Racism as a Vestigal Remnant of a Security Mechanism
“Roots of Racism,” by Elizabeth Culotta in Science:
Our attitudes toward outgroups are part of a threat-detection system that allows us to rapidly determine friend from foe, says psychologist Steven Neuberg of ASU Tempe. The problem, he says, is that like smoke detectors, the system is designed to give many false alarms rather than miss a true threat. So outgroup faces alarm us even when there is no danger.
Lots of interesting stuff in the article. Unfortunately, it requires registration to access.