Encountering Bigotry: Befriending Projecting Persons in Everyday Life
- Publish Date: 1997-03-01
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Philip Lichtenberg
What happens when someone tells a racist joke or a sexist comment? Quite often everyone laughs and joins in the fun but there is usually an undercurrent of tension that is tactically avoided. This kind of situation is enacted in different gatherings probably thousands of times a day and rarely is there a solution to the tension and anger felt by others. Usually no-one attempts to resolve the rift that is created within the group. Instead people either laugh politely or loudly with embarrassment, or they try to change the subject quickly. Many people leave these gatherings feeling tense and angry, and puzzled by their own uneasy feelings. These jokes and comments are more than just inappropriate; they invite people to collaborate in another's deep-seated racism or sexism that has resulted from their inability or unwillingness to handle strong feelings. This book explores the differences between good handling and poor handling of people's attempts to collude. Good handling can lead to the owning of projections and to increased friendliness and cooperation, while poor handling leads to more deeply entrenched projections and isolation.