Take This Pill — It Can Cure Your Racism

If only it were that simple. Let’s face it, folks: We could probably all just pack up our bags and go home if complex diversity issues had such a straightforward solution. That’s why it’s borderline insulting to read about a product that could potentially “cure” racism.

A recent study by Oxford University found that a pill called Propranolol — which is supposed to alleviate high blood pressure, migraines and other ailments — apparently has some sort of impact on the part of the central nervous system that controls subconscious attitudes on race.

The 36 all-white male study participants who consumed the pill secured a much lower score on a test that measures “subtle and spontaneous biased behavior,” according to a news report.

First off, I don’t believe a study with 36 participants of a homogenous group merits such a groundbreaking finding. Secondly — and I’m not saying that there isn’t a scientific connection that spurs certain perceptions or attitudes or even behaviors — but I do think that glorifying such a finding is risky and could result in a cop-out when someone is confronted about inappropriate or inexcusable behavior.

Can’t you just imagine this scenario: “Henry, why’d you call Jackie that term?” “Guess I forgot to take my pill today.”

It sounds absurd, doesn’t it? It completely wipes out any accountability on the part of the person engaging in racist speech or behavior. And that, to me, is inexcusable.

Now, if only there were a pill to cure ignorance, we wouldn’t be subject to the likes of Rush Limbaugh.