From: Dave Owen


I recently came across your website, and am quite enjoying it!

I did note one thing that troubled me though.  On the page about Polarization (, in the discussion of the issues that people can become polarized on, you speak of Racism.  My concern is over with the remark "(typically by whites in the United States)".  I think this is a flawed statement, which bears little truth.  Perhaps you intended to say "(typified by some whites in the United States)", which is a statement that contains more truth.  I think a much truer statement could be made by drawing attention to the fact that racism is present in all peoples of the world regardless of race, and derives its potency from hatred, intolerance of differences, and baseless fear.


Dave Owen
University of British Columbia

Thanks for the feedback. 
I didn't mean to imply that only whites were racist in the United States or that all or most whites were racist.  The statement began with "...typically starts with an assumption of racial superiority" which would normally be by the dominant power group, which would be whites in the U.S.  I was also thinking in terms of how it started (racism was pretty rampant in the 18th and 19th centuries) rather than the situation today.  However the wording probably gives the impression I'm picking on whites, and I agree with you that racism is pretty universal.  To avoid misunderstanding I'm thinking of changing it to something like the following:
Animosity between whites, blacks, Orientals, Native Americans, and other groups may start with a dominant group exploiting those of other races and resentment by those victimized, but racial tension may occur between any groups who distrust people who look and act differently.
My intention is not to be judgemental about who is racist, only to expand a little on what "racism" implies.
Let me know if you find other areas where my site could use improvement!