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Self-Segregation - Why It's So Hard for Whites to Understand Ferguson

Stashed in: America!, Racism

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I had no idea how separated whites are, even online:

Overall, the social networks of whites are a remarkable 93 percent white. White American social networks are only one percent black, one percent Hispanic, one percent Asian or Pacific Islander, one percent mixed race, and one percent other race. In fact, fully three-quarters (75 percent) of whites have entirely white social networks without any minority presence. This level of social-network racial homogeneity among whites is significantly higher than among black Americans (65 percent) or Hispanic Americans (46 percent).

Yes, I hadn't realized that either, but it does explain why it can be hard to empathize at times.   After all, if you don't have direct experience with people of different races, I would think one might be more prone to stereotype or feel disconnected from the experiences of people from different backgrounds. 

With the numbers that high, how can we get people to have more direct interactions with more people?

The numbers make it sound like people very much live in their own worlds. 

I remember reading a study that found that when people were put in a position in which they were asked to look at things from someone from another race's perspective, they showed less prejudice.  I don't know how you address it though - it's not like you can force people to interact against their will!

I guess the answer, for now, is to engage people one at a time, little by little. 

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