Prejudices: Challenging Level Prejudice

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“We are each burdened with prejudice; against the poor or the rich, the smart or the slow, the gaunt or the obese. It is natural to develop prejudices. It is noble to rise above them,” Author Unknown. Unfortunately, throughout history our society has become victim to the upbringing and menacing of prejudices within. The prejudices that our fellow neighbors endure range from scowling facial expressions to violent hate crimes. As far back as the decades go, prejudice has been an ongoing problem in society, our children and our future are affected immensely; it is our job to make a drastic change. Prejudice is a word that means judging someone or having an idea about them before you actually know anything about them, the word can also mean having an opinion about something without knowing anything about it. (Kids Health) On a more challenging level prejudice can refer to a positive or negative attitude or belief directed toward certain people based on their membership in a particular group. The root of the word is “pre-judge,” it is a set of attitudes which causes, supports, or justifies discrimination. There are three general theories for prejudice; personality needs, social learning and conformity, and social structure and economic position. Based on a study done by the Delmar University the three general theories were shown to be the most common reasons for prejudice within a person. These three theories lead to the forms and explanations of prejudice. The first form of prejudice being cognitive prejudice which refers to what people believe is true. Next is affective prejudice which points to peoples likes and dislikes. And finally, conative prejudice which refers to how people are inclined to behave. Playing a part in the causes of prejudice is also; family, school, peer groups, work, and the media. Unfortunately, all too often a person will create a prejudice based off of something that they learned from another person or another area. It is society’s job to recreate the environment that we set for our youth and humanity. We have to show our communities that not everyone or everything can be judged from lack of experience or another’s belief. Our country has been facing prejudice since as early as slavery and the Holocaust. Slaves consisted of “colored,” people known as Negro’s and now referred to as African Americans. These groups of people were pre-judge based on the color of their skin. Since they did not have a pale complexion they were treated poorly and forced to serve societies “white” race. Later on in history a prejudice dictator, Adolph Hitler, created a German based army that slaughtered the Jewish community. Hitler pre-judged any and all who did not fit the description that he followed. Unfortunately, because of his prejudices many humans died from the ignorance of color barriers. Still to this day prejudice is a problem, where our children of color or bi-racial background experience the emotion of not feeling good enough because of what another thinks or believes. In Toledo Ohio where I live, my community experienced first-hand prejudice when a group of Neo-Nazis were given permission to have a demonstration walk through one of our neighborhoods. The decision that our Mayor made to allow such a demonstration was one that jeopardized people’s lives and disrespected the integrity of different cultures. The problem with prejudice is that society does not give one another a chance at being themselves. Some of our society is quick to judge another person for their color, their culture, or their religion. By pre-judging before knowing anything about a person or thing we are allowing something or someone else to influence our opinions. Prejudice is seen in all kinds of situations such as; the cheerleading squad not wanting to be friends with a certain girl because she does not come from a wealthy family, a Caucasian family thinking that the African American family that moved in down...
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