The Plight of Prejudice

Olivia Mohr

When you think of the word “prejudice,” you may think of what most people think of: race.  You see, even the word “prejudice” is not without prejudice.

Yes, it’s true that prejudice is very much a problem amongst various races and genders, and I’m not discounting that at all. My point is that prejudice in any form is wrong and that it can exist in many forms that may not be so obvious.

When looking up the word “prejudice,” you will find that it means something along the lines of: “preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.” When we encounter something with which we are not familiar or something that is different from us, we immediately try to draw conclusions about it based on…well…nothing.

This “nothing” can be what our culture or the media teaches us to think about a certain group of people, a one-time experience with one individual that causes us to draw a conclusion about an entire group of people, or various other factors. We can even be prejudiced against an individual, perhaps due to a first encounter or what we hear from other people. The “nothing” is nothing because it is entirely unsubstantiated.

The thing is that the individual can surprise us. We can’t classify people by sorting them into categories or form our opinions based on a first impression or what we hear from other people; everyone deserves the chance to be an individual, and that is something that can’t be taken away or dismissed.

Before forming opinions about a person, consider the person; they may shock you by being the opposite of your preconceived notions.

Everyone everywhere is guilty of prejudice, including myself. So even though you may know and may have heard everything in this article, it is something upon which to reflect. After all, when considering the fact that prejudice is part of human nature, seeing every individual as an individual is actually quite ground-breaking.

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