I was born and raised in Europe. I have learned from my history books that there were freedom and equality in the United States. I learned that, among many other rights, people enjoy freedom of religion and freedom of speech - the rights that were envied by millions of people of the Eastern Block countries.
When I came to the United States, I truly believed in the truthfulness of these terms. To my complete satisfaction, my experience taught me the existence of these facts. However, I became disappointed in my surroundings, when I was forced to recognize that a portion of people were not free of prejudice. "Prejudice," Gordon Allport writes, "is thinking ill of others without sufficient warrant" (Allport, qtd. in Rottenberg and Winchell 81). This short definition helped me to discover that, regardless of race, color, national origin, or gender, people share a universally existing problem: prejudice.
Despite of my experience regarding prejudice, many people believe that prejudice does not exist, and one should not interpret the opinion of others as prejudice. These people reason that it is their right to express their opinions. However, I do not agree with this judgment. Let me bring Gordon Allport's essay of "The Nature of Prejudice," and his observation of the types of prejudice to my defense. According to Allport, who summarized the different types of prejudices and defined prejudice in his essay, some people feel dislike against minorities, but they are not able to explain their reasoning, however. Allport found that this dislike is a mannerism taught by society and surfaces in their "treatment to Negroes" (Allport, qtd. in Rottenberg and Winchell 80). Others, who live "in various parts of ...
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...e years, but I still receive unfair treatment at times. Besides some occasional unfairness, the majority of people find my heritage rather interesting than controversial.
My experience is only one example of the thousands of incidents against people. No matter where I look, I see unfair treatment all over the world. Regardless of the continent or culture, nobody is exempt from biases. But I cannot blame people carrying this disease because any average community has to rely on a limited amount of knowledge. However, and my experience is the best example, it takes time, effort, and courage to reveal causes and reasoning to draw up a conclusion so that the public would have a full understanding of the historical background of any newcomer.
Rottenberg, Annette T., and Donna Haisty Winchell. Elements of Argument. 8th. Boston: Bedford/St Martin's, 2006.
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