Countering Racism and Us-Them Thinking

Happy July 1st and welcome to my blog!

I am passionate about investigating and countering racism and other kinds of us-them thinking that divides people. This blog is about genocide and racism and the lessons from both we can use to make ourselves less racist and our society more equitable.

I’ve been reading about – and teaching – the psychology of genocide and unethical behavior for over a decade. I think that seeing racism in comparative perspective with genocide leads to some insights. For example it was only when I started thinking about the US in comparison with South Africa and Rwanda that I realized the US has not engaged in a national effort of reconciliation where individuals and groups are encouraged to reflect on the psychological and social attitudes that led to racial violence. This comparative perspective helps me think about the psychological and social reconciliation I think this country needs in order to become more equitable.

So on this blog, I’ll share specific ideas from the psychology of genocide that are relevant, I think, to issues of racism. I’ve also decided I must be a better ally to people of color – and to do so, I’ll be reading more about racism by people of color. (I’m not completely ignorant, but there’s loads I don’t know and should.) So that will inform the blog as well. Finally, I also want to understand racists, especially those who learn and unlearn racism, so I can understand the appeal of racism and how people unlearn it. So I’ll report on that reading and viewing here as well.

It seems to me that our society is more divided and divisive than ever – and those of us who are committed to crossing divides better do it.

My hope is that you’ll think about and consider the various points on this blog from your point of view and then use that reflection to enrich mine! Please join the conversation!

I do moderate comments because this blog is on my website, and the experience I nurture here reflects me. I encourage differing perspectives meant to enrich our common goal of learning about racism in order to be better antiracists.  On my blog I insist on non-violent communication.

I’ll write every Thursday for at least three months. See you Thursday, when I’ll be writing about Social Dominance Orientation, one of the psychological tendencies most associated with prejudice.

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