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EP 15 | America's Factory Settings

In this episode of Unfractured, Skot Welch and Eric Johnson delve into the concept of white culture and its origins in American history. This critical discussion is not to cast shame or guilt but to shed light on the structural inheritance handed down to us.

Referring to it as America's "factory settings," Skot describes the invisible structure of default decisions and actions that have persisted throughout history and continue to impact us today, whether we realize it or not. They emphasize that white culture is the default culture in America, and this fact should not be threatening but recognized and understood.

Skot traces the roots of our cultural division to the 17th century when social scientist Joseph Frederick Blumenbach categorized people based on their physical characteristics and placed Caucasians at the top of the hierarchy. His perspective was codified into American culture, and it continues to influence various aspects of government and society.

Eric Johnson points out that America's defaults toward white culture are so ingrained that it often goes unnoticed unless one actively looks for it, especially for white individuals. He shares his experience of becoming aware of this default setting when he adopted three black children, which opened his eyes to its pervasiveness.

They emphasize that this is not about apologizing or assigning blame but about acknowledging the reality of the situation. It's a necessary step toward taking responsibility for addressing the issues associated with our culture.

Eric reflects on the danger of assuming that whiteness as the default is harmless. He acknowledges that once you understand the gravity of this default setting, other issues become more apparent and significant. They compare it to a computer's base settings and argue that the nation will remain the same unless there is a deliberate effort to rewire and diversify our decision-making processes.

This episode challenges the idea of a meritocracy by pointing out that the framework often supports those in the majority culture. This realization may challenge people’s identities and insecurities, but it's necessary for growth and change. It highlights the historical origins of cultural division and the need to recognize and address its pervasive influence on our society. Acknowledging the default settings is a crucial step toward cultural change and building a more equitable future that reflects God’s vision of Heaven on earth.


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