"Racial Discrimination Still An Issue?" Essay

670 words - 3 pages

Prejudice is an inherent component of human thought and behavior. The term designates the tendency to judge a person or situation based on certain preconceptions; and despite the fact that since the Enlightenment people have tried to assert the absolute dominance of reason, false opinions in different domains have not ceased to circulate. This situation is due to the fact that we are not and never will be omniscient. Even at the level of science, which is supposed to be exact and flawless, errors are permanently found in theories which had been considered fundamental. How cold we then expect popular conceptions regarding different groups to always be correct and unbiased?Prejudice is a mark of human imperfection. What we do not know we don't understand. And what we do not understand we either reject, or accept the existing theories regarding that subject, no matter how unreasonable these may seem. This may be also seen as ...view middle of the document...

This damaging inheritance determines all sorts of anachronisms and it holds collective consciousness one step behind the latest scientific discoveries or social realities. This is what determines black people, for example, to sometimes over-amplify incidents when they involve white persons. The white man is still seen as an oppressor, which is undoubtedly a cultural reminiscence from the period when negros were subjected to humiliation. As a result, when a black person fails at a job interview, if the interviewer is white, there is a strong probability that the rejected candidate will automatically see himself as a victim of discrimination. Accusing the others of racism is one of the unconstructive tendencies of racial minorities, which helps such individuals overcome their personal failures.Yet, this does not mean that there aren't any situations when abuses are committed due to racial prejudice. Such situations are usually the results of our tendencies of being influenced by stereotypes in our judgement. Our mind assimilates each individual to a group (be it religious, racial or ethnic), each group having its own identity and being labeled according to defining traits with which we sometimes arbitrarily attribute it. Therefore, when judging someone we may be even unconsciously influenced by our perception of the group to which that person belongs. Human subjectivity makes us be more lenient towards the ones belonging to our own group. This is what may generate discrimination.However, despite the above-mentioned difficulties, which will be hard to overcome even on a long term, as they are components of human nature, it is undeniable that huge progress has been made in this field. The promotion of tolerance as chief post-modern value and the fact that we can no longer afford to act on our racist impulses have improved the situation. Races are no longer openly at conflict, though tensions do still exist. It is probable that, since discriminating on racial criteria is no longer a legitimate option, over time, people will interiorize the new values of acceptance. But it is not likely that the subconscious tendency of rather liking someone of your own race will be wiped out.

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