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Prejudice
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Old 23-02-2004
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Prejudice


Prejudice


Prejudice.

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish, and the tyranny´s of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity & goodwill shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for He is truly his brothers keeper and the finder of lost children, and I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers, and you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee. Ezekiel 25:17. New testament.

Introduction.


This author will attempt to show two different forms of prejudice, using African-American Black History, and the persecution of the Jews in World War II.

What is prejudice? Prejudice is an extreme attitude towards one particular group of people, and it compromises the components of all attitudes including:
· Cognitive component, i.e. stereotyping
· Affective component, i.e. strong feeling of hostility
· Behavioral component, i.e. actions and manners. (Gross-Science of Mind and behavior 1999).

Allport (Gross et al 1999) states that the behavioral component may include five different examples:
· Antilocution: hostility via verbal expression, verbal denigration & insult, racial jokes and references.
· Avoidance: keeping a distance but not inflicting physical harm.
· Discrimination: exclusion from civil rights, decent housing and employment.
· Extermination: indiscriminate violence against an individual or a whole group, including Genocide.

When we observe `prejudiced behaviour ` by an individual or group, it is apparent that these people are of an Authoritarian personality i.e. they look up to Authority and respect it accordingly, but look down upon those that they believe to be inferior to themselves. This automatically creates an `in & out` group. I will now examine the beliefs of the Ku-Klux-Klan (hereafter referred to as the KKK), and this groups ethnocentric belief that white Anglo-Saxon culture supercedes that of all other races, particularly Afro-Caribbean, African, Indian and Jewish cultures.
The KKK actively practices disinhibition i.e. they direct their energies and anger at minority groups using aggression, as a way to what they perceive as a legitimate means to solve problems and to attain their desired goal, and also that they may be judgmental towards other groups from their own standpoint.
The KKK states in Ku-Klux-Klan History (Internet Resource - Dec 2000) "that at the end of the civil war during a period called `Black reconstruction`, that blacks were illiterate, with no history of a civilized Government, and were responsible for tremendous crime, violence, and corruption against white southerners." An extreme form of stereo-typing and pre-judgmentalism stemming from the abolition of the slave trade and the possibility that blacks were very likely to be made equal in all respects to the white-man, can only be perceived by the KKK as a threat to their ethnocentric beliefs.


The first black indentured servants, i.e. fixed for a permanent basis, were bought into Jamestown, Virginia USA in 1619. They were captured in Africa and sold at auction in Virginia. The slave population arrived early in the 1600`s but increased rapidly and by about 1750 almost 200,000. Slaves lived in the colonies. We know from historical records (Slavery in the American South - Internet resource Dec 2000), that by the early 1800`s more than 700,000 slaves lived in the deep south and by sixty years later in 1860 a staggering 4,000,000 slaves lived in the state.

If at this time the historical data is to be believed and the slaves actually outnumbered the whites, then why didn´t these people rebel? This can be classically defined as deindividuation i.e. the loss of a sense of individuality, the slaves were believing that they had no human worth, and their sole purpose in this life was to serve their white masters, who were superior in every aspect to them.
It appears it was the social norm amongst slaves to conform, forming a common denominator to obedience, i.e. responding to the direct requests/orders of any whites, and particularly as whites were seen as the `legitimate authority`. The cost/reward system we also see here whereby the slave counts the cost of responding and obeying to his masters demands, and counts the reward of remaining unbeaten and alive.
The slaves were in a permanent agentic state, i.e. directly answerable to any whites as they were seen as the legitimate authority at this time. (Gross-Science of mind & behavior 1999).


