prejudice

Why Are So Many People Pissed Off about Miss America?

An Indian-American woman was crowned Miss America this fall. And her coronation led to a firestorm of angry, cruel venting on social media, the perfect platform for cowardly people to spew venom anonymously without repercussion.

A few points:

  • America’s white majority is diminishing, and we’re richer for the diversity.
  • Fear of losing one’s (perceived) position often motivates hate speech. It seems like we’re all looking for someone whom we can consider inferior to ourselves or our people.

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Snap decisions and public transportation

Quick, you’ve just jumped on the subway and you have to grab a seat before the forward motion lurches you into the nearest pole. Without even consciously thinking about it, you’ll make calculations about each of your potential seat mates, and you’ll plop down in what feels like the safest spot.

“Safe” in terms of social cues, avoiding potentially awkward or threatening interactions… “safe” in terms of however you’ve been conditioned to think about various people based on the external visual clues as to their identity.

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Of Mice and Chipmunks

I once refused to sleep in a house where there was a mouse stretched out dead on the floor three floors below me. My newly-minted father-in-law drove a mile to my house to remove the heinous dead rodent, all of two inches long, because his son was away for the night. Father of three sons that he was, he found that task about as curious as he did my long ponytail, high heels and make-up. “What,” he wondered, “would be the harm of sleeping three floors above a tiny,

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