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Commentary: Why Do We Discriminate?
Edited by Bet MacArthur, LICSW
Looking ahead to NASW’s September 27 conference, “Disrupting Racism,” to be held in central Cambridge, this month’s column offers a personal commentary on some of its core ideas.
The workshop will present three one-hour films led by a panel of presenters, and interspersed with large – and small-group discussion.
The films together comprise a distinguished 2006 documentary presenting the genomic science of the human species, showing conclusively that human beings are biologically identical worldwide; and follows through with a fascinating history of social division and dehumanization, and the modern-day sequelae thereto.
As you will see below, the information presented in the film encounters resistance in some quarters – and it appears the core fact, that of an indivisible human identity, takes some getting used to, for everyone.
Why is it difficult to accept the facts about a uniform human identity? What is the basis of our drive to divide ourselves into groups, and to relegate, subjugate, or dehumanize one another?
What changes, if we really are all the same?
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