Roots of Racism

Elizabeth Culotta, Science Now, May 18, 2012


Racial prejudice apparently stems from deep evolutionary roots and a universal tendency to form coalitions and favor our own side. And yet what makes a “group” is mercurial: In experiments, people easily form coalitions based on meaningless traits or preferences—and then favor others in their “group.” Researchers have explored these innate biases and begun to ask why such biases exist. What factors in our evolutionary past have shaped our coalitionary present—and what, if anything, can we do about it now? Several avenues of research are probing the origins of what many psychologists call in-group love and out-group hate. Researchers are testing the implicit biases of young children and even primates, and devising experiments to ratchet bias up and down. Evolutionary researchers are trying to parse the group environments of our ancestors and are debating just how big a selective pressure came from out-group male warriors.


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  • Rosebud

    Just because something seems natural, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s right. There are many things that are natural but are not wrong from a moral standpoint. Jealously is a natural, human impulse, but amoral from a rational standpoint.

    • Natassia

      Yes, but what this says to liberals is that racism is natural…like homosexuality. ;-p

      • Church_of_Jed

        “And here I wish to be distinctly understood as believing and saying, as I have believed and said for the last seventeen years, that the having of negroes, or the having of any other totally distinct and inferior race of mankind, intermingled with whites in a white community, is in itself a social evil of the worst possible type, and that, from this unnatural and degrading relation, other social evils are constantly evolved and intensified.”

        -Hinton Rowan Helper, Noonday Exegiences in America, 1871

      • Never thought of it like that before. That would be a good argument to use against these gay marriage advocates: I’ll accept homosexuality as “natural,” if you’ll accept “racism” as the same thing.

    • Virtually everything we eat is immoral in some way, the materials
      that make up the houses we live in, the cars we drive and the clothes we wear
      are all immoral in some way, all the cheap slave labour junk we purchase and
      consume to then only so casually throw to be buried in the ground for future
      generations to deal with is immoral and all of the food we waste is immoral.

      We could go on, but why draw the line only at racial issues

       You could arrange your
      life to be as karmic-ly correct as possible, meanwhile the human population has
      ballooned from one billion to seven billion people in the last 100 years alone,
      any solutions for  that problem which are
      morally correct? (Other than the progressive ‘voluntary racial suicide plan’,
      in the hope that others will follow).

      Every time we take a step, we’re crushing something under
      foot and any peace and tranquillity that you may experience comes from the
      blood sacrifice of others who killed and died, so that you get to enjoy the
      freedom you take for granted right now, and if we didn’t have our own group of
      immoral killers defending us, we’d have another tribes out-group of immoral
      killers ruling us.

      Your naive moral supremacy is a luxury and a gift that was
      bestowed to you by immoral people.

      Life is immoral.

    • Church_of_Jed

      “I’m an ignorant racist, and find it highly offensive and insulting that because of my nature, I’m excluded from the very places and institutions that were created for men just like me.”

      -Rev. Jed DeValleyism, “Born this way,” 1999

  • shotdoctor

    not racial prejudice…no pre-judging here…nothing like 1st person experience…gotta a brian…use it

  • Church_of_Jed

    Why must we “do” anything about bias? 

     Why not tell the Arab to give up their “bias” for Islam, or the Russians their “bias” for vodka, or blacks their “bias” for kidnapping, robbing, torturing, raping, vaginally mutilating, and murdering beautiful White girls?

    We should be asking, “What should we do about Elizabeth Culotta?”

    “Racism is the fastest growing trend in the White community right now, as it should be. We have finally taken the long overdue first step on the path to a better future for Whites Only segregation.”

    -Rev. Jed DeValleyism, “Our prayers are working,” 2012

  • loyalwhitebriton

    What an absolute ‘No Brainer!
    Anyone would think that it’s only whites who prefer the company of their own.
    Not so! As anybody, who lives in a multiculti society, knows, this perfectly normal preference is common to all races; blacks, browns, yellows, whites, whatever.
    This “study” is just the usual fare from ‘intellectuals’ whose sole purpose, it seems, is the destruction of actual, real, diversity; to be replaced with a society which doesn’t bear too much dissimilarity to a colony of ants.   

  • Anon12

    Roots Of Racism?   Easy….REALITY and experience.

  • Anon12

      ‘First 48’ returns to catch Dallas homicide cases

    Has anyone ever watched this show on A&E?  It shows all black on black murders in da hood… No black on White murders whatsoever. This is why we always hear the lie that blacks kill blacks mostly from these stupid White morons.  Shows like this blind Whites to the REAL crimes against us.

    To think WE pay the cops, courts and prisons  to solve and incarcerate one black thug killing another black thug. THAT is what is outrageous part.

  • Johnny Reb

    Since you have to register to read it, I doubt anyone here read the full text, but if you can share it, please do.  Abstracts are useless.

    I’m not sure what good it does to explore these innate characteristics since the researchers are going to lie about their findings, anyway.  When black kids prefer white dolls we’re told they’ve been subject to racism at a very young age.  When little mestizos also prefer white dolls over black, we’re told they too have been subject to racism . . . even though there are few, if any, blacks in Mexico.

    Sceince in the hands of corrupt men only serves corrupt ends. 

  • So typical of our top-lofty, no common sense liberal “scientists” to just assume that something should be done about this admittedly genetic tendency of people to like those who are like them, better than they do “the other.”

    Hey, folks: It’s in our genes; it’s how we are. Stop agonizing over it!

