The article "The Problem of Othering" by John Powel and Stephan Menendian brings forth the idea of othering, which they define as "a set of dynamics, processes, and structures that engender marginality and persistent inequality across any of the full range of human differences based on group identities." This definition to me manages to encompass and explain the idea of racial or religious based discrimination in a better way than the term racism does. It highlights how groups are not subjected simply through direct action, but through a system of systemic inequality and prejudice that can be both based in law or culture. It is not simply laws aimed at opression, but it is also other aspects that seem minor in comparison, such as language and mannerisms that are used when talking about certain groups. For example, in America, when a shooting or a violent act occurs that is preformed by a minority, such as middle easterns or African Americans, the terms that are used to describe these individuals would be "thugs" or "terrorists". This is in contrast to the "lone wolf" and "mentally ill" descriptors that are used when a Caucasian individual commits the same set of crimes. Othering in short is a system that contributes to creating a divide between cultural groups that is at the root of many social and cultural problems today.
The idea of othering is also a wide spread political tool that is used by many politicians to boost their own political polling. The article discusses the idea of how Donald Trump appealed to his audience through using idea of "white resentment" in a Jim Crow like manner, creating the image that minorities such as Mexicans and Muslims were an active danger to the security of the USA. By alienating these groups and excluding them, Trump successfully used othering as a poltical tool to boost his own standing as a politician. That is not to say that this tactic exists only in the US, as there are many other countries in the world where the idea of exclusion and othering to direct hate towards certain groups exists in spades.
The article goes on to discuss many other mechanisms by which othering occurs, however the one that stuck out to me was how the idea of unconscious bias comes into play with othering. The idea that humans categorize each other without actively thinking about doing has led me to reflect on how the idea of othering has come into play in my own life. Have I accidentally "othered" a specific person based on a certain group that they fell into, whether it be economic or social? Has it occurred to me as well without me noticing? I believe that everyone at some level most reflect on how their subconscious thought process might lend to the idea of othering without them even noticing