Scholars and activists have debated how effective empathy is as a tool for behaviour change—particularly when it comes to fighting racism. Paul Bloom argues that empathy allows our bias to drive our decision-making, bell hooks states that empathy is not a promising avenue to systemic racial change, and Alisha Gaines analyzes how an overemphasis on racial empathy in a 1944 landmark study, “An American Dilemma,” led to a blindness about the impact of systemic and institutional racial barriers. This more general understanding and application of empathy has not been an effective aid to fighting systemic oppression.
Bethany Gordon posits that a more nuanced understanding of empathy—and its related concepts—may help us use it more effectively in the fight against racism. There are two strains of empathy that are relevant and can help us better understand (and possibly change) our response: empathic distress and empathic concern, also known as compassion.
via Behavioural Scientist, 15 June 2020See More
We at Cranlana stand alongside the indigenous community of Australia and the Black Lives Matter movement. Like millions of others, we have watched the events triggered by George Floyd’s death with grief, but alarmingly not with surprise. George Floyd’s asphyxiation was a shocking and despicable event, underscored by systemic problems which underpin the societies we live in. Here at home, more than 400 indigenous Australians have died in custody since 1991. Government enquiries and royal commissions have followed. And yet, seemingly nothing changes. The global reactions to George Floyd’s death have highlighted how pervasive systemic biases are. They’re built into the fabric of how we operate – into our economies, our laws and our philosophies. Cranlana Centre commits to using our position to challenge and change these systems; to seek out, learn from and amplify voices which haven’t had access to power; not to let this moment be yet another brief flare of emotion which precedes a return to normal; and to work alongside the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to turn good intentions about change into sustained action. We have always had a commitment to bringing about positive change. Yet we know we can do more. This moment is a wake-up call for all of us who can influence systemic change to do so, however you can.
You can find here a list of resources for a deeper understanding of systemic injustice
9 June 2020See More