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Bigotry is hard-wired

Bigotry is hard-wired

On the subject of racial slurs, Peter Skrzynecki (SMH, Letters, 1 June 2013) is absolutely right: there is nothing new about racism in Australia, or elsewhere for that matter. Bigotry is genetic and hard wired within the individual. It is arguably connected with the instinct of survival, and racism – a common manifestation of bigotry – emanates from mistrust and/or jealousy of those not of your family or tribe. Such an attitude has been the basis of countless conflicts, wars, massacres and genocides, and it shows no signs of waning.

Everybody is a bigot, the only difference is the target of our bigotry. The target of the prejudice may be enhanced or reduced in individual homes and local environments but it never goes away. Religion is a common target. Skin colour and sexual nonconformity get generous serves; schisms between orthodoxy and reform are part of the indictment; and even snobbishness is a manifestation of this disorder.

Bigotry, like certain other instincts, needs to be kept under control in civilised society.

– Len Green, CLA member, Rose Bay NSW

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