The Problem of Prejudice
Prejudice is a bad thing. Most people should agree on that. However, the problem is a problem of awareness. We are not totally aware of our own prejudices. There are ways of overcoming this. Tests which weigh our individual perceptions may help. Self-reflection is a very powerful tool as well. The reason we need to all reflect on our views and perceptions is that it is very easy to deceive ourselves. We have great motivation to make sure we are correct about something. Oh the horror when we discover something we are wrong about!
Recently I was chatting with someone. He had pointed out the many prejudices in the contacts that he had. There was several examples of racism in some of the people he encounters. He mentioned how he also had contacts that were prejudiced over the issues that relate to homosexuality. I can only take him at his word. These were his stories and not mine. What we agreed on was that prejudice does exist and is a problem in our world. We covered many more issues and although I typically enjoy a good discussion on ‘the issues’ the point of the meeting was different. I therefore avoided taking any of the ‘baits’ presented.
However, near the end of our time together this kind person exposed one of his own preconceived opinions that was not based on evidence. He made a comment about a political leader ( I will call him/her Political Leader A) who was celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This political leader was supposedly nodding his head during the celebration in agreement with the various speakers. The man I was meeting with could not believe that Political Leader A could in fact support ‘equal rights’ or join in that heritage. In other words, the ‘head nodding’ was fake.
I then commented that Political Leader A’s heritage was Christian. My point was that Political Leader A actually stood for good principles, especially when it came to race. Political Leader A is actually someone I have met, is a Christian, and a champion for the most basic right of our society. Especially for all of us these days, the temptation to be prejudiced toward political leaders who are on the ‘other side’ is quite powerful.
My reasons for pointing this out is that 1) We all need to be aware of our prejudices and work to give them up. 2) That prejudice is a double edged sword. It can cut both ways. 3) That all of our beliefs need better warrant than a simple opinion with no evidence. One of our responsibility’s should be to make sure we have more correct beliefs than false ones.
Have a good day everyone…I am off to do a little self-reflection. 🙂