The Effects of Prejudice
By Melody 8H
Prejudice is something that has affected everyone at one time or another. People seem to concentrate too much on where one person is from and what others think of them. It always seems to be about their personal characteristics and not about one’s actual personality. Prejudice leaves society with negativity: people not only judge each other based on stereotypical assumptions, but also develop irrational suspicion or even hatred towards a particular group. It is the reason why people treat each other unfairly. Prejudice divides society into groups with unfavourable attitudes towards each other.
Stereotypes cause division in society. Humans tend to make exaggerated generalizations to describe a certain group of people. For instance, the Lady in “See me in Me Benz and T’ing” says, “They were probably just fassing in somebody’s business as usual, idle bitches that they were (Campbell 139)” In saying this, the Lady who is rich, judges the people only on the grounds of what she believes: those who are poor are lazy, nosey and stupid. With offensive words like “idle bitches”, the Lady’s respect for those who are not wealthy is no higher than to an apathetic female dog. To make the matter worse, prejudice does not only occur in one’s mind, but it is a generalization that everyone believes in. Take the families in the story “Once upon a time” for example. They are restrained in their houses because of their negative thoughts about the outside world. Through the lines, “There were riots, but these were outside the city, where people of another colour were quartered (Gordimer 127),” they emphasis their beliefs: the people outside this city are troublemakers and are dangerous. Just imagine how “the out group” would feel about prejudice! How would you feel if you were blamed for something you never did? If you’d multiply that negative feeling by a hundred times, you might then understand briefly how the mother in “Coffee for the Road...