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Prejudice By: Mianda A. Wood

Prejudice:

I set out to learn more about prejudice so that I could teach other people about it, because I believe that prejudice stems from ignorance. So if I learn more about prejudice I can learn to be more open therefore minimizing the time I am prejudiced. So one person with a bit less prejudice, a bit more knowledge is good but not good enough. “How can I do more?” I asked myself. Well if I teach everybody I can about prejudice, who it affects, what it does and how we can prevent, it then there are many people who will be less prejudiced, if they want. Then if their friends see that you don’t have to be so prejudiced, they would be pressured into being more accepting and so it would in theory create a ripple effect and eventually, there would be much less prejudice.

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In theory…

In theory…:

In order to learn more about prejudice, I decided to survey 20 people to see what they had to say about the topic. I surveyed 10 adults and 10 students, ranging in age from ten to seventy four, living in either Vermont or New York.

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The following are the quotes that people wrote in the survey. These were what people said prejudice meant to them.

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“Being unfair” Prejudice is:

“Being unfair”:

“Hate towards someone because they are different.” Prejudice is:

“Hate towards someone because they are different.” :

“Prejudice is discriminating against people because of something like race, religion, or sex. prejudice is being unfair to that person.”

“Prejudice is discriminating against people because of something like race, religion, or sex. prejudice is being unfair to that person.” :

“Prejudice is believing that a certain group of people is better than another, or that they are in some way inferior.”

“Prejudice is believing that a certain group of people is better than another, or that they are in some way inferior.”:

“I think of prejudice as when someone thinks badly of or has an unfair bad opinion of someone or something that is not really based on fact and is not well rounded. Maybe it is an opinion based on a first impression, or based on someone else's opinion. Basically, it's an opinion, preconception, or belief based on a premature and probably incorrect judgment. I also think that prejudice causes the prejudiced individual to act a certain way, or treat others differently due to their prejudice. Prejudice can be against something as big as a whole nation or ethnic or religious group (look at the history of black people in this country, or of groups of people who are put down and mistreated because of their religion), or it can be as simple as just taking a dislike to a person based on how they look or act.”

“I think of prejudice as when someone thinks badly of or has an unfair bad opinion of someone or something that is not really based on fact and is not well rounded. Maybe it is an opinion based on a first impression, or based on someone else's opinion. Basically, it's an opinion, preconception, or belief based on a premature and probably incorrect judgment. I also think that prejudice causes the prejudiced individual to act a certain way, or treat others differently due to their prejudice. Prejudice can be against something as big as a whole nation or ethnic or religious group (look at the history of black people in this country, or of groups of people who are put down and mistreated because of their religion), or it can be as simple as just taking a dislike to a person based on how they look or act.”:

“Prejudice is when someone shows negative feelings or actions towards another person simply because of their race or religion or even gender.”

“Prejudice is when someone shows negative feelings or actions towards another person simply because of their race or religion or even gender.”:

“Drawing conclusions about someone based on superficial characteristics, categories, labels, etc.”

“Drawing conclusions about someone based on superficial characteristics, categories, labels, etc.”:

“Prejudice is when you expect someone to be a certain way before you really get to know them. Prejudice is the act of pre-judging.”

“Prejudice is when you expect someone to be a certain way before you really get to know them. Prejudice is the act of pre-judging.” :

“Opinions formed without understanding, generality of a people” Prejudice is:

“Opinions formed without understanding, generality of a people”:

“When you make assumptions about people and treat them differently and unfairly based on things about themselves that they cannot control, what they look like, where they come from, etc…)” Prejudice is:

“When you make assumptions about people and treat them differently and unfairly based on things about themselves that they cannot control, what they look like, where they come from, etc…)”:

“Discrimination or thoughts about a person or group of people.” Prejudice is:

“Discrimination or thoughts about a person or group of people.”:

“The process of making judgments prior to having a personal experience. Making judgments that are not founded on experience but instead on generalizations, cultural stigmas, dominant norms or the status quo, etc .” Prejudice is:

