Yes to Similarities and Differences
A Whiteheadian Appreciation of Cultural Diversity
How can we say Yes to
What’s wrong with the poster below?
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation poster is suggesting a person’s faith is not an important part of who they are. But how can it be irrelevant that a Protestant, Sikh, Muslim or Jew is actually a Protestant, Sikh, Muslim or Jew? That’s not what interfaith dialogue is supposed to be about. Their poster contains serious contradictions.
This poster makes a mistake that's common to anti-racism campaigns in multi-cultural Canada. As UBC social psychologist Ara Norenzayan suggests, it teaches people to be "culture blind" and "religion blind." But when Canadians "encounter differences in a diverse society like ours, they don’t know what to do and difference becomes a threat."
I’ve finally figured out why so many Canadians are confused about racism. My clarity emerged during a conversation about multiculturalism with Ara Norenzayan, a social psychologist at the University of B.C., who was raised in Lebanon.
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