Personal Essay Prejudice Essay Research Paper Personal

Personal Essay: Prejudice Essay, Research Paper

Personal Essay: Prejudice


The location was a moderate to large size city near the east coast of

Massachusetts. The city has a mix of all races and is diverse in its racial

distribution. It is a city where most of the people are middle class working

folks. While it is a moderate size city, it has few city problems such as

homelessness, poverty and violence.

The year was 1992 and it was the summertime. It was very hot and humid

at about 11:30 at night and I was in a car driving around looking for something

to do. It was a boring Tuesday night so I decided to go to a big video arcade

hangout called Funworld. There is a number of video games as well as young

people. The establishment is a large building with a large parking lot.

I was with three other people in the parking lot when we were approached

by a group of three other gentlemen. I myself am a caucasian male under 21

years of age. Two of the people I was with were upperclass caucasian males also

under the age of 21. The last person was also under 21 and male, but he was

African-American. One of the caucasians was a close friend and another was an

acquaintance. The African-American was also a friend of mine. Of the three

gentlemen that approached us, two were hispanic males that appeared to be over

21 and the other was a caucasian male that appeared over 21, although I couldn’t

be sure. Although I didn’t want to make any judgements about them, they looked

as if they were poorly dressed and over 21. So I deduced that they were in a

gang or they were drug dealers, high school dropouts, etc.;.


At first it appeared as if both groups would just pass by each other

unnoticed but the caucasian male in the other group made a racist remark about

my African-American friend. He said “Look at those dumb dudes walking with that

fucking spade”. My African-American Dave turned around suddenly and said “What

the fuck did you say?” The caucasian male retorted “None of your fucking

business dick!” At this point both groups approached each other and then my

friend Dave said “You wanna go”, in response the other kid said “Let’s go!” and

shoved him in the chest. The other two of the caucasian male’s friends jumped

on top of Dave and then we all kind of got into a fight. We were mostly just

pushing and shoving each other at first.

After about a minute of pushing, two of the guys jumped on Dave and one

jumped on my friend Chris. When I was looking at this I noticed that Chris, who

is well-built, and the hispanic were mostly wrestling, but Dave was really

getting hit. My first instinct was to help Dave, of course, because he was

getting killed and Chris was okay. To my surprise however, my friend Dan helped


I immediately jumped in to help Dave even though I was equally good

friends with Chris and Dave. Dave was getting hit the hardest and needed help

bad. I pulled one of the guys off Dave and then pulled the other off. By this

time Chris and Dan had easily overpowered the hispanic kid, and when the three

kids saw it was four against three, they just ran off when they saw that there

was more of us than of them. I helped Dave off the ground, and saw that he had

a bloody nose, but he seemed okay when I asked. Chris and Dan were fine and

didn’t show any ill effects at all.

When I saw the hispanic people and the way that they were dressed I

started wondering if they were going to start any trouble. My attitude toward

was possibly prejudiced, but under the circumstances, at night with the clothing

that was being worn, I think (obviously correctly), that I was right in the

conclusion that they were out to cause trouble. I was taught no to the

prejudiced, but in this situation I’m wondering if what I did was considered

prejudiced because I was correct in my first assumption of them. The problem is

that though the actual instigator seemed to be that caucasian male from the

other group, and not the hispanics. I feel a bit puzzled as to how my thinking

and value or belief system could be construed in that situation. I believed

that they would cause problems and they did cause problems; but was it the wrong

thing to believe? I don’t know


Looking back at the event I keep thinking about why Dan went over to

help Chris who was doing fine, instead of helping Dave who was getting killed.

Dan is not friends with either of the two but merely acquaintances with both of

them. It may not be right but I keep thinking. that there was a little racial

motivation in the fact that Dan went to help Chris and not Dave. Why else would

he have helped Chris instead of Dave. I also noticed that he wasn’t too

sympathetic to Dave’s feelings and didn’t rush over to see how he was doing, or

if he was hurt

At first these thoughts didn’t really enter my mind, but the next day

when I looked back on it and examined what had transpired, I started thinking

that perhaps there were some hidden racial overtones in how Dan acted. Although

he didn’t say anything or act offensively to Dave, perhaps not being either of

the two, I was able to notice their actions and how Dan was acting towards Dave.

I was feeling confused and hurt at the game time. I was feeling

confused because I didn’t know why one of my friends would act this way. If one

of my friends did act this way then I was hurt both because of the gap between

my values and his as well as feeling confused as to when he started acting this

way, or if he had always been racist and I just didn’t notice. I was starting

to wonder if I knew my friends as well as I though or if perhaps we have drifted

in different directions in values and beliefs.

I don’t know what role my thoughts and feelings played in the

altercation between the two groups other than the fact that I thought of helping

my friends. I also felt a great amount of hatred towards the hispanic race.

Looking back I know that was wrong but at the time when my friends and I were in

a fight with them I hated them so much I wanted to kill them. I know I wouldn’t

have if it came down to it, but because of two people I hated their entire race.

I think the fact that I was white and one of my friends was black and

another of my friends was white affected the situation largely. Also to a

degree the fact that two of the other men were hispanic and the amount of hatred

I felt toward them. As for my friend, for a couple of seconds I almost felt

ashamed to be white, because someone of my own race was being prejudiced towards

my Afro-American friend. Although I don’t want to make it seem as if I am

ashamed to be white, at the time I felt as if I had to represent my whole race

in feeling bad towards what happened to my friend Dave and also how my friend

Dan acted.

I think a factor that has not been discussed that was prevalent in this

case was the fact that the three other gentlemen started the altercation and not

us. This made me feel more hostile towards them and the fact that we really had

nothing to do with the fight starting, but yet because of the fact that we were

three caucasians and an Afro-American was different to them. They didn’t like

what they saw so they tried to change it by any means possible.

I think that Dan was perhaps confused and perhaps upset at the same time.

He was struggling internally because two people he knew were involved in a

fight and he had to make a choice between the two as to which one to help. On

the one hand one person he knew was white and in a fight but he didn’t seem like

he needed help. On the other hand, Dave who is African American seemed like he

needed help in a fight but didn’t get any except from me.

Chris was thinking that the other three men had no right to do what they

did and they would have to pay for their actions as well as their words. I

really can’t say what the white man was thinking when he said that because I

don’t know why anyone would do something like that. As for the other two, I

know that they felt the same and got more than they bargained for when we got in

a fight.

I think that the different social groups here create an obvious issue.

The fact that a white and two hispanics were fighting against an African

American and two whites shows that the race was the key factor. This fight

alone was a melting pot of individuals. I think in my mind that the fat that

Dan was white affected his decisions, not in a big way, but in some sort of way.

I don’t really know about the other three, but as for Chris and I, race affected

us in terms of white and hispanic because that’s who we were mad at the most. I

don’t know why this would be the case, but it just was.

I believe that African-American viewing this would have felt the most

strongly. The event they would have sen unfolding in front of them would have

hurt a lot. They would have jumped in to help not only my friend Dave but also

all of us because we were all trying to fight for the same thing out there.

African-American’s also would have been puzzled as to why one white man would

help out a black man but not two. The way events unfolded would have made them

think twice.

In an odd way I feel another thing that would have made people jump in

to help was the fact that a caucasian and an African-American were fighting for

each other . As much as we hate to admit it that is not a scene we see nearly

enough of in this day and age. Something has got to be done about it




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