Monday, 25 March 2013

Pride and Prejudice

Okay, gonna attempt to write a writey post naow, but words no good have today, so sound garbled maybe.

I think most of us who know how to read, write, think, and chew gum at the same time would agree that we dislike prejudice. What comes to our minds when we think of prejudice is this:

Or this: 

But what a lot of us have trouble realizing is that we all have prejudices. Those of us who claim to be the least prejudiced may have the harshest prejudice against those we view as "prejudiced". Which might seem like justice at the time, but is actually pretty illogical. 

So, given that everyone has some sort of prejudice, what makes some prejudices worse than others? I'm going to throw out the notion (absolutely debatable) that it is less the content of the prejudice that makes it "bad" , then what is done with it. 

Characteristics of a "bad" prejudice:

1.) It is used to maintain authority over another group.

2.) It is used as a tool of power-through-fear, against the group the prejudice is inflicted upon, or (surprisingly often) directed at the prejudiced themselves (who get stuck in a cycle of fear, which validates their prejudice, which generates more fear, etc. etc.) 

3.) It is acted upon  . . .actively. Burning crosses in people's yards, folks. Not cool. 

4.) It is acted upon passively. For example, school is hard enough without your teacher marking you down because she doesn't like your hair color or something. 

5.) It is passed on to children. I'm sorry. I know we, as adults, have all developed our own prejudices through the course of our lives, but if you are actively trying to pass that prejudice on to your kids, seriously, you can burn in hell and a happy Satan assfuck to you (and there's my prejudice, ladies and gentlemen). The very, very, very least you owe your children is the right to develop their own prejudices in their own good time, rather than having some half baked ideal shoved down their throat at an age when they are too helpless to say "no, daddy, I don't like half-baked ideals. Please don't feed me any more of them." 

I'm sure there are more characteristics of a "bad" prejudice, and I know that all prejudices, no matter how they are expressed are "bad". But, they are an inescapable part of how we function in the world, and maybe if we can understand some of the ways in which your regular human prejudice can morph into something awful and inhuman, we can learn to prevent just that from happening.

And yeah, that was definitely too big a topic to tackle with this size of headache.
Stevie, out.

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