October 18th, 2008


Anti-Gay Graffiti at my school

It's all the buzz.....somebody scratched swastikas and anti-gay words on walls in a new gender neutral bathroom on the 2nd floor, and in the "energy medicine" room on the 3rd floor. The gender neutral bathroom came into being because of efforts of the Queers and Allies group on campus, and the way in which it was promoted seems to have alienated a few people. The responses to an anonymous survey revealed substantial tension around the subject, and yet this tension was publicly not addressed. I did not know until today that the creation of this restroom took away the only faculty lounge. There is a plan to have a campus-wide meeting to discuss the incident and what to do about it. I can guarantee you that the perp will not be in attendance.

In this student population the assumption is that we are all environmentalists, eat organic food, ride our bikes, are liberals and progressives, and that we are nondiscriminatory toward all people including gays, other races, genders, religions. But this stereotype of the naturopathic/Chinese medicine student is just that, a stereotype. We are all different. Some of our population are very young people who have not yet separated their values from their parents'. Worldwide the trend is toward greater bigotry and lesser tolerance.....so this is not a one time issue, this is forever, this is for life. We won't win people over to tolerance by being intolerant. I am worried that the school's efforts to reduce hate-oriented actions of all kinds may backfire. I hope not.
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Uneducable Ignorance: Motivated Reasoning

How some people (like my uncle) still can believe that Obama is a Muslim...

Why It's Hard to Change People's Minds
By Sean Gonsalves, AlterNet.
Posted October 7, 2008.
A new study shows that after being exposed to information contradicting their ideas, most people still cling to their prejudices.
from http://www.alternet.org/story/101973/why_it%27s_hard_to_change_people%27s_minds/
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