Elephants in the Room!




Invitation to Submit!  
FWJ Fall 2021:  Healing A House Divided 2 –
Elephants in the Room

Our last issue of FWJ began to explore polarization, focusing mainly on the marginalizing trauma experienced by various members of society– including military personnel, women, and children. In this issue, we’ll address another “elephant in the room,” social profiling.

Social profiling is endemic and mostly unnoticed, unless it becomes the catalyst for a hate crime or other violent reaction.  Nevertheless, it happens everywhere, every day, and we’re all doing it! Fill in the blanks: 

The homeless should all__________ Immigrants are___________  
Old people ought to__________ Kids today ___________  
The cops ___________ All politicians are___________

A few scenarios: 

An Indigenous person sees an unfamiliar White person and thinks “White people are out to screw us, as usual,” while that same White person, sensing the other’s attitude, thinks “I didn’t kill their ancestors…why don’t they give us a chance?”

A slender woman notices someone who’s very overweight and thinks “That man/woman eats too much.  Probably sits around on the couch watching TV all day.”  A woman who’s heavier or even average weight sees a slim woman and thinks “Look at her…she must be starving herself to look like that!  Bet if you hugged her you’d get bruises.”

A Black man driving a car at the posted speed limit notices a White police officer parked by the side of the road and slows down for fear of being arrested, while the officer tenses up, expecting the Black driver to break a rule.

Rarely are these people known to us.  We judge each other based upon how we appear—the color of our skin or how we wear our hair, how we dress, how we talk; the kind of car we drive and the neighborhood we live in; whether or not we graduated from college, from what school, and with what degree; what sort of job we have, and so on.  No wonder we are so polarized!  With these unexamined attitudes it’s easy to believe whatever validates our current fixation, and the media plays on this for effect.

FWJ Fall 2021 will share stories of social profiling—your own story or someone else’s.  We hope these stories will help us all to become more aware of our hidden biases, more compassionate towards folks we don’t understand, and more determined to end polarization in this country and around the world.

We welcome your article, poem, short story, or photo!  Please follow the embedded link to read the instructions on our Submissions Guidelines page first.

Submissions Deadline: August 30, 2021

Send your submission via email attachment to:

Editors –  Four Winds Journal

   Questions?  Email or call