Friday, July 3, 2015

Prejudice : Part 2

Are we all affected by prejudice? I believe everyone is. I said as much to a man not long back and he wasn't happy as I could tell he thought he was immune. However, once we judge anyone before fully knowing or understanding them, we have fallen into the trap. Additionally, assumptions and sweeping statements about any group has also shown us up in this regard.

One reason for the problem is the fact that people were largely isolated from each other for thousands of years. That limited our gene pool by not intermarrying and then creating differences in appearances, customs, religious beliefs and even dispositions. Suddenly, travel opened up and people started being brought together. Change was sometimes forced on people and on another occasions the government sanctioned it, but either way not everyone embraces such change.

As an immigrant myself as a child, things were said to me that clearly came from parents and reflected resentment. Taking jobs from locals was the main one, but at the time unemployment was extremely low. I think it was the fact that the government targeted immigrants with specific higher paid skills and their success was resented. So throwing people together from different places proves problematic. Doing it in large numbers over a short period and it adds to the resentment. I am talking about legal immigrants here. (Large numbers of illegal arrivals is another story).
Prejudice can lead to violence

Another source of prejudice is people who have lived nearby and have a long history of fighting, distrust and ill feeling. The history is passed down and recalled, of injustice done 'against us' but usually forgetting the bad done by 'our side'.

You may think that about covers it, but there is more to prejudice than stated so far and that will be discussed in Part 3. That will be about prejudice within society with everyone of the same background.

For Part 1, simply click here, Part 3 click here.

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