  • IKantunderstand

    Just because Whites want to associate with other Whites, this according to the liberal establishment  means Whites engage in racial prejudice. I guess if your definition of racial prejudice means you prefer to spend your time with someone who looks like you and talks like you and enjoys the same music as you and shares the same political ideas as you, etc., well, then I do engage in racial prejudice.  What completely terrifies me are these people doing endless analyses about why Whites (and only Whites) feel this way. Freedom of association is now suspect. The 2nd amendment, getting close to suspect(if it isn’t already). The libs have the unmitigated nerve to call OUR country  a “propositional nation”, and then in fact, do everything they can to rid us of those propositions . What then,  in fact, is left of our country? We are being reduced to tatters and shreds of what once was a mighty nation.  Did the blood of our ancestors be shed in vain?  If they knew that their blood was to be shed for Africans, Asians, Latin Americans, would they have sacrificed themselves so willingly? For  a “propositional nation”? Propositional nation be damned!  Everybody who is not a White American : GO TO HELL. 

  • JohnEngelman

    For most people loyalties of race, nation, and ethnicity are stronger than other loyalties. Nevertheless, for some people political or religious loyalties are stronger.
    Those who are born rich are likely to from earliest childhood have experiences of visiting other countries. They may go to school in another country. This engenders an internationalist perspective. They are likely to identify more with rich people in other countries than employees of their race and nation. This makes it easy for them to export good jobs, while importing cheap labor, and to behave in other ways that also harm the interests of fellow nationals. 
    In The Communist Manifesto Karl Marx wrote, “The working men have no country.” Actually it is the rich who have no country, and no loyalty but to their investment portfolios.

    • Kurt Plummer

      John Engelman,

      Those who are born rich are likely to from earliest childhood have experiences of visiting other countries. They may go to school in another country. This engenders an internationalist perspective. They are likely to identify more with rich people in other countries than employees of their race and nation. This makes it easy for them to export good jobs, while importing cheap labor, and to behave in other ways that also harm the interests of fellow nationals.

      Yes.  The human mind is a statistical weighting engine.  It is part of our symbological ability to deconstruct the elements of any ‘scene’ we look at or participate in and take the constituent elements of it to be recombined with other scenes as possible modifications.

      Such is the source of tool use.  The source of true sapience vs. mere sentience.  It is also the potential source of psychopathology.  As the mind simply cannot stop making these associative comparisons.  And will self-assign _arbitrary_ values to what is not known.  Once a given element in a mosaic (think puzzle piece) ‘fits’ a significant outcome, we may modify our assertions and definitions but the ‘curiosity factor’ is actually one of seeking broader label inclusions.

      Prejudices actually act as _data smoothing_ algorithms that prevent us from self destructive investment in all things unknown, where they are not immediately useful to our position within the social picture.  Instinct, in other words, pulls our hands back from the wolve’s teeth when we realize that ‘even if feeding the wolf is a potentially good thing’ our identity of ourselves will vanish when we are overwhelmed by it’s leap to bite more than hand.

      What is sad is that, as our knowledge base accumulates, we are able to make wiser and wiser choices based on NOT doing something.  And so those who attempt to seduce us with fables of racial prejudice in fact promulgate their own identity lies.  By omission of the ‘previously discovered’ (crime rates, IQ, social backwardness) datums which support a ‘maybe not…’ response to their needs.

      Race does exist.  It is most synonymous with the notion of subspecies on their way to true speciation and must be acknowledged as a function of specialization in areas which are more or less supportive to the environment we _now_ (not 50,000 years ago as L1/2/3 separations) live in.

      Other sub species as races may not reach as high as we do.  Because their evolutionary adaptations were for a different, less environmentally successful, specialization.  This doesn’t mean we have to destroy them as say the Nazis attempted.  But it does mean that we cannot let them overrun us with a penchant to exploitation and overbreeding and violence.

      Because what the statistical weighting engine in our mind is really doing is driving us towards -self election- of traits as choices that reflect our needs alone.  So long as we keep those developed traits pure through fear of the exogroups substantially different characteristic values, we go forward.  Not incorporating their behaviors is a fuction of exclusion of their genes.  And the easiest way to achieve that is through making it clear that: “We don’t like you, leave us alone.”

      Which is not hate.  But even if it were.  Has a functionally useful purpose. 

  • alastairabbacle

    Social Sciences Studies:  So fascinating to campus Liberals, for its incredible revelation of Reality, accesssible to Conservatives only via outdated Common Sense.

  • Dan

    I have always thought of “racism” as natures security alarm.  It’s no different than an attractive female being cautious around a large group of unknown young males. Mother nature arms us with survival instincts and the left is constantly trying to disconnect this natural alarm system we have hardwired into us.

  • Gereng

    Of course what is termed racism is a normal human instinct. The very same instinct in other animals that leads them to breed with their own species.  The only reason politicians try to deny it as necessary and important today is because some races and ethnically different groups are more successful than others.  Politicians must cater to everyone if they expect to be reelected. That means trying to effect an equality of economic outcome in spite of race based differences in capacity. 

  • Boo_Bottoms

    “You’re alone in a dark alley late at night. Suddenly a man emerges from a
    doorway. If you are a typical white American and he is a young black
    man, within a few tenths of a second you will feel a frisson of fear as
    your brain automatically categorizes him. Your heart beats faster and
    your body tenses.”

    This is what passes today as Science?

    It has nothing to do with a WHITE seeing a BLACK… it’s 2012 and not 1940. In today’s violent obsessed world, I would expect both white and blacks to frightened by a stranger of any color passing them in a dark alley at night.

    And my guess is that even BLACKS would recoil more from seeing another Black then a White since the statistics have shown that blacks commit more crimes the whites. So all this stupid article does is promote “reverse” stereotypes of a “typical” white person…. hows that working to stem racism?

    As long as Blacks let their stereotype be defined by their Hip Hop thug culture, they are will fight this reaction of fear from the white community.

    Can you say “Cause and Effect”… it’s high school science!