On Racism

Racism is an insidious, sneaky thing. It is practically impossible to completely stamp out once it is inside you, and it is almost impossible to keep it out with so much racism-soaked reality television splattered everywhere. I notice twinges of it in myself occasionally, and it is frustrating to realize that my brain has that sort of garbage in it. Many years ago I read about the difference between ‘attitude’ and ‘behavior’ for a class on leadership. Attitude was considered your inner outlook (so to speak), inside you where you cannot manipulate it or control it, while behavior was the outer manifestation of your outlook, outside you where you can manipulate it and control it. The trick, as I was taught, was to control your behavior and, as a result, in time gradually change your attitude to reflect your improved outlook. Reading Hume – some of his work really sticks with me – this makes even more sense. As we are products of our experience, we can improve our own outlook, and our attitudes, by giving ourselves as much positive experience as we reasonably can – and exhibiting positive behavior will eventually lead to improved attitudes, and an improved outlook.

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