Empathy for Deplorables?
06 January 2017
The below-linked piece on racism and sexism in the election has the following passage on fighting prejudice, which for me raises an interesting philosophical / psychological problem:
To this end, the research also shows it’s possible to reach out to Trump voters — even those who are racist or sexist today — in an empathetic way without condoning their bigotries. The evidence suggests, in fact, that the best way to weaken people’s racial or other biases is through frank, empathetic dialogue. (Much more on that in my in-depth piece on the research.) Given that, the best approach to really combating racism and sexism may be empathy.
The problem is just this: how is it possible for a non-racist to conjure up empathy for someone whose prejudices they find reprehensible? I can't see how to do it. I recently had an Uber driver who said something racist, and I couldn't help reviling her. Empathy for her? Forget it! So what to do?
Here's the link:
(h/t Josh Landy for the article.)