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Prejudice Essay

2731 words - 11 pages

. We have over three thousand students in the high school, and many different cultures and ethnicities. I do not believe I am a direct victim of the prejudice that goes on daily, however being friendly with so many different people has caused me to notice the negative feelings that so many have against minorities.
Even if some fail to take note of it, prejudice and discrimination take place in many forms and affect many different groups of people. People target anything they may find unusual about a person and use it as an excuse to not like them and keep themselves separate from them. These minority groups vary from different ethnic groups, homosexuals, and even women.
One example of ...view middle of the document...

It was one of the last nights of summer and I had been on the schedule to work on a Friday. Unfortunately I ended up getting sick and unable to attend work, so being a responsible worker I called a co-worker to cover my shift. I called my teammate Darmeika who happened to be a colored girl. She was fine with going in for me to earn some extra money. However, my boss was very upset about it. He called me complaining as if what I did was wrong. He explained that he puts certain people for certain shifts for a reason and that I should have checked with him before asking Darmeika to cover for me. He demanded that I show up instead of her, but because of my illness I refused. He then told me that I could never work for him again, but I didn’t mind that at all.

It was so shocking that he could make his discrimination so obvious to me. It disgusted me how someone could be so single minded and stubborn about something so insignificant. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the way Darmeika worked, so there was no reason it should be such an issue for her to take my place. This instance was a perfect example of how some people cannot accept people who are different than themselves. The reasoning however is very difficult to understand since there seems to be no reason a person would see themselves as superior over others. No one gave my boss any right to do this and I do not think it should be tolerated.
Feeling a negative way about a group because of your differences is known as prejudice. Throughout the course of our prejudice discrimination class, it became evident that these negative feelings exist for various reasons. They begin from categorical and inflexible thinking, combined with stereotypes that exist about different ethnicities. Stereotypes are culturally based images of “them”, meaning other people. We usually learn stereotypes through our peers; it is how we are taught to picture different categories of people. However, these images of others are categorizations based on negative assumptions one may have about a culture and are usually false. Because of these stereotypes and the ideas they put into a person’s head, discrimination exists.
Discrimination and prejudice, although they seem to have similar meanings are quite different. While prejudice can take place in various ways, discrimination can only occur in one. Discrimination can only take place by members of a dominant group against members of a subordinate group. Meaning, while prejudice can go “up” and “down”, discrimination can only go “down” since those who are discriminating have to have a power advantage over those being discriminated against. Both exaggerate the differences between groups but while prejudice may be unfair, discrimination can cause many more issues to a minority.
There are six different types of discrimination that exist, all of which negatively harm a groups access to power and social opportunity. There are derogatory labels, which can harm an...

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