The Nazi regime employed the same basic methods, although the levels of violence and aggression by far superceded those of the slave owners, that being mass Genocide.
Dehumanization can clearly be seen in all historical data relating to concentration camps, i.e. the prisoners were forced to remain naked, they were starved and beaten, their heads were shaved and they had numbers tattooed on their bodies, this had the effect of reducing the prisoners to something less than human, and allowed the suspension of the usual moral prohibition on killing (Gross-Science of mind & behavior 1999).
Routinisation i.e. " The massacre becomes a matter of routine, a mechanical highly programmed operation" (Gross-Science of mind & behavior 1999).
Adolf Hitler in his quest to perfect the perfect race, and the formation of the Nazi´s were, and still are, referred to as evil, however let us examine the definition of evil.
The most common and familiar form of human evil is violence, and one, which is most easily recognized, although oppression and cruelty may also be considered.
"The main prototypes of human evil involve actions that intentionally harm other people" (Baumeister. R- Evil Inside Human Violence & Cruelty 1999). Evil individuals, (in this case I will cite Adolf Hitler as example) are often marked by egotism i.e. seeing the world exclusively from ones own perspective. (Gross Science of mind & behavior 1999). Adolf Hitler did not lack in self-esteem, if anything he had too much of it, and over-estimated himself because of it, ultimately he committed suicide; this in itself can be seen as the most selfish act.
What was the influencing factor regarding Hitler? And how did this one individual exert such power and influence over an entire nation to the detriment and near destruction of the Jewish race? We know it wasn´t coercive power i.e. an underlying threat of physical harm, so perhaps Hitler´s suggestion of a `one nation community` appealed to all those just went along for the sake of conforming. Hitler systematically condoned the extermination "of those deemed to be threats to the biological and cultural unity of the supreme race" (Weindling P. Confronting the Nazi past, 1996).
It is felt that Hitler to some extent used the halo-effect i.e. to influence the views of the German people he used one negative trait against the Jews to infer another and so on.


Stereotyping may also be seen to be bigoted behavior, and also discriminatory, however "recent research suggests that such statements may stem from a very natural cognitive process called the `out-group homogeneity effect`" (Quattrone 1986 - Gross et al 1999).
Whereby people tend to perceive members of an out-group as highly similar to each other, (stereotype), but they tend to view all manner of individual differences among members of their own group (the in-group differentiation hypothesis: - Linville et al 1989), as these are all consequences of the acts of categorization.
The Nazi soldiers certainly to some extent must have practiced a catharsis behavior pattern i.e. by observing the aggressive behavior exhibited by another soldier, he may have found it easier to release his own aggressive feelings, to torture or kill for example, even when his own natural feelings of guilt may have prevented him from carrying out orders to the contradiction of his own feelings, also leading to a sense of diffusion of responsibility i.e. not solely responsible.
This behavior is proven clearly in American GI statements at the court marshall hearing following the infamous My-Lai massacre. One soldier, clearly very distressed and anxious was questioned, "Why did you kill innocent women and children?" he replied, " I don´t know why, but I was crying inside when I done it, I was just following orders".
(Internet resource- My-Lai court Marshall transcripts- Dec. 2000).
We know from these court transcripts that coercive methods were used by senior officers to imply that if these soldiers wouldn´t carry out their orders then court marshall, physical violence, and ostrasisation would follow. The soldiers acting on the orders from what they perceived as `legitimate authority`, (immediate superior in rank), complied, some with unquestioned obedience, or some with reluctance.
What makes one individual more likely to comply with an un-reasonable request and another refuse? My theory is that these individuals may have been influenced from early on in life, and by observing and learning from parents, peers, and similar social groups, particularly those of an authoritarian nature, they unquestionably carried out acts of seemingly in-human violence and aggression just because they perceive the order as coming from ` legitimate authority`.
Milgram states " conformity has to do with the psychological need for acceptance by others and entails going along with ones peers in a group situation: - obedience has to do with the social power and status of an authority figure in a hierarchal situation" (Gross et al 1999). Although these soldiers may deny they conformed, as this would reduce their own sense of individuality, they denied responsibility of their actions in the case of obedience (he made me do it).


So how might we as a society reduce prejudice? There have been many ideas and concepts put forward but first of all lets look at integration as an option.
In the last 50 years or so integration has become so common this may in itself play a large role in striving to break down prejudicial barriers, we should feel proud of these efforts but how well might they have worked? It is true that as we get to know each other we see that our own prejudices reduced or even removed all together? Only under certain conditions, if blacks and whites live as equals, both at home and at work, it becomes easier to have frequent and informal contact thereby reducing the pre-judgments, which are usually made about a race before any sort of communication has taken place. If we look at the military after these men have lived, fought, and died together, then we see that equality is possible. It also becomes more evident that prejudice and racism are a learned behavior. If we look to the first American schools that were integrated we note these white students, who had never integrated with other races became more prejudiced. (Aronson - 1984 Gross et al-Science of mind and behavior 1999). This can be argued then that family and peer pressure was evident.


