Prejudice Essay, Research Paper
Prejudice is an irremovable aspect of human life that can be
caused by almost any kind of experience because it is spawned by the very freedom of
thaught that mankind covets above all else. Prejudice is spawned by the things we are
taught, the learning experiences we have, and the choices we make. Prejudice is also
spawned by such things as the races we are born into, and among many other reasons, our
Take for instance a small child growing up in a supremacist household of any kind.
All the people that are close to this young and malleable mind live their lives filled with
this unfounded hatred of the other races that inhabit the earth. Many of the lessons that
the child will learn are tainted with this hate, as is the very language that he or she will use
to communicate with the rest of the world. This unknowing child will probably act
blatantly racist towards people of another race for the simple fact that nothing better is
known, and the reaction of other ethnic peoples towards this tainted innocent after such an
introduction will probably only feed your hate. It is understandably difficult for a youth to
look past the hate that they have known for their entire being, but I m sure that at least a
few people have been able to look past hate-filled childhood s into a far more
The reverse of the previous scenario is also very possible. For instance, single
experiences quite commonly turn once open-minded individuals into violent racists. If a
person from any race, religion, sex, or social class has someone or something violently
taken away from them by a person who is different from themselves in any of the ways
listed above, or the violator fits into any other of an innumerable amount of stereotypes,
the group as a whole may bear the wrath of the violated instead of the single guilty
individual. Sometimes it is just easier on the distraught mind to blame a large section of
society instead of narrowing the hate to an individual.
Hate movements such as the Neo-Nazi organizations, Klu Klux Klan, and the
Black Panther movement also spread hate by preying on often insecure or misguided
members of society who are looking for direction in their lives. Words and actions of
racial and religious revenge and racial and religious superiority are the tools and weapons
of these groups. These groups use their group hatred and unity to lure lost souls into their
distinct type of a family. The members of these groups are often fanatical as they prepare
for an ultimate racial Armageddon. It is the choice of the member to join such a group,
and I m sure in the mind of the initiate their choice is the righteous choice to make.
The prejudices that people learn, are taught, or choose are not limited to such a
serious subjects as race or religion. Some people are taught by their elders and peers to
drive a certain brand of car or truck, or look upon certain brands of cola with distaste,
although the colas may taste identical. Indeed, prejudice probably runs over into every
aspect of our lives.
Some things on this earth are not subject to free choice, and a major aspect of life
that we have no influence over is the race into which we are born. Each of the races has
different issues that have developed over centuries of dispute and wrongdoing between
one another. To many people it doesn t matter if the dispute or source of attitude expired
centuries in the past.
Most Native Chinese have looked upon themselves as a step better than the rest of
the rest of the world since the earliest dynasty that ruled over that land. The people of
China have called their homeland The Middle Kingdom since the earliest of recorded
times. The Middle Kingdom is said to be between Heaven and Earth, and the rest of the
people in the world are regarded as barbarians, or foreign devils, regardless of nationality,
race, or stature. This assumption is not meant to be demeaning or malicious, but has been
and still is taken as a simple fact of life.
Similarly, many of the imperialistic cultures throughout history have traditionally
looked upon the native people of the lands they have conquered as ignorant brutes or
bloodthirsty savages. Some cultures, European as well as many others ranging from
African Tribesmen to the South American Native Empires, have even gone as far as to
treat the conquered people as tools, property or even offerings to their individual gods and
goddesses. To these cultures there seemed to be nothing wrong with such actions as have
been previously listed, and the world in which they existed knew no better. Unfortunately
these atrocities from the distant and not so distant past are still looked upon as grounds
for prejudice between races in the modern world, and admittedly there is still some, if not
a surprising amount, of active residue left over from this past in the world today. This
residue takes the form of such groups as the Klu Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, and Black
Panthers that I have mentioned earlier as well as many others.
Xenophobia is another phenomenon that relates to prejudice based on race.
Xenophobia is the fear of people who are different. This is prejudice in one of its purest
forms. Xenophobia is based on nothing other than the fact that the persecuted party is
different from the persecuting party in appearance or in the actions that they perform.
Xenophobia can be practiced with equal ease against both individuals and large groups.
Religion is another major source of prejudice. Many of the great wars that have
been fought in the history of the world can find their roots in religious prejudice. The
Crusades were fought between Christians and Muslims, both of whom laid claim to the
same Holy Land, and both thought that the other was completely unworthy of control of
this land. A religiously based war still rages in Northern Ireland, but ironically both sides
belong to the same religion, just different denominations. Catholics and Protestants
regularly shed each other s blood for the deep prejudice they have for their different
factions of the same religion, and I m sure in the minds of the combatants the reason for
fighting is not prejudice, but they are fighting for the religious and ethnic good of their
homeland. Religiously and to a degree racially based so called ethnic cleansing is also
the cause of Hitler s murderous actions in World War II, which led to the death of millions
of innocent people whose only crime was being Jewish or Slavic in origin. Similarly the
recent wars in the Balkans were spawned by prejudice between Muslims and
non-Muslims, or prejudice between people from different regions.
Prejudice has been a factor in peoples lives since the dawn of time. Many of the
cases used in the previous pages are extreme, but prejudice affects us all in at least a small
way. Prejudice can be and has been targeted against anything or anyone. Prejudice is a
nasty part of life, but it is an undeniable part of life indeed. Even those who devote their
life to the destruction or lessening of prejudice in the world use certain stereotypes, as is
human nature, and as long as man has the natural-born ability to think freely stereotypes,
ignorance and the prejudices that go with them will be a part of human existence. People
will always make decisions based on the lives that they have lived, and regardless of what
society dictates as wrong or right, people will do what they feel in the way that they
personally feel they should do it. So goes the natural world, and thus so goes life.