2007-11-30 15:44:07 UTC
A subject that I have been thinking about for a while. I wanted to
put the words down and see if it sparks some conversation.
Now to me the biggest difference between being prejudice and being
racist is the hate. I have not looked up the formal definitions, but
I think this is the case in the formal definitions as well. And while
prejudice IMO can apply to something other than people I still think
it has its roots in people.
So what makes someone have prejudice against a group? I was thinking
about it a bit and was honest with myself and realized I have certain
prejudices. I also realized that if certain events were to occur I
could also form other prejudices. Now could these prejudices not
encompass the group they were held towards? I would say yes, but does
that change the fact the the prejudice exists?
A couple examples:
I drive quite a bit for work (not that much currently because my car
has been acting up and I dont trust it), but even back and forth to
work for me is about a 40 minute drive. Something that bothers me
when I drive is people who tailgate or drive up really fast and then
change lanes right before they get to the car in front of them. This
bothers me because it is dangerous and there is no reason for it. I
notice a certain group do this more than others so I tend to have a
prejudice towards that group because of this reason.
Does that example fall into a pet peve or a strong opinion? I do not
think so because it involves a certain group of people AND I notice
that group. Why would I notice something like that? Is it because it
is a consistent pattern and the mind looks for patterns in
everything? Or is it because I had a prejudice towards this group for
other reasons and use this example to affirm that prejudice?
Now if I were racist towards that group I think I would use that fact
to justify an action to prevent it. Is racism nothing more than
prejudice that takes negative action? Now 'action' could be physical
action or it could mean verbal action. I think everyone is familiar
with a person who has either a hatred or is racist against a certain
group and may have heard someone verbalize that hatred.
I bring this up because I have befriended someone who is very
different from me in many ways. Different culture, a 'slight'
language barrier etc. I have been very accommodating and have given
my friendship unconditionaly, but cannot help but wonder what would
happen if my friendship was taken advantage of. Would I look at it in
the sense that 'well this group must be like this because I gave
unconditionaly and this person took advantage what would happen if I
didnt even KNOW that person?' Does that make us look upon others with
How many chances do you give a group of people that have the same
beliefs before you become so wary that you decide to not try anymore?
How long is it going to be before we look past the 'group' and see the
person? Will it ALWAYS be like this until these 'groups' start
melting together and acting in similiar ways? I am fairly confident
that people are going to think of examples where this was attempted in
a non natural way ie Hitler trying to get everyone to 'look the same'
this is nowhere near what I am trying to say, but rather a natural
evolution that will eventually have all 'groups' of people thinking
and acting in a way that is helpful to EVERYONE.
I grew up in a pretty diverse neighborhood and had friends of many
different groups. Some of these groups I have certain prejudices
towards to this day because of my experience, but I also still have
friends that are in those groups to this day. Why is it that I can
still have friends with a group of people I have certain prejudices
towards while others turn that prejudice to hatred/racism? Is it
because the acts that were performed by these groups upon me were not
as bad as the acts that were acted upon towards others and that makes
it more difficult to just move on?
If someone repeatedly gets robbed by the same 'group' of people over
and over and over, will that person have a chance to forgive and
forget? How much tollerance can one person have?
Is defeatism/despair worse than racism?