Us vs them: the sinister techniques of ‘Othering’ – and how to avoid them

Date Published: 11/8/2017

Author(s): john a powell

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Summary: It is common for white folx to refer to marginalized groups using us/them language, which is problematic for a lot of reasons, mostly because it contributes to "othering" these groups. This piece discusses the insidious and dangerous results of "othering", which is based on an assumption that these groups pose a threat, and contributes to dehumanizing them and creating anxiety among the dominant group. This author offers two options for dealing with that anxiety - “bridge” - which is recognizing differences while reaching out and connecting as humans, or “break” by pulling away and believing the false narrative. Bridging helps us to prevent extremism and allow everyone to belong, without losing our own identity.

Take Action!

Speak up and open a conversation when you hear the othering of marginalized communities.