Heart Disease Drug Found To Reduce Racism

Propranolol-_2161445bA pill to prevent subconscious racism? If only we’d known that it was this easy … the Telegraph reports:

Volunteers given the beta-blocker, used to treat chest pains and lower heart rates, scored lower on a standard psychological test of “implicit” racist attitudes. They appeared to be less racially prejudiced at a subconscious level than another group treated with a “dummy” placebo pill.

Scientists believe the discovery can be explained by the fact that racism is fundamentally founded on fear. Propranolol acts both on nerve circuits that govern automatic functions such as heart rate, and the part of the brain involved in fear and emotional responses.

Experimental psychologist Dr Sylvia Terbeck, from Oxford University, who led the study, said: “Given the key role that such implicit attitudes appear to play in discrimination against other ethnic groups, and the widespread use of propranolol for medical purposes, our findings are also of considerable ethical interest.”

Read More: Telegraph

48 Comments on "Heart Disease Drug Found To Reduce Racism"

  1. It is proved then: hate is a pathology!

    • Hadrian999 | Mar 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm |

       it’s an evolutionary function that has lost it’s usefulness.

      • AngryWhitey | Mar 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm |

        Wouldn’t it be evolutionarily beneficial to hate polluters and oligarchs and suchlike?

  2. saint_al | Mar 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

    Phooey. I’ve met racists who could wash down those pills with a PBR and then ask if you had any Vicodins. 

    • Jin The Ninja | Mar 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm |

       what is ‘PBR’?

      • DeepCough | Mar 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm |

        “Pabst Blue Ribbon,” nectar of the blue-collar, working class male, and swill of the affluent hipster scum.

        • Jin The Ninja | Mar 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

          thank you. i am probably a ‘hipster’ in some ways, but i drink only 3 or 4 times a year, so i have no idea about booze culture- affluent or working-class…

        • Mysophobe | Mar 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm |

          I wonder how many rednecks realize that PBR is proudly 100% union made in the USA and thus the enemy of freedom and liberty in our time. They really should be drinking Coors if they care about supporting rugged individualism and whatnot. Also, how can I get my homophobic, racist, islamophobic coward of a father on these miracle glimpse-of-sanity pills? Sure would make my rare visits a bit more tolerable.

          • saint_al | Mar 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

            “Lighten up, Francis.”
            /not your enemy

          • It doesn’t work, bro. My Mom’s on it and she still hates white people.

          • Eric_D_Read | Mar 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm |

            It can’t be racism if it’s directed towards white people.

          • thats why racists’ still exist, like me. you can’t drop the bullshit so neither will we.

          • AngryWhitey | Mar 9, 2012 at 11:56 pm |

            White people are so racist that we hate other kinds of white people… Damn guineas and micks and pollacks. 
            That is a joke.

          • Jin The Ninja | Mar 10, 2012 at 2:37 am |

            there actually is a european hierarchy of race, so it’s not quite a joke.

          • Anarchy Pony | Mar 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm |

            Wasps think they’re on the top.

          • how true…all non-whites get a pass courtesy of the leftist media that dreamt up racism as a mass phenonmenon peculiar to sworn enemies of Communism. Naturally, Communists can’t be racists since they are only concerned with the betterment of working people everywhere. And of course they couldn’t possibly lie since even though they seek world domination and unlimited power they know honesty is the best policy.

          • Rednecks are necessarily union men:


          • Anarchy Pony | Mar 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm |

            The term redneck originally comes from unionizing coal miners who wore red bandannas and faced extreme violent repression from coal company gun thugs back around the early twentieth century.
            That’s for those of you too lazy to follow that link.  

          • Irving Greenfield | Mar 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm |

            The term “Redneck” refers to southern farmers who always had a bit of a sunburn on the back of their neck from plowing the fields.

          • Anarchy Pony | Mar 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm |

            No actually it doesn’t.

        •  thats bullshit. no fucking working man is drinking blue ribbon. pussy hipsters do, but no blue collar, “redneck” is going to drink that. they drink budlight, budweiser, coors, miller, keystone. cheap shit.

