Here’s a very short video with Morgan Freeman and Mike Wallace discussing a little history:
We categorize people for many reasons. We differentiate children from adults, for purposes of knowing who should be taking care of whom. We different criminals from non-criminals for purposes of knowing who must be penalized for crimes committed. With these and other examples, we can see that categorization is needful and useful at times.
However, when we categorize people according to the amount of melanin in their skin, we are not usually performing a useful task. Instead, we are focusing on an entirely superficial characteristic to either elevate or denigrate the group vis a vis some other group of people.
Stop calling attention to something, and it will go away. On the other hand, if you keep talking about something, it is hard to not pay attention. Now, I’d like you all to stop thinking about pink elephants–July is just not their month.
HT: The Other McCain