- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
"Tolerance, are you kidding? It's an insult! It's how white people feel better about themselves while continuing to hate Blacks."
"Of course tolerance is awful. I'm just afraid that that is the best we can hope for."
Tolerant oppression: Why promoting tolerance undermines our quest for equality and what we should do instead" addresses the problem with current campaigns to promote tolerance (taught in thousands of U.S. schools every year) as a way of fighting hatred. Those campaigns, though well intended, suffer from the same problem as the "separate-but-equal" doctrine of the 20th century - they reinforce, rather than challenge inequality and oppression with their condescending attitude. The book proposes that we abandon tolerance for less problematic concepts such as acceptance, respect, understanding and the appreciation of diversity. Only then can we approach equality and the peaceful co-existence we all need to survive and thrive. The book presents its case through logical analysis, research data, quotations from civic and religious leaders as well as from members of oppressed groups, and through the use of entertaining metaphors, stories and exercises.
How can moving past tolerance help us deal with the following concerns?
• Abortion • Managing grief
• Child abuse • Prostitution and human trafficking
• Disabilities • Religious oppression
• Divorce • Sexism, racism and homophobia
• Domestic violence and sexual assault • Suicide
• Drug addiction • Terrorism and war
• Hatred, prejudice and discrimination • Violence in sports and the media
• Interpersonal conflict
FIND THE ANSWERS INSIDE.
Posted August 28, 2010
What first caught my attention was the title -- a contradiction in terms. Isn't tolerance supposed to be the answer to oppression? But according to the book, tolerance is actually part of oppression. That was hard to swallow. But Dr. Hampton makes some good points and when you think about it, tolerance really does mean that you don't approve of someone, that you think you are better than they are. And as Dr. Hampton suggests, tolerance doesn't mean that you give up your hatred, just that you are quiet about it.
The book is a workbook in disguise, with 30 exercises designed to encourage the reader to actively participate while reading and challenge conventional ways of thinking. Because of those exercises, you could use this book as a supplemental text in a gender studies, religion or civil rights class (which I think were the intended audiences).
The most significant contribution of the book is how it identifies and challenges a most basic and common assumption -- that tolerance is the opposite of intolerance and therefore a solution to hatred. He notes that tolerance and intolerance are complementary, not contradictory -- so that one is not the solution to the other. He comes at if from a number of different angles using logic, metaphors and quotations from both professionals and lay people.
What makes the book worth reading is not so much his saying that tolerance is part of the problem and not part of the solution, but his connecting that discussion with so many social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, racism, disabilities and domestic violence. Advocates for those issues who are looking for talking points for their campaigns will find plenty of examples here.
The book is a quick read and easily accessible by the way it is divided into 10 chapters and further into 110 sections so that you could read it straight through or bounce around in a page a day fashion.
It should generate plenty of debate.