Like Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate*

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Explaining social justice concepts can be tough at times.  Finding that perfect metaphor which is abstract enough to avoid any inherent bias, yet concrete enough to dodge the charge of “disanalogy!” is a toughie.

Which makes this collab between ViHart and Nicky Case all that more amazing.

This is a story of how harmless choices can make a harmful world.

These little cuties are 50% Triangles, 50% Squares, and 100% slightly shapist. But only slightly! In fact, every polygon prefers being in a diverse crowd. …

And just like that, those two show how a little prejudice can have a huge impact. If I have a complaint, it’s that they didn’t do more to link it back to the real world. What are the consequences of segregation? When you hang out primarily with people of your own race, they become the norm. This turns people of other races into the exception. This colors your memories, making it easier to dismiss extreme events involving your race but tougher to dismiss those involving other races.

And thus, the “black people are criminals” meme was born.

Anyway, the collab is well worth spending an hour on. And I do suggest an hour, as the entire web page is a series of sandboxes you can play around in. It’s a tasty merger of mathematics and social justice, in a video game candy-coating.

 

* There are no other kinds of chocolate. [squints menacingly]

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