          • Maybe now, but just a few years ago here in VA, PBR was the cheapest thing on the shelves (excluding the garbage-waters you listed). Thanks to hipster-driven inflation, it’s now more expensive than the superior Southpaw Light and High Life.

            conversations about beer > conversations about subconscious racism

  3. DeepCough | Mar 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

    There is only drug that could actually eliminate racism–and that’s Ecstasy.

  4. Hadrian999 | Mar 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm |

    that is the worst way to “solve” racism. we don’t need every part of our identity governed by a pill. 

    • Candicepenelope | Mar 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm |

      We may when the average black man has to worry about his every move especially around cops. After all they wouldn’t want to get shot for driving, walking or breathing while black would they?

      • Hadrian999 | Mar 30, 2012 at 1:21 pm |

         it isn’t solving racism, it is suppressing a symptom while ignoring the cause

        • Candicepenelope | Apr 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm |

          Frankly I’d love to go after the causes. Fearmongering, stereotyping, institutional racism, scapegoating, ect.. Unfortunately we seem to have tremendous difficulty even having a conversation about these things in this country. Let alone doing anything about them. I suppose taking a pill is the easy way out, but do you have a better idea?

          • Hadrian999 | Apr 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm |

            we take medication for too many things as it as, letting fear convince us to surrender our own bodies to outside control and manipulation is never an answer.

  5. I’m looking forward to next week’s debate about when we should start adding this to the drinking water.

  6. neurolux | Mar 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm |

    How soon till judges demand the ability to prescribe medication?

    • Calypso_1 | Mar 10, 2012 at 2:33 am |

      umm…Judges already can order medication.  Many psych hospitals have in-house hearing rooms for the cases.

  7. Nunzio X | Mar 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm |

    If only someone could develop a drug to reduce / cure stupidity.

  8. Who would want to erase racism?!?! it’s what this nation is built on!

  9.  “racism is fundamentally founded on fear”… no I don’t think so… racism is founded on hatred. it’s not something to be sugar coated. & I don’t think a pill is going to change my feelings towards blacks.

    • Jin The Ninja | Mar 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm |

       but hopefully some perspective will.

    • MoralDrift | Mar 10, 2012 at 1:51 am |

      Hatred comes from fear you scared halfwit

      • Xxsombrfirexx | Mar 29, 2012 at 4:19 am |

         thats not entirely true…im not afraid of black people but i do hate quite a few of them

        • NoOneInParticualr | Mar 29, 2012 at 11:50 am |

          then that’s not racism.  that’s being human.  racism is a blind hate for a race.  if you hate africans or japanese or chinese or americans, despite who they are, what they’ve done and have no desire to get to know them OR have ill feelings toward them…that is racism.

        • Why? Are you afraid of what those few do?

  10. Calypso_1 | Mar 10, 2012 at 1:15 am |

    I would definitely say racism is a heart disease.
    Neural pathways between the amygdala and vagus nerve regulate cardiac responsiveness to fear based stimuli.  The amygdala also causes a person to be able to better recognize facial emotion presentation on someone of their own race – Causing the “All ‘X’ look the same” effect.
     If an individual has low vagal tone they have poor heart rate variability in the presence of these stimuli causing poor emotional adaptation, increased anxiety, fear response, defensiveness, etc.
     β-blockers, which are used to treat various aspects of heart disease, increase vagal tone, thus alleviating symptoms.

  11. heart charka. bam.

  12. Jin The Ninja | Mar 10, 2012 at 2:38 am |

    you can’t cure institutional, systemic and codified (legal) racism with a pill. it’s the structure not the ‘cell.’

  13. I call BS. Race prejudice is a mental hangup, not a circulatory problem. I expect peer review will tear this story to shreds.

  14. Does anyone else heave a problem with the fact that there were only 36 people in this study?

  15. Rawvirus | Apr 1, 2012 at 9:02 am |

    I read a few years ago that a professor was ridiculed because he believed that racism was a defensive mechanism originating from our tribal ages.  This was a way of identifying your enemy.  Now a lot of countries have become multicultural yet minority groups congregate in packs/gangs/tribes as a defensive mechanism for protection.  Racism can be very destructive… so can ignorance. 

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