Scientists claim that the beta-blocker drug Propranolol can help the fight against racism after trials revealed an unusual side effect of the drug which suppresses the emotion of fear, said to be the foundation of racist attitudes.
Scientists believe that they may have found a drug to combat racism. Propranolol, a common drug used to treat chest pains and lower heart rates has surprisingly shown a beneficial side effect according to scientists.
In a trial conducted by Experimental psychologist Dr Sylvia Terbeck, from Oxford University, and published in the journal Psychopharmacology, volunteers who were given the drug Propranolol displayed a lower level of racist attitudes in a Psychological test compared to those who were given the placebo pill.
Propranolol works on the nerve circuits of the brain which controls the heart rate and also the part of the brain which controls emotions and fear. The stabilising effect of the drug helps combat panic attacks and anxiety according to scientists.
Do we have to be pill-popping drug addicts to live in harmony?
Although this study is seen as an exciting prospect for the future of human behaviour, there is another side to this debate which is not so encouraging. Does the future of the human species lie in mind-altering drugs which will make us temporarily nice to one another? If this is the case then the human condition is in a bad state.
The study itself needs to answer important questions regarding racial attitudes. For example, How can the ‘fear’ argument be continually used as a main reason to racial attitudes when many people have come into contact with someone from another race and culture regularly by now?
Many people eat at Indian restaurants, order Chinese take-aways, are in relationships with someone from another race etc., the concept of being afraid of outsiders is surely outdated.
If Propranolol reduces anxiety and panic then it suggests that racists are always in a state of panic and anxiety so rather than turn millions of people into pill-popping drug addicts would it not be more practical to reduce their state of anxiety, panic and fear by addressing the issues which causes them to be this way? Would it not be more practical to combat racially alarming headlines by newspapers which suggests that white people who made up approximately 90 percent of the population in the UK in 2001, are set to become the minority? (Source: Census, April 2001, Office for National Statistics)
Would it not be more practical to tackle the issue of immigration from an honest perspective, explaining to the white population in the UK how British foreign policy is responsible for the under development of countries around the world, which in turn results in the migration of the people in those countries to what they perceive as more affluent areas of the world?
Common sense can reduce the anxiety, panic and so called fear that which form racist attitudes, rather than resorting to a zombie-like future population with no control over their own mind and reasoning.
When Dr James Watson, a Nobel prize winner and DNA pioneer was quoted in the Sunday Times as saying that Africans were inferior to Europeans, (BBC News:Lab suspends DNA pioneer Watson : October 2007), I wonder if he was suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and fear of Africans?
When Dr Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, claimed to have proven scientifically that black women are less attractive than white, Asian and Native American women, I wonder if he too needed a boost of Propranolol? (Read British psychologist reignites the debate about race ideology in science)
Sometimes scientists have not got a clue and the two prominent scientists that I have just mentioned reveals that that there is a lot more to racism than fear, and drugs will hardly be able to change this without taking away an individual’s free will.
If the future of humanity rests on drug-induced corrective behaviour, what a bleak future that will be.
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