Opinion and Prejudice
I believe our prejudices will always shape our opinions. I’ve written before about why people need to try and be aware of their own prejudices and how they effect their behaviour. Today at work I was reminded of the risks of making assumptions about people when a colleague decided to share her opinions.
The BNP aren’t racist. They are just protecting English people because ‘foreigners’ come here, take benefits and jobs and commit crime.
Her underlying prejudice:
‘Foreigners’ are dangerous, untrustworthy criminals from whom I need to be protected.
If you buy that you are either stupid, racist or more likely both so I’m surprised to hear that from a professional woman in her 30′s.
My underlying prejudice:
These sorts of beliefs are so patently ridiculous that they will only be held by people of lower than average education and intelligence with a world view shaped by tabloid newspapers and their own limited experiences which, combined with their generally precarious economic situation, allows them to be easily led into mindlessly scape-goating people they don’t know for their problems.
So I guess we have both shown prejudice today. The difference is I am re-evaluating mine in light of this new evidence.