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Related Words, Beliefs, Background for Choice #24

Worldview Theme #32B: Culture of Tolerance                           Worldview Theme #39B: Blaming / Scapegoating

for a summary read these 5 entries in order: pluralism, multiculturalism, equal opportunity, non-sectarian, teaching tolerance 

for a summary read these 5 entries in order: segregation--racial, blame, hate crime, dehumanizing before killing, Holocaust 

affirmative action–in decision-making related to offering jobs or extending other opportunities to individual applicants, preferentially favoring members of some minority group to make up for this group’s past, unjust exclusion from the chance to have certain employment, educational or other opportunities.

anger–a strong emotional reaction often accompanied by various observable changes in measurable physiological quantities, body language, facial expressions–and verbally or physically aggressive behavior.  This response follows some triggering stimulus, chain of events, or wide variety of situations–which the person who experiences it or them may think of as "what happened to me": being strongly displeased, inappropriately restrained, treated unfairly, harassed, threatened, attacked or something similarly happening to one's loved ones or personal property.  While some anger may manifest itself immediately, sometimes it can build slowly, simmering before erupting.    

anger, constructive expression of–expressing anger constructively, being objective, blaming or not blaming others as appropriate, but maintaining self control and avoiding furious rages can be a real challenge.  Before such expression, its goal–often to affect behavioral changes in a person, persons, or institution deemed responsible–should be clearly formulated.  If individuals with whom the angry person has an ongoing relationship are involved, good communication and choosing one's words carefully in expressing anger are important.  Use of "I statements," of the form "I feel or felt _____ when you do or did _______ , helps others empathize with you.  The degree to which a person can express anger constructively provides an important measure of emotional maturity.      

anonymity—a strategy for being unidentifiable / impossible to reach or track down / unknown.  An important part of insuring privacy, freedom of action, and perhaps avoiding being a target. Related to transparency in that invisible often equals anonymous. Examples: anonymity is an important part of 1) free elections in that if those voting differently than you knew this they might vengefully come after you,  2) discrimination: if you don’t stand out in a crowd you won’t be discriminated against.  

blame--is placed by a displeased angry person on another person, persons, or an institution to communicate that they are believed to be responsible or at fault for the perceived (real or imagined) offense.  Blame involves making a judgment, serving notice that another is being held accountable, and potentially seeking justice. 

brainwashing -- a forcible indoctrination to persuade someone to give up certain beliefs, attitudes and practices in favor of those espoused by whomever is behind the brainwashing

caste system–a system of social stratification prevalent in Asia (especially India) where one's status is dictated by religion / your parents' status, etc.  UNICEF estimates that related discrimination affects 250 million people. 

dehumanizing before killing -- based on the idea that it is easier to kill people who are seen as less than human, before such killing a dehumanizing process must take place. This may begin with discriminating, perhaps tagging with derogatory epithet, scapegoating, and lead to generally “psychically numbing” oneself to the reality that the intended victims are fellow human beings. See next entry. 

dehumanizing by linking person to the Devil—refers to the practice of attacking / vilifying a person, perhaps as part of an extremist  political agenda,  by linking them to pure evil / the Devil—effectively dehumanizing them.  Examples of how the conspiracy theory driven right wing conservative extremists have employed this tactic: 1) the vilification of Hungarian-American billionaire investor and philanthropist—and victim of assassination attempts—George Soros; 2) the Q Anon conspiracy theory

discrimination-- prejudicial treatment of people based on their being different (in race, religion, appearance, ability, etc.)  In some jurisdictions certain forms of discrimination are outlawed; elsewhere they can lead to policies and practices that harm particular groups. 

dividing people, tactics used to do this -- those who fear the collective strength of people who have organized and united to form a group, often seek to exploit differences within the group and destroy its populist mission. Differences exploited often include race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class -- but fracturing can occur along many potential fault lines if outsiders are working to encourage it. After the fracturing, people who previously fully embraced populism may have moved away from it (to some extent) and toward individualism, and blame, dissension, finger-pointing, lack of trust, etc. may exist where previously they didn’t.

empathy–concisely it refers to "fellow feeling" , that is imagining that you are in the other person’s shoes and experiencing his or her feelings, struggles, etc.  Emotionally immature people, in particular those who after experiencing so much pain as children have learned how to block it, may not feel compassion for another's pain.  Empathizing with others thus requires being in touch with your own feelings.  

equal opportunityin a narrow sense it refers to “leveling the playing field” so that all applicants for a particular job are treated similarly without prejudice or barriers that have nothing to do with ability to perform the job. In a bigger sense it can refer to all members of a society having an opportunity to prosper based solely on their ability, motivation, hard work, etc without prejudice or insurmountable hurdles put there by entrenched “powers that be”.  

