Thursday, February 21, 2008
At my high school, which is majority-minority, the newspaper did a survey in which they asked the kids what they though white and black characteristics were. The white kids called whites dorky and mostly uncool. They said that blacks were funny and outgoing. The black kids said that whites were smart and hard-working, and blacks were ignorant and loud. The teacher who advised the student newspaper decided that the results of the survey weren't suitable for publication.
Ideally, of course, we would want whites and blacks not to be able to systematically categorize either group. But apart from that utopian goal, isn't this configuration exactly what we want?
If both groups think negatively of their own people and positively about the other people, we get a restorative social force. The equilibrium in this system is equality. If the preferences were the other way around, then we'd have a problem because the tendency would be for greater and greater division.