Re: virus: Tabacco mind virus: antivirii

Eric Boyd (
Thu, 24 Jul 1997 15:32:14 -0500

Eva-Lise Carlstrom wrote:

> I try to be aware of and avoid that kind of double standard--referring to
> people 'like me' as 'people' and people 'unlike me' as exceptions. I
> think it's a natural, but often harmful, habit. I have observed in myself

hmmm. Natural habit? As I child, I remember playing dozens of games
like "which one of the following just *doesn't* belong?" I can't help
but think that I, like you, have been *trained* to notice *differences*,
rather than similarities. Perhaps it's a useful skill sometimes (like
when looking for that one loony (that is, the Canadian one dollar coin)
in a handful of change). But it surly does make us pay more attention
(ie notice) people who are different from us.

> a tendency to notice black people's race in particular, where race doesn't
> occur to me usually when seeing strangers of other races (I am white)...I
> think this is probably largely because there are so few black people in
> the town I grew up in, but it irritates me as a mental phenomenon.

Very irritating, yes. Becuase what it does it makes you pay attention
to how you are treating them... (now, did I act the same there as I did
with the last, white, guy? Well gee, how did I act then?) I'm not sure
that awareness is a bad thing, but I think true equality will only
arrive when we *stop* noticing the differences. After all, if you
aren't aware of the difference (what difference?), you can't possibly
act differently...