Here’s your colonialism!
Gotted from http://writhesafely.wordpress.com/
From a cultural point of view, I think that those of the west are socially conditioned NOT TO respond to differences that are not related to production values (-- those being the divisions of labour which fuel the industrial economy).
On the other hand, a white teacher in a school in Namibia will have these questions directed at them:
What is it like being white?
Do you wish you had black skin?
Do you think that we are funny?
Would you ever be inclined to marry any of us?
These are probing questions which are intended to engender learning on an empirical level (one watches closely the teacher's reaction in order to gauge the meaning of racial differences).
In western schooling, such questions would be considered unconscionably rude. So, a way of knowing that is expressly NON-EMPIRICAL is required. Unfortunately, the schooling in political correctness often backfires, as one learns on the basis not of being permitted to ask and then observe the reactions of an outsider type for oneself, but on the basis of much more subtle and implied ideas, which, because of their way of distancing the subject at hand, produce a sense of danger or exoticism.
I think that many of the philosophical issues about difference would be greatly alleviated if only an empirical method to social interaction was considered culturally acceptable.