Black and White Thinking in Modern Conservatism

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My biology teacher was lecturing us on the differences between children and adolescents. Everyone pointed out the obvious physical differences, but our teacher told us that the most important difference was in our brains. She told us to take the following example into account. A man's wife has a deadly disease. In order to save her life, she needs to take a medicine, which costs more than he can afford. He steals the medicine in the dead of night. If you caught him, and he told you his story, what would you do? Pre-pubescent children all came to the same conclusion: stealing is wrong and he should be punished. But pubescent teens saw things differently. They acknowledged that stealing was wrong, but they also questioned the degree of immorality. Would it be more wrong to let your wife die or to steal to save her life? The physiological development of the brain allows adults to reason at a higher level than children. While children see moral issues in black and white, adults see moral issues in shades of grey. And while some of us view political issues such as racism, ethnocentrism, feminism and cultural progress in shades of grey, many of today's conservatives view them like children: in black and white. The issue of racism was a matter of life and death before the civil rights movement. But after almost sixty years, it still seems that racism has not yet been abolished in the minds of some Americans. Granted, some racial minorities have not helped their cause by becoming racial stereotypes for the purposes of humor on television and movies. Some even cry racism when not applicable, most notably the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. But not all people who cry racism are just pulling out the race card... ... middle of paper ... ...sion in social issues, our politics will eventually change too. More and more people will begin to see issues in shades of gray, not black and white, blue or red. As my nåna says, "It's not that you're wrong, it's just that I'm more right." Works Cited Berliner, Michael. Capitalism Magazine. 14 Oct. 1999. Ayn Rand Institute. http://www.capamg.com/article.asp?ID=149. Coulter, Ann. Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism. New York: Crown Forum, 2003. 01-16. Elder, Larry. Town Hall. 04 Dec. 2003. http://www.townhall.com Sowell, Thomas. "We're Not Really Equal." Newsweek 07 Sept. 1981: 13-15. Thomas, Cal. "Personal desires deepen fault in foundation of moral boundaries." Editorial. Pacific Daily News 22 May 2004: 16.

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