Psychological Self-Help

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104
Jim Cole’s ideas for self-reducing one’s own prejudices
Part of the Beyond Prejudice Website by Cole addresses self-reduction of
prejudice in considerable detail (see
summary of his steps but if you want to carry out his methods, please read
his Website:
Learn and acknowledge your prejudices; boldly face your stereotypes; find
someone or a group to talk with; commit yourself to changing; keep a log of
your prejudicial thoughts, emotions, and behaviors; note your self-talk about
the disliked groups; challenge the accuracy of your self-talk with facts; have
more pleasant contact with disliked group; note and value their diversity; yell
“STOP” at your degrading thoughts; reward stopping prejudice thoughts; face
how other groups see your group; be secure enough to accept criticism;
accept your being indecisive and wrong sometimes; learn to be empathic;
learn to listen in depth; accept complexity and indecisiveness in many areas;
develop your caring for others; learn more about the people you are critical of
(read their history, talk with them about their family history); increasing your
self-acceptance increases your tolerance of others; criticize offensive
comments and jokes (don’t laugh at racial jokes); avoid supporting
businesses that are not socially responsible (low paying, no insurance,
promotes smoking).
Read the details in Cole’s Website and in my Chapter 13 about communication
skills.
Possible efforts by society to reduce prejudice and hatred
Morton Deutsch (1993) has recommended changes in the schools to
"prepare children to live in a peaceful world." The first step is the use of
cooperative learning techniques which get us interacting with others and
teach positive interdependence. It takes teachers 2 or 3 years to learn these
methods. Second is teaching conflict resolution techniques which are
important skills for all of us to know (see method #10 in chapter 13). Training
in handling conflicts would require several courses and workshops for
students, plus lots of practice. Third is using constructive controversy
techniques which get students arguing about important issues in such a way
that the discussion promotes critical and empathic thinking. Fourth is the use
of mediation techniques in schools by students and teachers to resolve all
kinds of disagreements. We see that all disagreements are resolvable if we
will be rational and fair. Learning to be a mediator takes 30-40 hours.
Everyone needs that training which, when used, provides great, practical
experience with handling anger. 
Read the controversial book about racism by D'Souza (1995). It is
thought provoking and, among other things, suggests the ultimate solution is
interracial marriage. Why not? 
I realize you can not do these things all by yourself, but you and your
friends can urge your school to try to reduce animosity between people and
groups. You can think about the problem. You can volunteer to participate.
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