“The process of making judgments prior to having a personal experience. Making judgments that are not founded on experience but instead on generalizations, cultural stigmas, dominant norms or the status quo, etc.” :

“A judgment of something/someone that’s pre-conceived and usually biased, i.e. thinking someone is inferior to you.” Prejudice is:

“A judgment of something/someone that’s pre-conceived and usually biased, i.e. thinking someone is inferior to you.”:

“believing one race or gender etc. is better than another .” Prejudice is:

“believing one race or gender etc. is better than another.”:

“Prejudice is being mean to someone based upon their looks, thoughts, or actions before you even know the person .”

“Prejudice is being mean to someone based upon their looks, thoughts, or actions before you even know the person.”:

“When one thinks something or someone is better than another.” Prejudice is:

“When one thinks something or someone is better than another.” :

“judging a person or group of people based on assumptions.”. Prejudice is:

“judging a person or group of people based on assumptions.”.:

“Strong feelings contrary to ethical norms .” Prejudice is:

“Strong feelings contrary to ethical norms.”:

What do you think? So Prejudice is…

What do you think?:

“Prejudice : a preconceived judgment or attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group or race.” This is what the American Heritage Student Dictionary says

“Prejudice: a preconceived judgment or attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group or race.” :

“Discrimination: treatment of people based on their belonging to a class or category rather than on individual merit, partiality or prejudice.”

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“Bias : a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration.”

“Bias: a particular tendency or inclination, especially one that prevents unprejudiced consideration.” :

“Sexism: prejudice and discrimination based on gender.”

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“Racism: judging a person based on their race; discrimination or hatred based on race.”

“Racism: judging a person based on their race; discrimination or hatred based on race.” :

“Heterosexism : discrimination or prejudice by heterosexuals against homosexuals.”

“Heterosexism: discrimination or prejudice by heterosexuals against homosexuals.” :

“Semitism : hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.”

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Teen activists and what they learned from standing up for things they believe in: Based on excerpts from G rowing U p E thnic in America edited by M aria Mazziotti G illan and J ennifer Gillan and It’s Y our World- I f Y ou D on’t L ike It, C hange It: A ctivism F or Teenagers by Mikki Haplin

Teen activists and what they learned from standing up for things they believe in::

Chika- anti-racism activist “I don’t want my parents to remain ignorant. I don’t want them to say, ‘Japanese people can’t drive,’ because that’s not true. They are trying to pass that ignorance to me, and I won’t let them.”

Chika- anti-racism activist:

Emmanuel- civil rights activist “ W hen you have five fingers alone it doesn’t deliver a blow as strong as if those five fingers were together… so I think that people should realize that together they can make a difference. By themselves its going to be hard, but together, as a unit, anything is possible.”

Emmanuel- civil rights activist:

Alan- student “I always thought rights were something you just got, but sometimes you have to fight for your rights.”

Alan- student:

Survey data This is the data that I selected from some of the questions on my survey.

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What types of prejudice have you experienced? Racial Political Age E ducation Economic Height/looks/hair styles Neighborhood differences Sexism Disabilities Language Homophobia Physical ability

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What types of prejudice have you witnessed? Economic Age Racial Homophobic Gender Appearance Physical capabilities Political Stereotypical division and exclusion Minorities

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Do you think you are prejudiced? “I may have prejudices but I think it is important to keep an open mind and heart and be willing to unlearn them.”

Do you think you are prejudiced?:

“When interacting with people of different backgrounds I often feel awkward and unsure how to react without causing offense.”

“When interacting with people of different backgrounds I often feel awkward and unsure how to react without causing offense.” :

“I have many preconceived notions. Things I learned from my childhood, some positive and some negative but I try to supersede these with understanding when they show up.”

“I have many preconceived notions. Things I learned from my childhood, some positive and some negative but I try to supersede these with understanding when they show up.” :

“I sometimes judge people based on the way they look but once I get to know them I realize that I judge incorrectly and the person is really nice.”