environmental racism–a majority uses it power to make policies that disproportionately subject minorities to pollution / environmental hazards

ethnic group–its members share beliefs, values, traditions, customs, habits, behavioral norms, and common language, religion, homeland, history, heritage and/or race.  

ethnocentrism -- adopting the social standards of one’s own culture or ethnic group as the basis for evaluating the social practices, customs, beliefs, etc. of another culture -- and doing so because you believe your society’s values and way of living are superior to those of other cultures.

exclusive–excluding others from participating. American writer, poet and populist Carl Sandburg, whose works included a 1936 book entitled The People, Yes!, when asked what word he most detested, replied, "exclusive."

fascism–a centralized authoritarian system of government that exalts law and order, national pride, race, economic and social regimentation, and the survival of the fittest, while suppressing dissent, and trampling individual freedom. Promoting conformity by instilling fear, Playing on prejudice in using propaganda and scapegoating minorities are among tactics used by fascists. 

fear--a strong, primary emotion associated with unpleasant anticipation of danger and pain.

gay sex, growing acceptance of—two turning points in western affluent countries’ gradual acceptance of same sex sexual activities occurred in the late 1960s: 1) in the UK when Parliament rescinded the law making gay sex a crime, and 2) the 1969 when New York City Stonewall riots led to popularizing the term “coming out”—along with encouraging this—and to gay pride parades with rainbow flags, etc. Fast forward over decades of progress.  Whereas in 2002 just half of Americans felt homosexual activity was acceptable, by 2020 nearly 75% did. Likewise, typically a majority  of those polled in  western affluent countries --at least the ones not religiously conservative—approved of gay rights, same sex marriage, etc. Yet elsewhere in the world, acceptance has not progressed as far and fast. In India for example, 15% of those polled in 2003  felt homosexual activity was acceptable, a figure that by 2019 had grown to 37%. And gay sex is still illegal in 68 countries—indeed, in 12 of them it is a crime punishable by death. One side effect of increasing acceptance of gays: increasing tolerance of those who initially are viewed as “different.”

genocide -- the deliberate, systematic mass slaughter of an ethnic, political or cultural group. 20th century examples of genocide include the Nazi perpetrated slaughter of Jews during World War II, and slaughters in Armenia, Cambodia and Rwanda.

hate crime--according to the FBI, this is "a criminal offense committed against a person, property or society which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin."  Unlike conventional crimes, hate crimes are often intended to strike fear in, and intimidate, the targeted group.  

Holocaust, education and remembrance—in this regard consider this excerpt from the Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust: “The Holocaust...must be forever seared in our collective memory. The selfless sacrifices of those who defied the Nazis... must also be inscribed in our hearts.  The depths of that horror, and the heights of their heroism, can be touchstones in our understanding of the human capacity for evil and for good.  With humanity still scarred by genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils. Together we must... ensure that future generations can understand the causes of the Holocaust...” The number of Jews killed by the Nazis is typically point at six million people,

homophobia -- fear of homosexuals, typically associated with discrimination toward them.

humility and tolerance--starting from the idea that humility involves limiting the "space" one takes up and leaving room for others, one can extend this to include leaving room for others to hold beliefs that differ from one's own, i.e. tolerance.  Those who feel this way may also value the notion that no one has the right to impose their beliefs on others.  



indigenous people–in 2004, the United Nations provided the following definition: "Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them.  They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal system."  By 2020, the World Bank estimated there were 476 million indigenous people worldwide in over 90 countries.

magnanimous--noble, generous, especially in forgiving

misogyny -- hatred of women.

multiculturalism–an orientation in which blending of cultures / cultural diversity is seen as beneficial to the larger society / nation since it creates societal cohesion. 

nations vs. nation states--the former are defined by ethnic / cultural ties, the latter as a sovereign political unit with full authority over its internal and external affairs. For example, the Navaho nation exists within the USA nation state. 

nativism–refers to a policy or belief system in which native inhabitants or some traditional culture is favored over immigrants or mixing of cultures

non-sectariannot beholden to a particular sect (e.g. religion, political party, faction, etc.) and thus not typically narrow and limited in character or scope, or bigoted but open to all regardless of sect and typically broad-based, open-minded, and lacking prejudice.      

ostracisma policy or actions that consistently ignore, exclude, or shun a person who is the target of this discrimination

prejudice--not impartial; biased

pluralisma societal state in which people of diverse religious, racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds all live together under the same national government, preserving aspects of their heritage and traditions.     

propaganda -- broadly speaking, information that is designed and disseminated as part of a concerted effort to influence what individuals believe or want, and manipulate public opinion and desires.

racisma negative attitude toward members of a particular race based on stereotypes and belief in the inferior nature of members of that race in comparison to other human beings (and in racial superiority of some races over others in general.)

