Racism and the Brain

Many people in our country are upset about race — black communities because of years of pain and despair that their predicament will ever be seen or change; individual families in intolerable grief over the lives of their children cut short; demonstrations of people of all colors protesting; and many, many people of white skin thinking things like,

“I’ve always stood for human equality, I know and believe that everyone matters equally. Yet I hear over and over that just by being white I am privileged, and that I need to cop to being inherently racist. This doesn’t feel right to me, but what if I’m missing something? This is so hard!”

Where is the truth in all this?

We know many people have racial prejudices.  They say so.

We also know that many of us see human beings, not skin color.

But yes, why are some of us often careful around our friends or acquaintances who are not white, or vice versa?  Why am I being careful even in selecting the word I am writing this moment, so that I don’t offend someone?

And isn’t it ‘racist’ for a person of color to tell me that just because I have yellow or white skin, I am racist?

Help!

What’s going on in our brains?  Are we “wired” to feel different about people who are different from us?

There’s actually evidence that some of our brains react one way when we see pain in someone who “belongs to our group,” but react very differently when we see pain in someone who is “not us”  … but not everyone’s brain works this way!

Join Susan Skye as she explores these issues and bring some understanding and empathy to a discussion that’s often fraught with tension and stress.

(60 minutes)

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