Discrimination, racial or otherwise, will always be a problem in our society. We all discriminate, but not all of us accept it. Discrimination denies opportunities and social esteem to individuals because they are considered members of a devalued social group. But why do we discriminate? What sets the standards to decide who will be put down and who will be respected? I think its ignorance.
We are all afraid of the unknown and the unexpected. When we fear something or someone, we reject it and form a banner to protect us. But this can’t be entirely true! I have been fortunate to observe my baby girl born a few months ago, and she doesn’t seem to fear the unknown or for that matter discriminate between people!
Some theories suggest, discrimination develops from the idea that anyone different from us is not as good. As children we leam to discriminate strangers from our parents and relatives and continue on like this. We feel secure and more comfortable around people we know which is a very normal and human thing to do. In doing this we close our doors to new relationships and ideas other people have to offer us. Of course, the germ of the idea that some one who is a stranger may not be good, stems from the beliefs of the parents and the close relatives who stay with children!
Prejudice is the result of negative pre-judgments about a group of people or person we might not even know. I personally find myself being prejudiced many times, but I do try to avoid it as much as possible. I’ve leamed that as I find out more about different things and cultures my intellectual horizons expand. Inspired by the new addition in our family, I’ve become more open minded to accept other peoples knowledge and learn more about the world around us.
Prejudice and discrimination have always existed and always will exist for as long as people keep locking up in their shells. The worst wars in history have taken place because of societies thinking that their racial difference is justification for exploiting groups of people they consider inferior.
We might never be able to stop prejudice as a whole, but we can help make our society a better place to live in. Next time you find yourself being prejudiced about anybody, ask yourself if you know that person well enough to judge. If you don’t try to get to know him or her. You may change your mind.