|quently identified as the mysterious forces behind social problems, a diminution of these conditions should also diminish prejudice.|
|8.||Demonstration that many of the fears about minority groups are imaginary might help to dispel these fears. Probably a more basic understanding needs to be inculcated that fear or hatred of a minority group is a mere substitute for a real fear or hatred of some other object, toward which people are unwilling to express their true attitudes. A general program of mental hygiene needs to be developed to get people to be honest with themselves. Frank discussion of the disliked or feared aspects of important cultural values would be the first step in such a program. Such discussions are being carried on regarding sexual pleasure, with considerable benefit to a large section of the population.|
|9.||Any effort to develop healthier and saner personalities in general will diminish prejudice. Such efforts practically always require the guidance of psychiatrists.|
A concerted program including all these activities would probably eliminate race prejudice in a generation or two. But many of these activities are difficult to put into practice. Further scientific research is needed to indicate just how important each of the causes of prejudice is, and how they can be manipulated most easily. It must be recognized that worthwhile single efforts may have only the slightest of noticeable effects, but that the steady pressure of social action changes the situation materially in a few years. Both research and action aimed at eliminating and diminishing prejudice are now under way on an increasing scale. The future is hopeful if even a small group of people in each part of the world is organized to eradicate this most serious blight on all civilization.
David W. Petegorsky
[ A wide variety of approaches have been developed to reduce prejudice. One philosophy is expressed by a man who is head of an organization to combat racism in all its forms--the American Jewish Congress. Into this selection, Dr. David W. Petegorsky has packed a great deal of the wisdom from his broad experience. ]