Shades of Prejudice

Is prejudice so ingrained we can’t overcome it?

I don’t know. I believe we can work past at least some of our racism (or other -ism) when we become aware of it, but is there a residual element that lingers? I was listening to the radio the other day–most likely NPR–and heard an interview where a young man who’d broken away from a white supremacy group still found himself battling the hate. There’s little, if any, support for those who are trying to change their thinking in that situation.

There’s more support for us ordinary folks who sincerely seek to broaden our thinking and become better people. Still, it’s sometimes hard to admit exactly what we are thinking, especially when we don’t the root of it ourselves. Did I dismiss an author because he’s black, or because I thought the premise of his book was trite? Did I think the premise of his book was trite because he’s black? The latter I feel fairly confident is not true. Trite is trite and this was trite.

I’ve experienced a modicum of prejudice in my life because of my Polish heritage. A few weeks ago a friend made some snide remark about how you wouldn’t expect a Pole to have blonde hair. Sitting directly across from us was another friend, also of Polish descent, who is about as blonde as they come. Naturally blonde. She just grinned and I rolled my eyes, but like a game of Mad Libs, I could easily see substituting blonde hair for having a high IQ. I’ve heard that one plenty of times. And it doesn’t take too much imagination to take the Mad Libs analogy a little bit further.

There are shades of prejudice and I don’t know which is worse, the subtle shades or the sharp ones. All I can do is seek the truth and see the shades of difference that make each of us unique and our stories valid.

Photo credit: ©Karen Roach –

6 Replies to “Shades of Prejudice”

  1. I like to think I am loving and open-minded to all. What is really interesting, is knowing someone who seems to be a nice person, but who spews racist remarks. I find it intolerable and confusing, that person isn’t so nice.
    Thankfully, I avoid anyone like that! Thoughtful post as always, Belinda.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I used to love Mad-Libs! Anywho, I think it’s hard not to pre-judge in many circumstances. I mean our brains our “pattern makers,” actually, so we naturally look for categories to put people in. Couple that with society, especially American, where we stereotype and well, you get a lot of us who are prejudice, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so subtle. I was just listening to an NPR interview with Malcolm Gladwell and it sounds like his new book addresses this, at least in part. As for Mad Libs, they made many a family trip go by faster for us!

      Liked by 1 person

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