Starting the Conversation

In my last post, I encouraged parents to break their silence and be proactive in the teaching of tolerance and respect. I use the word “tolerance” with reservation because I am looking for more than tolerance. I think we tolerate tooth aches and tolerate loud music. To me, being tolerant means you are just barely able to deal with something unpleasant. I want to push you to move way beyond tolerance. I want to push you to embrace and respect differences. Don’t just tolerate them. Value the differences and teach your children to value them too. How do you do this? Many people, especially those who find themselves in the majority or ingroup, have [...]

The Second Ripple

After my freshman year at Gettysburg College, I transferred to Cornell University. On the first day of classes at Cornell, I experienced my second ripple of change. I walked into a small classroom and saw “Does racism exist in America?” written in big letters on the chalk board. As we filed into the classroom, our professor, Don Barr, asked us to divide into small groups and discuss our responses to the question. I didn’t take much time to think about my answer because I had an immediate response. Based on my personal experience, I planned to share my answer without any hesitation or thought. My answer was a simple “no”. How could I answer [...]

By |2017-07-16T02:18:27-05:00July 15th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Describing the Water

When you are part of the ingroup or the majority, it can be difficult to answer the question, what is culture? I recently talked about right handed people not having to think about being right handed. It is like asking a fish to describe water. When the water is all around you and it’s all you see and all you know, it can be difficult to even notice the water. Let alone describe it. The times I have been most aware of the water around me is when I have experienced what it is like to be in the outgroup or part of the minority. These moments have brought a range of emotions; from [...]

Ingroups and Outgroups

In my last post, I used the words majority and minority. As we examine different dimensions of culture, there are also different majority and minority groups. These terms refer to the number of people who fit into a certain demographic group, but these terms may not always be accurate. For example, although men are considered the majority gender group in the United States, women slightly outnumber men (51% to 49%). Another example is Christians; while they are the religious majority in our country, they are a minority religion across the globe. Rather than use the terms majority and minority, I prefer the terms ingroup and outgroup. Outgroups are cultural groups that are disenfranchised, exploited, [...]

By |2017-07-06T01:37:01-05:00July 5th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments