NOTE: For other posts in this series, click ONE BLOOD on posts/pages (right)
In the last post we discussed scapegoating. Once the scapegoat has been defined, it is important to build upon the stereotype created. Here, the intellectual debate enters the arena.
Whether through genetics, IQ tests or arguing a different evolutionary lineage propaganda emphasises the point that the scapegoat is ‘different’ to the majority within the social grouping.
As such minorities are not equal in terms of YOUR humanity, and they increasingly approach animal status, and moral obligations towards the humanity of the group are taken away from the treatment of the ethnic minority.
This process is known as psychological distancing, and once this degree of racism has been achieved, genocide can so easily break out. And in such a way, ethnic minorities are persecuted, not for their own failings, but failings endemic to the majority group itself.
In the above, we have the sociology of racism. By defining 'differentness', society as a whole hands a weapon to those who would lead in times of stress. And in using these weapons, we all become accessories to the growing cultural need to discriminate.
In psychological terms, we transfer our own fallings onto others - a process that can be seen throughout society in other areas from the burglar who steals because society has made him poor, to the husband who commits adultery because his wife didn't give him enough attention.
Indeed, psychiatry gives us the perfect vehicle through which these social forces of racism operate, as we will see in the next post.
© Anthony North, February 2008