: not willing to change ideas or opinions : very stubborn
: having or involving careful and practical thoughts and ideas that are not influenced by emotions.
The dictionary lists words like sober and realistic.
If we use this on for example racism, that would suggest that people know very well what they are doing.
Personally I see similaritites with the word boneheaded, which Merriam Webster precisely defines as a stupid or foolish person.
Merriam Webster Dictionary
One of the most enduring traits of most societies is racism. It’s hard to get rid of, and many people probably think what Mel Gibson said, but it would be a good start if they kept it to themselves. It’s not necessarily a goal to stop people from thinking it, as long as they don’t speak or act. I suspect that many accept discrimination in general, including racism. The point is to reduce discrimination and respect civil rights.
It might be a human flaw we have. It seems like human history is a long series of pre-emptive strikes. We make other people lives hard so they won’t have a chance of doing anything bad to us. We don’t want to accept less prosperity so that others can have a good life too. In the USA immigrant groups like the Irish, Polish and Italians had a history that would make them good allies to the African Americans for instance. In Norway today we don’t mind being generous to those less fortunate, as long as we can be generous from a distance. It’s not quite the same when they come here.
This reminds me of a very controversial Norwegian TV-program a few years ago. A well-known comedian made a popscience program in 2009 as a part of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday. He used a very confrontational style where he set Norwegian and foreign researchers up against each other. These researchers hadde different viewpoint regarding the nature vs nurture debate. Some of the Norwegian researchers were really, really angry. Maybe this comedian didn’t treat this topic with the scientific gravity they felt he should have, which made it look like their theories were more speculations that scientific proof, but at least people were discussing this topic.
This series asked some interesting questions like why do girls choose caring professions and boys technical professions even though the UN ranks Norway as one of the most progressive countries? Why does the labour market become more gender segregated the more economic prosperity a country has?
Why do we behave the way we do? Are we born that way or do we learn it?
Are people from some cultures more aggressive than others? Is the need for revenge something learned or innate?
My point wasn’t to discuss this program, but it started an interesting public debate about human behaviour. The racism debate reminds me of this program. Why do we behave the way we do? I’ve been trying to talk to people in Norway about racism, but they don’t want to acknowledge what is right in front of their eyes. One example of that is stories that sometimes make it to the newspapers, like the arab man that won the bid for a villa. He offered 50 000 NOK (about $ 6700) more than the second highest bid, but still wasn’t allowed to buy the house because according to the seller he didn’t fit the profile for the street.
My wife and I have experienced something similar on a smaller scale. We don’t own a house, so we have to rent. I have had a lot of very positive phone calls with owners of apartments, but when I show up together with my wife, they suddenly come up with a series of very strange reasons for why this apartment isn’t available. Sometimes they tell us without any explanation that it isnt available anymore, even though they were very positive to meeting me when I talked to them on the phone 20 minutes earlier. This could be a coincidence, but there are two many of these cases for me to believe in that.
When I talk to people about it they claim that things are changing, that Norway won’t be the same in 20 years from now. The problem is that their evidence are their friends, co-workers and classmates. I’m sure many of you have experienced being a part of a small group that function very well. Everyone is friendly and respectful, but if a new member is introduced things change. Sometimes that person remains an outsider, and sometimes the newcomer becomes a part of the inner circle. I have a feeling this evidence of a changed Norway is something similar. The outsiders are not going to see Ahmed from Egypt or Ebo from Ghana as one of them. The man trying to buy a villa was one of those insiders that encountered an attitude he didn’t expect.
But this is still a hidden racism. I think my family is right about a coming change, but I fear it’ll go the wrong way. When societies don’t deal with discrimination there is a risk of so much resentment building up that you get the kind of violence we saw in Paris, and that we are seeing repeatedly in American cities. For some reason Christians have never talked about the problems in the Israeli society. We are very concerned about criticism against what some Christians think is God’s land, but less with how this country is run.
This video is 3 years old, but apparantly nothing much changed, as this fresh article from Reuters indicate.
I feel this is linked to something I’ve written about in previous posts, the need for Christians to criticise their own church organisations. If we don’t point out what is wrong , and the fact that there are things about ourselves we need to fight, I think we are doing a mistake. But of course there is a correct way and a wrong way of talking against the church. That should apply to Israel as well. The way it works today is that you are instantly labelled as an anti-semite no matter how well founded your criticism is.
This is literally a mine field.