Bias & Bigotry Are Not Inborn - They Are Taught

Jun 10, 2020

We, as a society, are struggling. We have talked about civil rights since at least the Civil War. We quote the Declaration of Independence with Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, but we put limits on who should be recipients of these rights. We show our biases and bigotry toward others not "like us." 

Where do biases and bigotry come from? We are not born with biases and bigotry which means that they are taught to us. Biases and bigotry develop in our limbic system where we have to decide to fight, flee, or freeze when we encounter something we don't know or understand. But, unlike animals, we have developed our brain further with the prefrontal lobe where reasoning and logic develop.  But we have to take time to develop that part of our brain. We need others to teach us the path from the limbic system to the prefrontal lobe in order to increase our ability to tolerate and even come to embrace difference.

Unfortunately, many children are not provided with the skills to develop their logic and reasoning. They are taught, instead, to fight or flee from "others" who don't match up as the same. This has to change if we are going to see true reform in our society.  We need to add Matthew(22:37-39)  to what we talk about with the Declaration of Independence as we work for a better world.

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