Re: A Boring Movie

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Jan 15 2002 - 12:01:03 MST

Patrick Wilken wrote:
> > > >Mike Lorrey wrote:
> >A population of 400,000 people is hardly 'a single data point'.
> When are discussing rural versus urban environments with
> approximately 300 000 000 people (if we focus this discussion simply
> the USA), then a single group of 400,000 people is not a particularly
> useful sample. And in any case I said the "in general, the *greatest
> tolerance...*".
> I agree that allowing gay marriages in Vermont is a single instance
> of tolerance toward homosexual relationships from a largely rural
> community, but this is hardly a knockdown argument in favour of the
> equal or greater tolerance from rural versus urban communities across
> the entire USA. There are many other kinds of tolerance and many
> other communities in the USA. I would be surprised if there was no
> significant differences between rural and urban groups in various
> societal norms in the United States.
> What's your evidence that social environments does not affect one's
> viewpoint towards outsiders? I would be very interested in hearing
> this...

Well, religion can be a contributing factor, but is not a causal one.
The most bigoted people in the US exist in those who have absolutely the
least amount of contact with those they hate (Idaho, Compton, Harlem,
for example), but this is not exclusively true either, since both
Vermont and NH are considered two of the whitest states in the country
and racist groups have great difficulty obtaining more than a dozen or
so adherents here. There is a sizable gay/lesbian population, and those
few minorities that do live here tend to rank above average on anybody's
scale, so the most bigoted some here will get is to be trapped in the
"good n-----/bad n-----" mindset.

THis may be because people that live here are generally well travelled,
and have spent at least several years of life elsewhere, either in the
military or in college, where exposure to other lifestyles/ethnicities
tends to help ameliorate any latent prejudices. Thus, I think it is
degree of exposure that does help determine this. On the other hand,
I'll use the example of a cousin of mine who grew up in Nashua with a
diverse community and high school, went to college at Boston University
and became afraid he was becoming racist from living in Boston because
of so many negative experiences with blacks there.

While many long time city dwellers will heap scorn upon openly stated
bigotry from the redneck types, I've known too many city dwellers who
are quite privately more bigoted, but unwilling to admit it.

While prejudice against gays and lesbians is likely motivated by
religion, racial prejudice is more likely created by the lingering
socio-economic strife that is perpetuated in every negative interracial
act that occurs. The difficulty in this ballet of trust and distrust is
that every negative action offsets ten positive ones.

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