Journal Entry # 22
March 7th, 2010
When someone asks you the question who are you? What do you say? What makes you, you. Probably more than one thought will run through your mind. Unfortunately the first thing you say is generally how others will view you. So as you can see this is a very important answer even though it shouldn’t be. In the past people were generally identified by the work they do. He is Joe the carpenter or Bill the banker. Also people were identified by their religious orientation in fact that would have been in their title. People were also identified by their family name and what it represented. We also are identified by where we live; he is a Canadian or an American.
These are all labels and what labels do as well as identify who we are they also separate us. We want to know how others fit in to who we are. For example if someone finds out that I am an Atheist and they are not they will immediately categorize me. The opposite would be if they tell me they’re Christian I would do the same. No of course there are many types of Christians with many levels of belief but I would probably lump them all into one category because it is different than mine. This is neither right nor wrong just the way it is, the problem with this is that it can be used to divide us. We have already prejudged people based on their appearance and other attributes so why must we continue to categorize others?
We all start of in one category human, then it usually breaks down to skin color, gender, age, appearance ( big, small, fat or skinny as examples), ethnic origin, country, then we further this with the mental attributes such as religion, intelligence and personality. Now I present this to proof one point. That point is this we are all prejudice. Have you ever heard someone say I’m not prejudice, I’m not racist? Of course you are. I am. We all are. It is our way of finding out what situation we are in or will be in. It is part of a process to identify if we feel safe or not in a particular situation. Now does this mean it is wrong, no but it certainly can be used to create emotions of hate and other negative consequences?
This is the link to the racial slur data base; here you will see labels we have given other human beings based on the categories I have stated earlier. Draw your own conclusions. If you are easily offended I suggest you don’t click on the link. I have no opinion about this list it is linked to demonstrate a point.
Prejudice is only a negative term if we use it towards negative means. It only means to prejudge and this is a necessary part of survival. The problems begin when after we pre – judge we then move towards negativity such as hate.
Seek the truth always
Gary David Currie