refugee-- a person who has crossed national boundaries and fled his or her home, typically due to conflict,  disaster  or otherwise unsafe conditions, and is living elsewhere—often in refugee camps.  By 2020 the  number of such displaced people worldwide was greater than at any time since World War II—approaching 30 million.  

reparations for slavery—seeking political justice and to right past wrongs, many argue that descendents of slaves—most notably those of African descent—should be paid to compensate the group to which they belong for impaired economic development, lost opportunity, etc.

same sex marriage–an arrangement in which two people of the same sex live together as a family.  Controversy surrounds organized efforts to ban such marriages, give them the same legal rights that heterosexual marriages get, or something in between.  Civil unions or domestic partnerships fall in this last category, in which partners enjoy some but not all of the benefits of marriage.    

sectarianism–involving the asserting of rigid sectarian dogmatism and inflexibility–which often leads to conflict between sects (e.g. religions, political parties, factions, etc.)    

segregation-- racialthe systematic and institutionalized separation of people according to race and ethnicity. In the USA Jim Crow era South it included separate schools, bathrooms, drinking fountains, etc. for whites and blacks. In South Africa the system was known as apartheid—something eventually labeled an international crime against humanity by the International Criminal Court.  See also racism

self actualization–the ultimate personal development state as studied by Maslow and other psychologists.  Self actualized people, according to Maslow have achieved, "the full use and exploitation of talent, capacities, potentialities, etc."  They are self confident but also possess humility that allows them to listen carefully to others and admit their ignorance.  They see life more clearly than others partly due to a better understanding of themselves.  With this superior perception comes a better sense of right and wrong. Among their attributes, Maslow includes "honesty and naturalness, the transcendence of selfish and personal motivations, the giving up of lower desires in favor of higher ones."  Such people feel a strong bond or kinship with the rest of humanity.  They typically seek important and meaningful work.   

sexism--when one needlessly differentiates, discriminates, or even hates based on a person's sex.

teaching tolerance --blue eyes / brown eyes classroom exercise -- refers to third grade teacher Jane Elliot's famous teaching tolerance related exercise first conducted in April 1968,  the day after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot. After the kids agreed to participate, it started by designating brown-eyed kids as the superior group and requiring blue-eyed kids wear collars so they would better stand out for discriminatory  purposes. The goal was for the kids discriminated against to learn "what it feels like to be a black boy or girl." The next week the exercise was reversed so that blue-eyed kids were the superior group. 

tolerant—sympathetic to or at least able to allow another individual’s  indulgence in beliefs, values, practices, and behaviors that differ from or conflict with one’s own.  

transformative justice–rather than imprisoning and punishing, it focuses on educating and transforming offenders and correcting the root causes / societal conditions behind offenses.  In a broader sense it provides an opportunity for healing / peacemaking that victims can also sometimes benefit from

transgender—refers to a person whose current gender identity or gender expression differs from the sex (male or female) assigned at birth

transparency—with respect to behavior or information, a term described best metaphorically with observations like you can’t see through a closed door.  It refers to the extent to which something—often individual or group behavior—is visible or hidden, or open or closed to inspection. Examples: 1) a city council wants a more transparent, open government so its meeting is public and it does not go into (closed) executive session. wants its  2) a software developer provides the detailed code to a program he writes in open source fashion so all of the instructions are completely visible

trust and distrust--the biochemical basis for --Recent research suggests that the neurotransmitter and hormone oxytocin plays an important role in people trusting )or not trusting) other people (including strangers) and co-operating with them. Oxytocin is released in humans by the pituitary gland during breastfeeding,  childbirth labor, sexual and other activities. Lab studies indicate this chemical and a related hormone are important to prosocial / joining behaviors—especially as related to pair bonding and reproduction. Oxytocin has variously been called “the bonding hormone,” “the love drug,” “the cuddle chemical,” etc. But recent research suggests it also has a dark side. Besides increasing a pair-bonding trust—what can be called “in group favoritism”—it also seems to promote “out group derogation” of those perceived as “other.” As one report put it, Human ethnocentrism—the tendency to view one's group as centrally important and superior to other groups—creates intergroup bias that fuels prejudice, xenophobia, and intergroup violence. Grounded in the idea that ethnocentrism also facilitates within-group trust, cooperation, and coordination, we conjecture that ethnocentrism may be modulated by brain oxytocin…” Other research suggests that those who are untrustworthy, or  have difficulty with social interaction, may have oxytocin receptor dysfunction. 

vigilantism--a sort of mob justice that results when people take the law into their own hands. This can result if there is a perceived gap between crime and punishment.   

white privilege—aspects of society that intentionally or unintentionally benefit those with white skin. Given past history, ingraining thinking, unconscious bias, etc many whites in affluent western societies who think of themselves as tolerant and not racist aren’t even aware of much that they benefit from based on their skin color.

xenophobia--a fear of foreigners or strangers



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