Thanks for writing this article Andrew, to me it brings up a useful point that people from all sides of the spectrum seem reluctant to understand: we are all human, and psychologically work in very much the same way.
The message I get out of your writing, whether you intended this or not, is that we need to overcome this political climate of dehumanization on all sides. We need to see each other as complete human beings, composed of both positives and negatives, capable of both cruelty and overwhelming kindness.
Recall the presidential debate last night, the very last question, basically “what do you have nice to say about your opponent”. Finally a moment where both candidates were asked to admit the humanity of the other. And I’m betting that most people, like me, felt a tangible sense of relaxation settle into our bodies as they answered. I would also bet that the debate would not have ended with a handshake had that question not been asked. Thanks Karl Becker #karlbecker !
There are a number of resources, both historical and social-psychological, that can help us understand why and how people dehumanize others. And hopefully, help us understand how we overcome that base human tendency and move toward a better future.
Less Than Human has 209 ratings and 23 reviews. IDNHDJRI said: I lauded the author for trying to tackle this important…www.goodreads.com
Maiese, Michelle. “Dehumanization.” Beyond Intractability. Eds. Guy Burgess and Heidi Burgess. Conflict Information Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Posted: July 2003 <http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/dehumanization>.