Tag Archives: white

Do People Feel The Pain Of Other Ethnic Groups?

Do you feel anything?

Do you feel anything?

I thought this was a very interesting study that I read about on Slate:

Let’s do a quick experiment. You watch a needle pierce someone’s skin. Do you feel this person’s pain? Does it matter if the person’s skin is white or black?

For many people, race does matter, even if they don’t know it. They feel more empathy when they see white skin pierced than black. This is known as the racial empathy gap. To study it, researchers at the University of Milano-Bicocca showed participants (all of whom were white) video clips of a needle or an eraser touching someone’s skin. They measured participants’ reactions through skin conductance tests—basically whether their hands got sweaty—which reflect activity in the pain matrix of the brain. If we see someone in pain, it triggers the same network in our brains that’s activated when we are hurt. But people do not respond to the pain of others equally. In this experiment, when viewers saw white people receiving a painful stimulus, they responded more dramatically than they did for black people.

The racial empathy gap helps explain disparities in everything from pain management to the criminal justice system. But the problem isn’t just that people disregard the pain of black people. It’s somehow even worse. The problem is that the pain isn’t even felt.

A recent study shows that people, including medical personnel, assume black people feel less pain than white people. The researchers asked participants to rate how much pain they would feel in 18 common scenarios. The participants rated experiences such as stubbing a toe or getting shampoo in their eyes on a four-point scale (where 1 is “not painful” and 4 is “extremely painful”). Then they rated how another person (a randomly assigned photo of an experimental “target”) would feel in the same situations. Sometimes the target was white, sometimes black. In each experiment, the researchers found that white participants, black participants, and nurses and nursing students assumed that blacks felt less pain than whites.
You will definitely find the rest of the article and more on the study interesting. Read it here. So interesting how deep and subconscious discrimination can go.
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Doing What’s Right With No Regard To Skin Color

Now this is what a hero looks like.

Now this is what a hero looks like.

With all the negative stuff we see out there about bigotry and racism, it was so moving to see this story about this white American hero, who risked his life when he saw a young black girl drowning in a river. He didn’t care about her color. He only saw a person in need.

When Michael Patterson saw a young girl struggling to stay above water in a creek in Rome, Georgia, on June 8, he dove in to save her. Patterson was gravely injured in the course of his heroics, WSB-TV reports.

The girl, 4-year-old Javea, was able to be resuscitated. But Patterson became paralyzed from the chest down during the dive.

Carlissa Jones, Javea’s mother, described Patterson’s brave but tragic dive. From WSB-TV.com:

“He jumped in head first and after I grabbed her, I looked back and he was floating on top of the water,” Jones said.

Though the water in the river was moving fast, the stream bed was very shallow and rocky. Patterson broke his neck the moment he hit the water.

Ambulance workers rushed Patterson to the hospital where he continues to rest in the intensive care unit.

Read more here on this great guy who unfortunately is now paying the price for his selfless act. My hat is off to him.


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Mixed Couples In TV Commercials Go Beyond Cheerios

Can't stop love.

Can’t stop love.

Yesterday I posted about the ugliness surrounding the wonderful Cheerios commercial featuring the mixed couple. Today I have to follow that post up with this great piece I saw in The Huffington Post yesterday. It is another jab in the side of those who just can’t stand the march of progress and features several commercials and ads that dare to feature love between cultures and ethnicities.

See the excellent commercials here.

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Cheerios Ad With Mixed Couple Brings Out The Best and Worst Among Us

I always give major kudos to TV shows and commercials that have the guts to depict mixed relationships and people in ways that show them as normal everyday people. This time Kudos go to Cheerios for this wonderful  commercial.

The bad news is there was such ugly racism posted in the comments section on You Tube for the spot that General Mills had to disable the comments section. Such stupidity among the racists out there. They are just upset that they can’t change what is already a done deal. People do mix. Get over yourselves idiots.

Here is a link to an article on the racist posts that accompanied the commercial. By the way, please note that General Mills said by something like 3 to 1 there were more positive comments. The ugly ones were just so distasteful they didn’t want to leave them apparently. But General Mills promises to not pull the spot over that ugliness. Good for them. Think I better go have some Cheerios.

