I suspect it has to do with Robert’s Anthropologist-ish background, it seems like you guys have a deep respect for basically any people capable of civilization at all/ have a deeper appreciation for it.
Correct, I have worked as a Cultural Anthropologist. I sort of fake my way into most of my jobs – I get a bunch of books on how to do it read them or I call up people who work in the field and ask them how to do the job. Then just go be an impostor. I remember when I boned up for the job, the books I read said that if you were going to be an anthropologist and work with an ethnic group, one thing you had to do was to accept the ethnic group in toto, and that meant you had to accept every single one of their behaviors and cultural practices. That’s the only way to do ethnographic work.
If you dislike some of the group’s beliefs, behaviors or practices, it can show up in your work with your informants, and if you don’t have a good relationship with your informants, you can’t get any good anthropological work done at all. Your informants will lie, play tricks on you, make up jokes about what they believe and do and all sorts of nonsense. Or they will just become hostile and refuse to cooperate much at all.
It’s sort an unconditional positive regard thing, a Rogersian way of doing anthropology.
Speaking of which, I also work in mental health, and I believe in Rogers’ Unconditional Positive Regard model here too. Too many therapists don’t, and I believe as a result, they do lousy therapy. I accept all of my clients in toto and generally don’t have any negative attitudes about any of them. Of course it helps that most of my clients are very good people. I don’t have to work with lousy or bad people as clients. I guess it’s difficult.
Also I am still a liberal at heart. That never left me. If your heart is still on the Left, it’s hard to get all that racist no matter how awful X group or race acts. Though Gypsies would definitely try my patience!