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Do you think that in any way prejudice is ok? “No but I think it is inevitable.” “No it destroys community.”

Do you think that in any way prejudice is ok?:

“I see prejudice as a symptom of social stress and I do not see any way that it is ok.”

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“It is usually negative and creates tension and bad feelings in a lot of situations.”

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“ I don’t think prejudice is ok because it causes people to act unjustly towards each other based on things that may not be true, or that they can’t understand about someone else.”

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Do you think that people’s backgrounds affect how they respond to prejudice? “We learn what is modeled for us”

Do you think that people’s backgrounds affect how they respond to prejudice?:

“If your parents have prejudices you would think that, that is the normal way to think.”

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“Our values are derived from those around us and our social-economic environment.”

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Are stereotypes ever a good thing? “Stereotypes are assumptions that stick people in category boxes.”

Are stereotypes ever a good thing?:

“Stereotypes are one of society’s ways of putting people in a box, and creating an image/idea of how they should act or look based on things like gender, ethnicity, religion, etc.”

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Is it possible to be free of prejudice? “No but its important to try” “There is some thing in human nature that tells us to be wary of ‘other’”

Is it possible to be free of prejudice?:

“ I think there will always be some prejudice, its just a question of how we express our prejudice, prejudice can be minimized if we are open minded.”

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What can we do about prejudice in our communities? “Work on eliminating the stereotypes you place on people” “Set a good example” “Pretest unfair things”

What can we do about prejudice in our communities?:

“Try and stay open minded about other people” “Don’t be prejudiced to other people”

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“Constantly confront the prejudiced part of you both inside and out.”

“Constantly confront the prejudiced part of you both inside and out.” :

“Stop being unfair to people who are different from yourself.” “Treat people the way you want to be treated.”

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“Really get to know people and don’t jump to judge them.”

“Really get to know people and don’t jump to judge them.” :

“Teach your children how not to judge people at an early age and they will continue to learn and teach it for the rest of their lives.”

“Teach your children how not to judge people at an early age and they will continue to learn and teach it for the rest of their lives.” :

“Be socially independent , don’t follow others who are prejudiced.”

“Be socially independent, don’t follow others who are prejudiced.” :

“Keep an open mind and be aware of what you may be prejudiced to .”

“Keep an open mind and be aware of what you may be prejudiced to.” :

“Be open minded to change, don’t assume, and be willing to learn about people, realize that everyone is unique and has different opinions and tastes. ‘ T he world would be a bore if we all thought alike .’”

“Be open minded to change, don’t assume, and be willing to learn about people, realize that everyone is unique and has different opinions and tastes. ‘The world would be a bore if we all thought alike.’” :

“The more you know the less you will be afraid of, talk about differences and be open to new ideas.”

“The more you know the less you will be afraid of, talk about differences and be open to new ideas.” :

“Teach people/children to be open minded and love each other.”

“Teach people/children to be open minded and love each other.” :

“Challenge the norms” “Speak out for people”

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So now its your turn to make a difference. I have learned to be open minded, and not assume something about a person before you really get to know them. I find that’s a good place to start.

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How can I do/learn more? Here are some links and books that can help you learn and do more to promote acceptance and learn more about the diverse people around you. http://www.understandingprejudice.org / Growing U p Ethnic in America edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan It’s Your World- If You Don’t Like It, Change It: Activism For Teenagers by Mikki Haplin http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=- 2

How can I do/learn more?:

Bibliography "UnderstandingPrejudice.org." UnderstandingPrejudice.org. S Plous, 2002. Web. 21 Feb. 2013 . Haplin, Mikki. It’s Your World- If You Don’t Like It, Change It: Activism For Teenagers . New York NY: Simon Pulse, 2004. Print . Gillan, Maria & J ennifer M. Growing Up Ethnic in America . Penguin Books, 1999. Web. 21 Mar. 2013.

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