How do we —
- Respect grassroots views without being held hostage to ignorance?
- Privilege a standpoint without slipping into elitism about whose views count?
- Accept the right for people to have a view if that view seems damaging?
- Value knowledge while accepting that what was once true we now know to be false but that creativity & scientific method matter.
- Become aware of, let alone challenge, personal assumptions, ideas, beliefs?
Sometimes we do so easily and at others with great difficulty.
But in relation to each of the five above we can —
- Accept we have prejudices we’re not aware of — desire to become more conscious — withstand the pressure to agree because it’s easier without condemning people for not sharing our views.
- Place being humane above all else — drop the need to be right or better — admit how gut wrenching it feels when we’re wrong but also how humbling & human it makes us.
- Say no. (“NO”)
- Value knowledge without deifying it — remember that ideas predate data — value scientific method, strive for the right questions and measures but do not let the limit of current measures set the boundaries for your thinking — refuse to make experts into gods but value genuine expertise — accept the right for people to have a view, but be discerning about the quality of information behind them (not all views are equally well informed).
- Be insatiably curious — read constantly including from opposing views — the established and from the edges — process that through writing, painting, reflecting, talking, walking or what works for you — get external inputs without needing to accept or reject them — be willing to tolerate discomfort.
I will say this though.
Mentoring cannot cure systemic discrimination of any kind.
The world would not be where it is if we had a plan for cotton plantation owners to sit down with their chattel one by one.
Some things must be changed in law.
This does not end discrimination — not by any means.
But it’s a start.