Essay on prejudice and stereotypes

Free Essay: Prejudice can be described as an opinion formed against a person or group based on a stereotype (Prejudice). While stereotypes are classified as.
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Racism is a strong form of prejudice, it is used to justify the belief that one racial group is superior or inferior to another. This is usually shown in the sense of a racial majority presenting themselves as superior to a minority group. Racial groups such as the Ku Klux Klan believe a specific group to be superior to others and encourage both hate crime and hate speech. Prejudice and discrimination overlap closely.

Discrimination is the actions taken against a group of people, this can be based on age, health, race, religion etc.

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Racial and ethnic discrimination can come in the form of biased hiring systems, criminal justice system bias, as well as unfair housing practices and social discrimination. Discrimination not only manifests itself as a singular individual entity it is also found institutionalized. Institutional discrimination occurs when a system develops and runs with an underlying discrimination embedded in their society. This also includes groups that are promoted to a higher status for the sole reason of being part of a dominant group.

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Discrimination can be based on age, religion, health, and other indicators; race-based laws against discrimination strive to address this set of social problems. Discrimination based on race or ethnicity can take many forms, from unfair housing practices to biased hiring systems.

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Overt discrimination has long been part of U. However, we cannot erase discrimination from our culture just by enacting laws to abolish it. The reasons for this are complex and relate to the educational, criminal, economic, and political systems that exist in our society. For example, when a newspaper identifies by race individuals accused of a crime, it may enhance stereotypes of a certain minority. Another example of racist practices is racial steering , in which real estate agents direct prospective homeowners toward or away from certain neighborhoods based on their race.

Racist attitudes and beliefs are often more insidious and harder to pin down than specific racist practices. Prejudice and discrimination can overlap and intersect in many ways. To illustrate, here are four examples of how prejudice and discrimination can occur. Unprejudiced nondiscriminators are open-minded, tolerant, and accepting individuals.

Unprejudiced discriminators might be those who unthinkingly practice sexism in their workplace by not considering females for certain positions that have traditionally been held by men. Prejudiced discriminators include those who actively make disparaging remarks about others or who perpetuate hate crimes.

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Discrimination also manifests in different ways. The scenarios above are examples of individual discrimination, but other types exist. Institutional discrimination occurs when a societal system has developed with embedded disenfranchisement of a group, such as the U. While most white people are willing to admit that nonwhite people live with a set of disadvantages due to the color of their skin, very few are willing to acknowledge the benefits they receive. The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO on August 9, illustrates racial tensions in the United States as well as the overlap between prejudice, discrimination, and institutional racism.

On that day, Brown, a young unarmed black man, was killed by a white police officer named Darren Wilson. During the incident, Wilson directed Brown and his friend to walk on the sidewalk instead of in the street. While eyewitness accounts vary, they agree that an altercation occurred between Wilson and Brown.

Three autopsies independently confirmed that Brown was shot six times Lowery and Fears The shooting focused attention on a number of race-related tensions in the United States. The national dialogue shifted during the next few weeks, with some commentators pointing to a nationwide sedimentation of racial inequality and identifying redlining in Ferguson as a cause of the unbalanced racial composition in the community, in local political establishments, and in the police force Bouie Redlining is the practice of routinely refusing mortgages for households and businesses located in predominately minority communities, while sedimentation of racial inequality describes the intergenerational impact of both practical and legalized racism that limits the abilities of black people to accumulate wealth.

Individuals with multiple ethnic backgrounds are becoming more common. Prior to the twentieth century, racial intermarriage referred to as miscegenation was extremely rare, and in many places, illegal. In the later part of the twentieth century and in the twenty-first century, attitudes have changed for the better.

While the sexual subordination of slaves did result in children of mixed race, these children were usually considered black, and therefore, property.


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There was no concept of multiple racial identities with the possible exception of the Creole. Creole society developed in the port city of New Orleans, where a mixed-race culture grew from French and African inhabitants. It is now common for the children of racially mixed parents to acknowledge and celebrate their various ethnic identities. While this is the trend, it is not yet evident in all aspects of our society.

For example, the U. Census only recently added additional categories for people to identify themselves, such as non-white Hispanic. A growing number of people chose multiple races to describe themselves on the Census, paving the way for the Census to provide yet more choices. To some, the Confederate flag is a symbol of pride in Southern history. In January , two girls walked into Burleson High School in Texas carrying purses that displayed large images of Confederate flags. School administrators told the girls that they were in violation of the dress code, which prohibited apparel with inappropriate symbolism or clothing that discriminated based on race.

Why did the school ban the purses, and why did it stand behind that ban, even when being sued? Why did the girls, identified anonymously in court documents as A. The issue, of course, is not the purses: it is the Confederate flag that adorns them. In the end, the court sided with the district and noted that the Confederate flag carried symbolism significant enough to disrupt normal school activities.

If the Confederate flag is synonymous with slavery, is there any place for its display in modern society? Those who fight for their right to display the flag say such a display should be covered by the First Amendment: the right to free speech. But others say the flag is equivalent to hate speech, which is not covered by the First Amendment. Do you think that displaying the Confederate flag should considered free speech or hate speech? Stereotypes are oversimplified ideas about groups of people.

Prejudice refers to thoughts and feelings, while discrimination refers to actions.