Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Prejudice Vaccine

A Vaccine contains the agent that causes the disease, but prepares the immune system to recognise and destroy these microorganisms in later encounters. I don't like the idea of 'Safe Spaces' that avoid all triggers or ideas we struggle with. I see universities and communities as a place to teach us to cope with challenges. Not to avoid them. Recognising the things that are not acceptable in others, in even tiny doses in ourselves is likely the best way to genuinely challenge prejudice. I don't consider myself a racist. My parents brought me up as Apartheid was dying, to celebrate the birth of a New South Africa. However, I do see the Racism Vaccine in my behaviour and responses. Moving to the UK, I definitely see the same 'them and us' prejudice and restraints but through the eyes of a class-based society. Where word, food, name and clothing choice indicates what 'type' of person you are. I am intolerant of children on busses behaving aggressively. I do feel superior to people spitting gum on the floor. I am bothered by people in both the upper classes and lower classes of British culture with behaviours that breech the rules I grew up with. Even if they 'look like me'. I do respond respond badly, and feel uncomfortable. Mirrors are more powerful weapons of understanding than pitch-forks. Mirrors are our prejudice vaccine. 


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