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Fri, Oct 21, 2016 09:14
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Race and Gender

Last week we asked for your reaction to my column on race and gender:

>Very good message for everyone.

>People are always reactive toward those who are 'different' from them; low achieving kids in school make fun of the high achievers jocks bully the nerds Harvard MBA folks look on Duke and UNC MBA folks with disdain fat folks bear the brunt of jokes from thinner folks etc. etc. All through our lives we are led to believe that differences are good and our individuality is better than the rest. I believe we have to encourage each other to be aware of our difference and to accept them and even use them where these differences can provide more breadth to foundation of the group. Once we begin to see value in others' uniqueness, we will quit making fun of them and embrace them.

>My introduction to real-world race issues occurred working my first mill trial in a North Carolina mill. As a young, West Coast native,educated in Washington, I knew the tension was in the air. During lunch at the mill cafeteria one day, loud swearing and racial epithets started to fly, then fists flew and finally, the place became a old-fashioned bar brawl like I thought only happened in western movies. No police were called in. I heard there was some discipline dispensed, but apparently it was something that had been brewing and considered inevitable. Maybe such a brawl would happen today, but the attitudes and tension are still there. Hispanics, Asian (excluding US-born Japanese), East European and those from muslim countries (not necessarily muslims, themselves) have been added to the mix. I think I am gender neutral. But, the pressures our immigration policy has put on our economy creates some internal tension.

>It is still a problem, and it shouldn't be. It will take a generation or more of effort to overcome, but it will not simply pass by the passage of time. We have to consciously work at eliminating the discrimination, overt, covert, and, toughest of all, the unintentional. Like you, Jim, I was brought up in the P&G way (mid-70's to early '90's). I had the added benefit of having been a military brat (de-segregated schools and housing), but also the handicap of being a Georgia boy. My dad studied architecture, and I've seen a board he did for a train station with "White" and "Colored" facilities. I learned both good and bad from my childhood experiences. Today, I still know better than I do, but I keep trying to do better. If enough of us keep trying to do better, we or our children or theirs will some day be able to say that we have finally broken free of our racist and sexist tendencies.


This week's quiz is here.

Want to get a jump on the surveys? Follow me on twitter, where they are posted early. You can do this here. (note: all respondents are confidential; the software is programmed in such a way that neither we nor anyone else can determine who responded)



Want to be heard on other subjects? Be sure to watch for "Paperitalo Second Tuesday Surveys."


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