Prejudice

Prejudice has been apart of human beings since the beginning of time. People
hold disparaging views towards other groups because of sex, race, color and
religious beliefs. If our society hopes to move forward and continue to be
productive, prejudice must stop. In a time when the world is advanced as it ever
has been, prejudice still remains a major problem. Discovering the roots of
prejudice, and being able to understand prejudice views, we as a society will be
able to find solutions to stop it. To understand prejudice, we must first
consider all the factors that contribute towards it, and then find a way to
counter these factors one by one. Prejudice 3 The Roots of Prejudice There is no
simple one-word answer to the question of what causes people to be prejudice.

The result of prejudice stems from many complex mixtures of environmental
factors, upbringing, media, economic status, and finally experiences. With this
being stated, what is the main factor for prejudice, and what can we as a
society do to overcome prejudice views? When prejudice is mentioned, one tends
to think of white and black conflict, but prejudice views can also be held about
women, age, religion, and other ethnic people. To begin to understand the roots
of prejudice, it must first be defined. Prejudice is an attitude held toward the
member of some group, based solely on their membership in that group. How people
develop their attitudes and stereotypes of other people is where the root of
prejudice begins. By learning how and why prejudice views take root, society
will learn to change these negative opinions. Groups of people who hold
prejudice outlooks about other groups of people tend to process information
about these groups differently from the way they process information about other
groups. The individual traits and behaviors do not affect how they are viewed,
unless their behavior reinforces the prejudice opinion already held. There is a
belief in our society today that things are much better racially now then a
hundred years ago. The media portrays this idea daily. This statement can be
classified as being somewhat true, but we as a society still have a long way to
go to achieve racial harmony. Development of Prejudice There is still an
enormous public display and denial of prejudice in our society. According to

Earl Hutchinson: The most dangerous example of public racial denial is the
militia and patriot movements. Prejudice 4 They depict themselves as"anti-government activists" fighting to preserve American freedoms. They
exorcised derogatory references to blacks, Jews, Asians, Gays, and Feminists
from their public statements and writings. The media and some civil rights and
liberties groups back them up and print their writings. These groups may differ
in tactics from the old Klan, Nazi Party, and John Birch Society, but they still
unite three points: White Christians must rule America, the federal government
is the enemy, and violence is the only accepted means to gain control. (1996,
p.87) When the media covers these groups, they give them free publicity and a
chance to be heard. Opinions are not only formed from the news, but also from
television, magazines, and radio. For a long time, there were very few programs
that portrayed blacks, Asian, Gays and other ethnic people in a positive manner
on television. Even today, there can be an argument that very few television
shows are geared towards minority races. For example, look at the popular shows

"Friends", "Frazier", and "The X-Files", none of which have a main
minority character. By not having a positively portrayed minority on these
shows, the media is helping prejudice. Media, television and radio are all
contributing factors towards prejudice views, but not the only factors. The

Tradition of Prejudice People learn from a young age to form opinions, values,
beliefs, and stereotypes from their parents. Because parents and environment
play such a major role in children’s upbringing, it should be pointed out that
this is one of the main contributing factors towards forming prejudice views.

When children hear their parents saying something prejudice, or observe them
acting a certain way towards a group, the child begins to form the same
opinions. By forming the same Prejudice 5 beliefs as their parents, they are
inheriting prejudice behavior. Their environment plays just as an important role
in forming prejudice views. Children who come from a poor isolated area have
fewer experiences to draw their own differing opinions from their parents. When
a child comes from a more educated, less isolated environment, they have more
experiences to draw their own opinions from. This can help explain why