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May 11, 2017

A few people really are racists or bigots. A few. But Steve Bannon? He's not one of them.

A few news articles have appeared based on interviews with former colleagues of Steve Bannon--Donald Trump's chief strategist--who claim Bannon's not a "racist" or "bigot." Apparently about half of the Western world disagrees. I'm so weary of the ease with which we brand each other. I doubt Bannon is a racist. If he is, I very likely am, too. In my experience, few people are racist. And if they are? Demanding that they "evolve" just backfires. Anyway, I think Bannon is interesting, accomplished, complex. I'd love to have dinner with him. See what's he's like.

In the meantime, we'll see lots more arguments about who is and who is not a racist or a bigot. Being morally superior or "right" does not change views. But being exposed to people not like us on a fairly consistent basis? That turns tribalism into a sense of One Tribe. In this city I'm a minority in many ways. I see people of all races and manner respond to me and to others I know well and on a daily basis. Hate or distrust melt away in almost circumstances where there is repeated or constant exposure to an "adversary". I see it in the nastiest possible commercial litigation. I see it in families. I see it in the streets. And people who say "racist" or arguably culturally "insensitive" things are very rarely bigoted.

Be nice if we could stop our "gotcha " game on racism and bigotry.

Posted by JD Hull at May 11, 2017 01:21 PM


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