August 1, 2013
Re "Is racial prejudice hard-wired?," Opinion, July 28 Neuroscientist Robert M. Sapolsky hits the nail on the head. Racial prejudice is rooted in behavioral characteristics and neural wiring that are the product of natural selection. Quickly sensing potential danger in one's environment, with other humans forming the major part of that environment, had survival value for our ancestors. We also quickly create categories of things and people and assign values to them. Humans are "groupists" by nature: Our ancestors formed group associations to survive.
May 17, 1992
In P. A. Davis' response (April 19) to "Lipstick Liberation" (by Lindsy Van Gelder, March 15), Davis called it absurd to label homosexuality normal, because single-sex couples lack the biological mechanism for procreation. Davis is a prime example of a bigot making a negative value judgment about something he or she does not understand. If Davis had condemned blacks as intellectually inferior, the letter would have been discarded as antiquated prejudice. That it was printed is a reminder of the continuing acceptance of homophobia and heterosexism in this society.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 15, 1991
My congratulations for two articles (Feb. 3): The first, "Isolation Painful for Partners of Gays in Service," and second, the article on the Mary Magdalene Project--"Special Mission Helps Women Get Off the Streets." Both indicate a concern for presenting factual information about controversial issues and will help overcome prejudice and stereotyping that cause great pain, fear and hatred. Ignorance and fear continue to divide people and cause so much inhuman behavior. As a retired school principal and one who has worked more than four years as a chaplain in the Los Angeles County Jail Unit for Gays, I know firsthand the importance of working for justice and solutions to the problems of crime.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2009 |
I can already envision the hate mail this column will generate. Every time I write about anything involving race, my inbox fills with invective -- racial slurs, rants about the "welfare crowd," suggestions that I stop whining, go back to Africa and turn my "affirmative action job" over to some slighted white person. So I know a bit about how Cambridge, Mass., Police Sgt. James Crowley must have felt when he was insulted by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.
May 23, 2013 |
Consider "The Painting," the fourth feature by slow-moving 74-year-old French director Jean-François Laguionie, a twee "Wreck-It Ralph. " Inside a primitive portrait, the subjects are divided into three canvas castes: Sketchies, wraith-like creatures made of pencil lines; Halfies, who were left half-painted; and their snobbish overlords, the Alldunns, who sneer at the incompletes from their castle in the upper left corner of the frame. The metaphors keep coming. When an Alldunn boy falls for a Halfie girl, he insists to his pals that their Creator - the painter - will some day return to set the world right.
November 24, 1985
Allow me to add a postscript to the John Dreyfuss article in the View section Nov. 6, "A Child's Palette of Pre-Prejudice." I applaud Louise Derman-Sparks in her efforts to educate the preschooler in the area of prejudice. But how do you reach the parents, the hard-core racists, who teach their children to discriminate? My child, at the tender age of 3, was told by another 3-year-old that her mother said she could not play with him because he was black. My son was perplexed, and asked me what she meant.