Civil War’s 150th Anniversary and Still Wired for Racism

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What small ground is gained running from racism – is often lost again daily because of the way human brains hardwire for prejudice.

Civil War’s 150th Anniversary and Still Wired for Racism

In spite of racism cures, as pointed out by reporters such as Lance Morrow at Time Magazine, racism tends to creep in constantly.  Have you experienced its subtle and not so subtle barbs? Have you seen it? Certainly the media makes bigotry’s case.

Two Racist Stories in Recent National News

Holly Jones from the Daily Barometer at Oregon State University, reported shockingly racist news on March 12, 2011 that sounds almost pre-civil war. Apparently, a poll of Mississippi voters showed a shocking 46 percent of registered Republican voters felt that interracial marriage should be illegal.

In Springfield, Mass., on April 11, 2011 a federal prosecutor charged racism in convicting Michael Jacques and friends: Racism that had been brewing for years, he said, reached its boiling point when a white man and two friends burned a predominantly black church in the hours after President Barack Obama’s 2008 election.

Would you agree that entire organizations suffer from racist behavior?  Each time even one person’s diminished because of differences, or if hate crimes cripple just one person, racism plummets humanity down a level. The opposite is also true.

Rewire for Holism and Win Racism’s Flip Side

Cultural differences become tools for growth, when people recognize biases that hardwired the human brain. How so?  Confront innate prejudices and the brain’s plasticity changes itself to generate more cultural awareness.  Create genuine alliances that engage opposing views with others, and  your brain rewires for holistic unions, where intimate interconnection ratchets up the best of humanity.

Research in Science suggests that unconscious racism, need not hold individuals or organizations prisoner.  Perhaps on this 150th anniversary its time to step again – away from wars – in finer directions toward a renewed dream. Why not design a new approach toward  whole pie thinking, for instance,  in order to mine more wealth from diversity’s amazing assets.

Act on Steps Below to Reboot Civil War Hopes for Holism

1. Disagree – with the kind of art and tone that learns from opposing views.
2. Build – goodwill to address controversial issues from diverse perspectives.
3. Question – in ways that invite unique angles and approaches to emerge.
4. Survey – to learn what people value and what they still need to succeed at work.
5. Affirm – other people’s offerings to increase lessons that differences add.
6. Thank – people for efforts and achievements that draw from different backgrounds.
7. Share – personal opinions more as piggy-backed offerings that build together.
8. Inspire – round-table interactions that build confidence for shared common ground.
9. Respect – unique mix of intelligences in ways that encourage growth from all.
10. Laugh – at personal idiosyncrasies and encourage others to laugh at themselves.

After a lifetime of research on leadership  and learning across many cultures in countless countries – it seems natural  to rewire regularly for the sheer riches I’ve encountered.

How could racial strengths help your workplace to build across differences? Any impressive shared vision to celebrate the 150th anniversary of diversity’s assets?

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