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So What Defines A “White” Person?

White or something else?

White or something else?

Thank God, some people get how stupid our concepts of race are. I think I was tipped to this article by the blog, Mixed American Life, and I really wish it were required reading. Here is an excerpt:

It’s been widely mentioned among a certain set on social media networks that the suspect in the Boston bombings is Chechen, and therefore, “Caucasian.” The good-natured purpose of this being to foil the usual insipid bigotry let loose in similar situations, which assumes that all terrorists are non-White, that Muslims are of a separate, lesser race, and/or that any particular terrorist act is part of some larger, epochal war of “us versus them.”

All of these racist conclusions are ridiculous, and would be easily refuted with the most basic and widely-accepted social and scientific data of contemporary times. However, stating that because the suspect is from the region of the Caucasus Mountains he “is White” is a troubling statement. Most readily, this reifies a notion of Whiteness. But additionally, this overlooks the history of the term “Caucasian,” and how the racial history of anthropology brought this term into common parlance. To a person from the United States, where “Caucasian” is a synonym for racial Whiteness, there is an etymological connection that would allow you to say this, and think you are correct. But “Whiteness” has always only ever been exactly what “White people” want it to be. What part of the world a person is from has little to no affect on whether anyone thinks s/he is actually “White”, because “White” is a social class, not a place.

“Caucasian” was first identified as a race by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach in 1779, as one of five: the others being Mongolian, Malayan, Ethiopian, and American. These categories were based upon the measurement of the human skull. While he was a proponent of “Degreneration Theory,” that theorized that all humans were originally Caucasian before having their appearance change due to poor living conditions, he was able to note what is now widely known—that phenotypical differences within races are as large as those between races. In other words, in any measureable characteristic, there is as great a difference between individual Africans, and as great a difference between individual Europeans, as there is between Africans and Europeans compared.

I sincerely hope you take the time to read the rest of this excellent, not long, article that blows up our notion of what divides us. I just don’t get how people, once they are educated to these facts, can still see people in terms of race. Here is the link.

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Being The Only Black Around Can Often Be Hilarious

The experiences of being the only black around can sometimes funny.

The experiences of being the only black around can sometimes be funny.

My son posted this on his Facebook page. I nearly died laughing. Brings back memories of my experiences in class too. Glad he has a sense of humor about it.

Click here for some funny stuff on life as the only black in your class.

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So What Determines Your “Race”?

So is skin color the key to what we are now?

So is skin color the key to what we are now?

Good Lawd.

From Gawker:

Former Democratic strategist Karen Finney, who was once the first African-American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee, was revealed today to be the new host of a 4 p.m. weekend show on MSNBC. Good for her, and good for MSNBC, which adds Finney, pictured at left, to an already diverse roster of talking heads that includes Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Al Sharpton.

Don’t mention Finney’s race to Tim Graham, however. Graham, a so-called media “watchdog” for the conservative Media Research Center, doesn’t think it’s fair for MSNBC to herald Finney’s entrance as an arrival of another African-American host—y’know, considering her skin is so light and all.




Finney has a black father and a white mother so she is actually mixed. However, much like President Obama, Finney has the right to self-identify however she chooses. What is most interesting to me though in situations like this, that show once again how silly our “race” notions are, is that the key to determining if is is ok for her to be called black (or African-American) is her lighter skin and straighter hair. But Graham has no problem labeling Obama as black (also black father and white mother) presumably because he has darker skin and less straight hair.

So I guess this is kind of an admission that what your parents are has nothing to do with your “race.” Just how you look.

Just silly. I say again people, there are no different “races,” just different blendings.


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The Power of Good People Crossing Racial Lines

Game changed history.

Game changed history.

This is a great video. Very moving and well worth the few minutes to watch it. Shows the power of sports and of good people who are willing to cross “racial” and ethnic lines.

See the video here.

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So Now When Is White History Month?

I can’t remember which of my favorite blogs tipped me off to this video. My apologies for not giving you/them credit.

But this video, though late for Black History Month, is still very apropos. And it is SO right on.

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Louis C.K. On Advantages of Being White

Kudos to Louis C.K. for putting white privilege in proper context and doing so in a very funny way.

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