Initial Post

Your initial post should read 500 to 600 words, with the accompanying citations/references in APA format. To receive the maximum points, your post should include citations/references from all of this week’s readings and an additional article of your choosing.


Why is it so challenging to cultivate and maintain cultural humility?

What lessons could we glean from Forbes’ text, Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wetiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism, and Terrorism, regarding cultural humility?


  • Identify one major point from the readings that was a new learning point for you
  • Retrieve one article/citation on cultural humility in psychology
  • Apply what you learned from reading this additional article
  • Address how reading this additional article built upon the major point(s) from the readings
  • Discuss contradictory information from the article to the readings’ main point(s)
  • Your initial post should follow APA guidelines in-text citations and references

Why it is challenging to cultivate cultural humility

Cultural humility is an ongoing process of self-reflection and self-critique, combined with a commitment to understanding and respecting different cultural perspectives. It is a concept that extends beyond cultural competence, which can sometimes imply a finite level of knowledge. Cultivating and maintaining cultural humility is challenging due to several factors, including deeply ingrained biases, systemic inequalities, and the complexity of continuously evolving cultural contexts.

One of the major points from this week’s readings that was new to me is the idea presented by Forbes in Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wetiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism, and Terrorism. Forbes introduces the concept of “Wetiko,” a term derived from Indigenous languages that describes a cannibalistic mindset or disease. This mindset is characterized by a consuming drive for exploitation and domination, which Forbes argues is deeply embedded in Western culture and has far-reaching implications for how societies interact with different cultures (Forbes, 2008). This concept was particularly eye-opening as it provided a historical and cultural framework for understanding the destructive behaviors associated with imperialism and colonization, which continue to affect intercultural relations today.

In addition to the readings, I reviewed an article by Tervalon and Murray-García (1998) on cultural humility in the field of healthcare, which offers valuable insights applicable to psychology. The article emphasizes that cultural humility involves a lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and self-critique, recognizing and challenging power imbalances in the provider-patient dynamic, and developing mutually beneficial partnerships with communities. This perspective is crucial because it highlights that cultural humility is not about attaining a static level of knowledge but about being open to continual growth and learning.

The lessons from Forbes’ text can be applied to the concept of cultural humility by recognizing how the Wetiko mindset manifests in contemporary practices and institutions. Forbes’ critique of exploitation and imperialism challenges us to acknowledge the historical and ongoing impacts of these forces on marginalized communities. This understanding can inform a more profound practice of cultural humility by encouraging individuals to critically examine their own biases and the systemic structures that perpetuate inequality.

Reading Tervalon and Murray-García’s (1998) article built upon the major points from Forbes by providing a practical framework for implementing cultural humility. Their emphasis on lifelong learning and addressing power imbalances complements Forbes’ call for a critical examination of exploitative practices. Both sources underscore the necessity of a deep, ongoing commitment to challenging entrenched systems of oppression.

However, there is some contradictory information between the article and the readings. While Forbes focuses heavily on the historical and systemic roots of exploitation and cultural domination, Tervalon and Murray-García emphasize individual practice and interpersonal relationships. This divergence highlights a potential tension between addressing broad systemic issues and implementing personal and professional practices of cultural humility. To reconcile this, it is essential to integrate both perspectives: understanding the broader socio-historical context of cultural interactions (as Forbes suggests) and applying this understanding to everyday practices in personal and professional settings (as Tervalon and Murray-García propose).

In conclusion, cultivating and maintaining cultural humility is challenging due to the deep-seated nature of biases and systemic inequalities. The concept of the Wetiko disease from Forbes’ text provides a critical lens for examining these challenges, while Tervalon and Murray-García offer practical guidance for embodying cultural humility in everyday interactions. Together, these sources underscore the importance of a continuous, reflective practice that seeks to understand and dismantle the forces of exploitation and domination that hinder genuine intercultural respect and understanding.


Forbes, J. D. (2008). Columbus and other cannibals: The Wetiko disease of exploitation, imperialism, and terrorism. Seven Stories Press.

Tervalon, M., & Murray-García, J. (1998). Cultural humility versus cultural competence: A critical distinction in defining physician training outcomes in multicultural education. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 9(2), 117-125.

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