Prejudice is a worldwide evil that has been woven into the threads of society since the beginning of time. Prejudice occurs when a person acts on a preconceived opinion of a person belonging to a specific group, assuming that the individual possesses unfavorable characteristics. This opinion is often formed with a lack of knowledge.
Prejudice is the root of many major controversies, as it has been the background to a numerous amount of issues throughout the ages, such as African slavery and The Holocaust. Often, a prejudiced situation leads to violence, in which many people are harmed due to an opinion that was formed without any real means of support. Prejudiced ideas too often lead to discrimination, which is the mistreatment of a group of people that occurs when a prejudiced opinion is put in action.
The idea of equality becomes blocked in a prejudiced society. The daily lives of the majority of the population become a struggle. Unfortunately, in most cases prejudice results in the deprivation of rights. In the past, people have been denied basic education, employment, the right to vote, etc. Though unjustifiable, this case is quite common and affects many people every single day.
A common form of prejudice is Racism, which is also known as racial discrimination. Racism is a negative attitude towards a specific race due to stereotypes. Common stereotypes include the idea that black people are uneducated and ignorant, or the idea that white people are rich and unathletic. These stereotypes are often judgmental, and are preconceived without any real means of support. Racism is one of the biggest issues worldwide, resulting in division.
Many situations in history were fueled by racism. The African Slaves that were brought to the Caribbean were thought to be nothing more than cargo aboard the ships that transported them across the Atlantic. This mindset was formed simply because of their color. They suffered on the sugar plantations in which they worked daily due their capture by the Europeans, who possessed a racist mindset. Also, the racially motivated Adolf Hitler, leader of the infamous Nazi party, was the cause of the death of an estimated six million Jews who died throughout the Holocaust during World War ll. During the twentieth century, Native Americans, African Americans, and Asian Americans in the United States all suffered from discrimination. They were discriminated in areas such as citizenship, literacy, education, and voting rights. As a result, Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for black rights during the African-American Civil rights movement (1955-1968). The aim of the movement was to outlaw racial discrimination of the black Americans, resulting in equality, as well the right to vote. In The Bahamas, Sir Milo Butler and Sir Linden Pindling fought persistently for black rights during the 1950’s and 60’s. Black Bahamians were prevented from working certain jobs. They would receive unfair pay, as compared to the whites’ pay.
Another form of prejudice is Sexism. Sexism is, by definition according to Webster’s dictionary, “Behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex.” Since the earth began, women have struggled with their rights. They have been considered property in the past. Women were viewed as inferior to men, being denied many human rights, solely because of their gender. In the past, they have been denied education, and the right to vote or own property. It has long been a universal belief that women were unable to protect themselves outside of the home. Their responsibility was the domestic work, as men were responsible for the work outside of the home. One of the main tasks of women was assumed to be the bearing of children. Women were not allowed to take part in social events. They were excluded when it came to the world of business and politics.