Jill Bolte Taylor

Huffington Post

Is Racism Actually a Fear of the Unknown?

You walk into a store and the salesperson is a different colour, a woman wearing a hijab, a young man with piercings and tattoos. You walk into a room and realize that no one looks like you. A sense of anxiety sets in from the fight/flight response to fear. That instinctual response to fear begins because we instinctively fear the unknown -- be it a place, an event, a person.
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Sammy Yatim: Cause of Death? Stigma

I want to know what was going through the mind of the man who shot Sammy Yatim. Was this officer's decision-making clouded by an internalized fear of the mentally ill because of his training? When he sees someone like Sammy acting erratically, does he automatically think of axe murderers and images from Psycho? Had that officer been given more empathetic training regarding the mentally ill, more empathetic stories, perhaps he would have acted differently and never fired his gun. Perhaps he would have taken the time to talk to this obviously unstable, frightened young man.