My Prejudice

So, I had a firepit and firewood up on Freecycle and got a very nice message from a woman who had just moved to the city from the country and missed having a fire at night when it was cold. She was the first to respond so she got it. She sent her husband and who I assume was her son or a friend to get the wood. The older guy had asked about Boerboels because he saw my bumper sticker, so we introduced him to the girls. As we were putting the girls back in the house I see the younger guy…a tall, bald headed, tattooed, slightly angry looking guy. Maybe it’s because I’m Jewish and have a heightened sense of awareness or that I am older and remember when bald wasn’t a fashion statement, but rather a “political” statement, that my mind always goes to skinhead.

But it wasn’t that I was uncomfortable with the guy…I was more uncomfortable about my feelings about the guy without even knowing his history. It was a strange experience. As much as I’d like to say that I am open to every type of person, obviously I am not. I guess you could say I kind of draw the line at white supremacy. But I knew nothing about him. I had shunned him before knowing anything.

Thoughts?

6 thoughts on “My Prejudice

  1. I’ve had similar experiences with African American males. Some of them will come into the store decked out in gangsta drag, and I wonder if I’ll have trouble, and then they ask where Ayn Rand would be. However, I think being conscious of what’s going on inside us is a HUGE advantage. At least we’re thinking and quesitioning ourselves. No one said we ever had to be perfect all the time.

  2. Well, I’m no expert, but I think it goes to show how people naturally react to the appearance of others. Obviously a dangerous person can be cleancut and dressed in Armani or Ralph Lauren, but we all probably have an image that we perceive how a dangerous person would most often or most likely look. Maybe that dude fit your perception. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with having such a perception because it’s also natural to want to defend our well-being or the well-being of people we care about. Defense can start with being aware of surroundings and recognizing what might be a threat.

    Then again, I also think we oughta try to be perfectly open to everyone no matter what their appearance is. Because, afterall, people might not be a threat at all even if they seem to fit into our arrived at through life experience perception or what a threat most likely looks like.

    Then again, like I said, I’m no expert! (I just play one on TV.)

    See ya.

  3. Jef – you’re right about not being perfect and that’s the one thing that makes me beat myself up less about this.

    I will continue to say that it wasn’t the event and the original thoughts that I had about this that bothered me…it was my feelings. I felt bad doing that to another person. I felt it was in some way morally wrong. But as others have pointed out (I posted this in several places) it’s those kinds of reactions that are necessary to protect ourselves. It’s just, where do you draw the line between protection and prejudice?

    Zoom – I’ve been thinking about your points, because they’re good. However, the only way to know about another person is to ask them about themselves. When you’re trying to assess potential danger, you’re line of questioning can seem oddly covert or accusatorily overt. Then, to the person, you have just outed yourself as prejudiced and they judge you based on that. It’s a true dilemma. Do I want to look like a biggoted ass by asking them about themselves in the attempt to assess who they are and what their motives are, or do I just want to silently think that they could be a danger and act as such without knowing?

  4. We have to realize and to distinguish where the very thought came from… I think there’s a very fine line between prejudice and wisdom that we all tread on, and ultimately, it’s up to ourselves to decide which is which. Does that make any sense?! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hello. I came from Jef’s place! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I think that makes complete sense. It was only prejudice because I labeled it that. It might have been completely different to someone else watching. I had explained this to my husband right away and he acted as though the idea of the guy being a skinhead may have been a possibility, but that he clearly wasn’t thinking about it one bit. This was all me. This reached deep into me and has stayed there and evolved into, what I think is, an experience to gain personal growth.

    Thanks for stopping by, Robert!

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