You May Not Be Racist, But Your Brain Probably Is


I don't like to talk about racism, because to me it's a symptom of a larger problem: White Supremacy. A system that underpins just about every facet of our society, from education to media narratives. Those things affect us. Everything does, actually. Our brains create associations whether we want them to or not.

Race is a sociological fact. Not a biological one. Interesting quirk of biology...our brains evolved to give the organism the best chance to survive. And as smart as we may be...our brains can be kind of dumb.

U of T published a study that showed White people can't empathize with people of colour. This wasn't based on their opinions. It was based on how their brains worked.

Their brain's mirror-neuron system, the part that shows empathy just didn't fire when seeing POC doing things that other White people do. I'd say that even though the subjects were White people, that this is really just indicative of the brain's "in-group" vs. "out-group" categorization ability.

"I'm not racist, but..." sound familiar? Or how about "He's just telling it like it is"...these are the rationalizations we voice, driven by our "subconcious" observations and beliefs...the shit our brain funnels to us.

Let's take colour out of it for a minute: Rich people (natch...the ones that were born rich) don't feel sympathy for poor people.

There's that pesky brain trying to categorize as best it knows how again. In-group vs. out-group.

There are people that flount these "rules" our brains come up with...and they get placed into the "exception" category. Trust me, I get it all the time. "You're not like BLACK, Black" "You're different...you know what I mean", etc. I don't take it personally, because I understand the science behind it. And hell, I've caught myself doing it too!

READ: The Science of Why Cops Shoot Young Black Men

KB

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