The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Skin Tone and Earnings

A recent study suggests that, for immigrants from around the world, one skin shade lighter makes the same difference as one year of additional education: about 8-15% increase in salary! For goodness sakes, people: look at the utter viciousness of the last political cycle. People of the same nation, race, religion etc. were absurdly venomous to those in the opposite camp. You are, in my mind, extremely naive if you think that human prejudice doesn't leap out even more strongly when differences are visually based. Black people, gays, women, the obese, the very short--will understand instantly that this is true. White straight lean-bodied males will have much more difficulty believing--not because of any innate perceptual flaws, but because when you are on the winning team, you tend not to question the referee's calls. This is human nature down at the 3rd-chakra level. The cure is to open the heart space.
I can understand why Conservatives often rail against attempts at social engineering through the law. But considering the persistence of these apparently innate and intractable tendencies, it should be obvious why those who are at the effect of these psychological tendencies would try to use the legislative process to compensate for the negative pressures they experience just by getting out of bed in the morning with the wrong skin tone. Perhaps that isn't the way we want to run our society, but please don't think you wouldn't feel the same way, in their place.

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