Sunday, 16 September 2018

Prejudice, the Individual, and "Aphorism 4"

Sepia photograph of Belgian royals visiting the Congo in colonial times.
I've had a generally good response to my recent posting of my “Maxims & Aphorisms”, which is good. There's still a lot of them to come – I've done a few of each, and there's actually 12 of each in the full collection (so far). Healthy debate has sometimes been sparked, and others have provoked general agreement or support.
The one I posted last Saturday, however, Aphorism 4, has provoked pretty emotive reaction. Indeed, to me it seems more so than the reaction to Maxim 4, which I perfectly expected to be controversial in some circles.
To save you the trouble of clicking through (though following the link above will allow you to view it in all its “text overlaid on a stock image” glory), Aphorism 4 reads as follows: “Every prejudice that exists in your society is a part of you. To deny it is to refuse to fight it.” Challenging, yes, but some of the reaction has been, rather than that of being challenged, that of being attacked. Some Friends, mostly American as far as I can see, have seen it as an extension of the “all white people are racist” attitude that they have felt regularly attacked by. I do not mention the nationality of those Friends to disparage them or their nation; rather, observing that perhaps social discourse in that country has led to a different reaction than might be found elsewhere.
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