Prejudice - an adverse opinion formed without sufficient knowledge

 

Our society has become overly sensitized to irrational fears. 

Distrust of our fellow humans has driven us to the point where we are unable to hold rational conversations with anyone. Regardless of which side of the political aisle we prefer we seem incapable of hearing any observation by another individual without attributing some type of negative motivation to it. 

Facts be damned. We know what we know and anyone that might challenge our personal collection of accumulated prejudices is clearly driven by some evil intention. 

For example, criticize the actions of a person of a different race and you are dismissed as a hateful racist. It is true that some humans are irrationally driven by superficial personal judgments about other human beings. Most of us are not. We all probably have some ingrained misunderstandings about people of a different race or ethnicity, but that does not make us a racist. Suggesting otherwise prevents us from building new understanding. And screaming racist shuts down all interactions no matter how productive those interactions might be.

Let’s explore a few other conversation killers.

Climate Change – question the science behind the “consensus” and expect to be demonized as a climate change denier or a shill for big oil. “Big oil” by definition is a group of self-serving capitalists who are willing to sell their souls to the devil to fatten their wallets. Really? I’m sure there are a number of self-serving reprobates in every organization, but dismissing all oil company executives and their employees as money-grubbing devils is equivalent to racial prejudice. 

Corporate Greed – Many people believe everything wrong with America can be traced to corporate greed. Truth is corporations are nothing more than a group of individuals organized for a common purpose. Our Constitution guarantees us the right to peaceably assemble. Corporations are formed for many reasons, not just to rip off American consumers any way they can. Unions and most charitable institutions are also incorporated. Corporations are the engines of our economy. To deny corporations the right to lobby the government on legislation that impacts them is to deny the civil rights of the individuals who are represented by that corporation. Demeaning and dismissing all corporations is equivalent to racial prejudice.

Being a citizen of this great country requires that we take the issues we face seriously and that we make informed decisions about policies and laws that impact our lives. It requires that we hold our politicians accountable for the promises they make and the laws they pass. 

Despite what the politicians promise government cannot create jobs. Government makes no product that is in such high demand that consumers rush out to buy it. 

Hiding behind anonymity when expressing an opinion is the first sign that we are unsure of the truth of our position. 

Denying an audience to those with whom we disagree only shows the immaturity of our convictions. 

It is far past time that we each made an individual commitment to reexamine our own prejudice. It is far past time that we resist the temptation to resort to name calling and demonization of everyone with whom we disagree. 

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