now your brother gets one", with the first kid pleading that it's not fair. In fact, I tend to see most children looking first at how something affects them, and rarely, if at all, at why it's good to share, for example.

Don't you think that usually it's the adults who're really trying to make things fair?

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"Like a bat out of hell, time has come for you!"
-Ballad of a Comeback Kid, The New Pornographers

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 03-15-2004).]


Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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Actually, no, nor would I say that the focus on fairness is only self-involved.

And most of the cornerstones of child phsychology and behaviour (Skinner, Piaget, Montessori, et al) and the near ten years I spent working with young children bear that up.

On this particular topic, most likely the most insightful questions about equity and discrimination and difference I've ever been asked were by four and five-year-olds, with no adult leading them in those questions whatsoever -- they arose out of things witnessed or experienced by the child.

Try telling a white kindergartner at some point, that at one time, their black friend could not use the same water fountain or bathroom as they can, and check out their reactions after they stop staring at you with their eyes gaping open. It's pretty amazing.


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Dzuunmod
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Well, okay, on some of the bigger issues like that, I'd agree with you, but I maintain that when you're talking about making something fair at the expense of a child who was getting too much to begin with, that kid isn't going to want things to change very much.

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"Like a bat out of hell, time has come for you!"
-Ballad of a Comeback Kid, The New Pornographers


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Heather
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That really, really depends on the child and the situation.

I just don't see how you can generalize that broadly about that, even if you limit it to subsets like country, age, social strata, etc.

Because again, even in just my own time teaching, and in a ton of educator biographies, etc. I've found there's just no predicting that.


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Dzuunmod
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Well, yeah, that's a generalization, you're right. I'll take it back.

I just know that in my experience, kids tend to like it when things get better for them personally, and don't like it much when things get worse for them personally. Not that that's different from a lot of other people in our society. I grew up in, and have lived most of my life in middle-class neighbourhoods, middle-class schools and among middle-class friends and family, so I'm sure all of that plays a role in my perspective on this.

Kids in far-off places may well be entirely different. People in far-off places may well be entirely different.

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"Like a bat out of hell, time has come for you!"
-Ballad of a Comeback Kid, The New Pornographers

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 03-15-2004).]


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Beppie
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I'm lucky in that my parents never tried to indoctrinate me with closed minded dogma regarding race and sexuality, but sometimes I do find myself thinking things that I don't like due to cultural perceptions etc. I find that the best thing to do is to consciously acknowledge that I'm having these thoughts (rather than repressing them because I know they're bad), so that I can control them. At first its a conscious thing, but eventually it becomes habit to not think in a certain way.

Sometimes I find that it is difficult to be completely tolerant. For instance, I believe in both religious freedom within the laws of my country (ie, you can think what you want, believe what you want, say what you want, but you can't bash/blow/chop people up because of it), and I believe that there should be no discrimination due to sexual orientation. I have friends who believe, due to their religion, that anything other than heterosexuality is wrong, and this means I have the choice of openly telling them that, in my opinion, their most important book's take on homosexuality is sickening to me (remembering that to them the whole thing is holy, so an attack on one part is an attack on the whole, even on the bits I think are really cool about forgiveness etc), or keeping my opinions to myself, and therefore doing a disservice to the rights of GBLT folk.

By the way, I do tell my friends that I don't believe homosexuality is wrong, and they know that's one big issue that I have with the Bible, and it hasn't seemed to have caused any problems as of yet, but it's still difficult to balance respect for their take on their religion and respect for all sexual orientations within myself, because giving complete repsect to one is giving disrespect to the other- and this disrespect, I believe, leads to hatred and, in the extreme, killing people over these sorts of issues.


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Bobolink
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Member # 1386

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Cable:

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Music: Richard Rodgers "South Pacific"

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We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein


Posts: 3442 | From: Stirling, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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