Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In Reply: Similarity Breeds Familiarity

In reply to a comment at the Daily Texan post "Trayvon Martin and The Case of Yellow Journalism," an editorial cartoon that was subsequently removed from the site, along with all commentary about it.

Most of your rant is just downright disgusting and not worthy of reply, but I was intrigued by your comment about human nature... (which as best as I can recall, was that people are racist by nature.)

I agree that there is a certain bias for tribalism--to have a more positive view of those like you (which implies a less positive view of those different from you)--but I don't know that I'd call it racism or bigotry, necessarily. A lot of the time, it's just a matter of being able to more easily identify with folks with whom you share some common trait...

Look at national politics, where the accepted common wisdom is that Mormons will support the Mormon candidate, women will vote for the woman, Texans will vote for the candidate who is (or ever was) from Texas, Irish for Irish, gay for gay, same college, and on and on..., (There's even evidence that the bald are more likely to support the candidate with the least hair, plumbers the one who once worked as a plumber, etc.)

It's the same in most other aspects of life, too... ...and most people don't even give it much thought... Similarity breeds familiarity, I guess...

It is a bias, but I don't think it's necessarily bigotry or racism (though it can become that, of course...) It's just that like naturally attracts like, and people have an affinity for people who "mirror" them in some way.

To say otherwise is to suggest that those Mormons who support the Mormon candidate and Texans who vote for the guy who was born in their hometown (or the next town over) in Texas are bigots for doing so, and I just don't agree that that's the case...

Posted (and subsequently removed, along with everything else at the post) 03/28/12 07:46 PM

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