Nazi Paikidze, that is.
The annual United States Chess Championships, both men’s and women’s divisions, are being held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center in St. Louis for the next few days and the aforementioned woman is a leading contender for the title.
Let’s all admit it, when we see the word Nazi certain things come to mind. We cannot deny this bias against the word. It has a meaning far beyond her name. When I heard her name at last year’s championship the first thought I had was: She would be wise to change it. I’m not proud of that thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that she should use her name proudly. She has nothing to do with the definition we generally associate with that word. She is a young woman who is an excellent chess player and, by all accounts, a great role-model for young girls everywhere.
It does get me to thinking about the unconscious biases we have in our daily lives. If I was robbed by a person who wore a red shirt then when I see someone in a same colored shirt I become slightly afraid. If I was in a car accident caused by a someone driving a particular make and model of car then when I see a similar car I immediately become more alert. It’s certainly not fair to the person in the red shirt or the driver of the other car but it is unquestionably true, much as we might like to pretend it is not.
We cannot avoid such biases for we are human and we have lived. Things have happened to us. Events and people harmed us and we associate said events with what the person was wearing, the color of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation, and any myriad of other things.
The reality is that we must judge people by their actions, not the color of their shirts, their names, or any other superficial feature. Such a world is the one we Libertarians yearn to live upon and yet I am as susceptible to such biases as anyone else.
My point? I’m not sure. I guess I’m saying that I’ll be trying to overcome such thoughts and I hope you will as well.
P.S. Go Nazi!