Aronson developed a teaching technique called `The jigsaw learning method`. This was a conducted as an experiment and the results were incredible, it is now called `co-operative learning`, and it works by grouping up students (in this case children), and giving each student a small part of the lesson to learn and then to tell their own group. Rather than have the time to tease and make fun of another student in the group, they now have to learn this piece of work as well as co-operating with other group members to make their project correct. The study found that the students actually helped each other learn and communicate therefore making studying easier and more fun! As well as getting to know each other better they began to develop respect for one another, empathize together and like each other. Unfortunately, the forced integration of schools in America during the 50`s and 60`s did not result in close contact with other races during the 70`s and 80`s, not many blacks were in the advanced classes, the situation was slowly changing but perhaps not as fast as we would like to think.
Aronson stated, "Just throwing different groups together in schools is not enough-we must work closely, cooperatively, and cordially together". So why are we still not working together? Perhaps racial bias/prejudice is still alive and well, and certain groups within society are still pre-occupied with old hard to die social/cultural/economic prejudices.


We look at society and the rest of the world and conclude it is just. (Just world hypothesis) i.e. where we believe that "you get what you deserve". Why do we do this? We deny the evidence or turn the whole situation around to suit ourselves. For example Lerner- Gross et al - Science of mind and behavior) conducted a study in which almost a thousand people watched a film of a woman being painfully shocked in a psychological learning experiment. (All of it was faked). Initially many of the viewers became anxious and upset, some angry towards the experimenter in the film. However shockingly towards the end of the experiment most of the viewers had adopted the `just world` way of thinking. They believed that the victim was ultimately an idiot to be sitting there and allowing herself to be shocked. Not one of the viewers made any sort of effort to protest against the experiments, they felt more comforted believing that "everything is fine".
The most worrying aspect of this is that the offenders of this behavior are becoming younger. Two weeks ago at the beginning of December a ten-year boy called Damilola Taylor was murdered in Peckham, South East London. The death of any child is devastating, but even more so when this murder is believed to have been carried out by other children. Damilola was Nigerian; his attackers are also thought to be black, although at this point the police are unsure, as they may be West Indian or African.
The attackers ages are thought to range from twelve upwards. Two weeks later another child, 13-year-old Danny Herbert is fighting for his life. Danny is of mixed race and the police feel that this attack was racially motivated. Again the attackers were early teens and the weapon used was glass, Danny is still in critical condition at this time of writing, Damilola unfortunately died where he was attacked.
Can authoritative parenting be all to blame? The pressure from peers? The Media? Music?
Media is being used by the police in the case of Damilola Taylor, whereby a famous football idol, Rio Ferdinand, is being shown to encourage to tell the truth. He will appeal to mostly young males and this author believes was chosen psychologically for that reason alone. But why would it be called a "Racial attack" if the attackers are also believed to be black? Within African societies there are many different tribes and a hierarchy certainly does exist, but so extreme as to see children resorting to violent crime and murder almost baffles belief.
Conflict resolution techniques used from early on in school, as well as the cooperative learning method are at least two examples of how prejudice could be reduced from a young age, until state education employs these techniques children will stay aggressive and not really understand why.


Yaad Kuch Aata Nahin, Yeh Hua Kab Se...Ho Gaya Mushkil Chhupaana Raaz Yeh Sab Se...Tum Kaho To Maang Loon Main Aaj Kuch Rab Se Rabba mere rabba rabba, rabba mere rabba,Is pyaar ko main kya naam doon Roshni se bhare bhare..Bhare bhare naina tere..Chhooke bole na chhoona mujhe Suraj hua maddham, chaand jalne laga..Aasmaan yeh haai kyoon pighalne laga..Main thehra raha, zameen chalne lagi.. Bheeghi Bheeghi Raaton Mein, Phir Tum Aao Na...Asi Barsaton Mein Aao Na.. Humko Humise Chura Lo, Dil Mein Kahin Tum Chhupa Lo,Hum Akele Kho Naa Jaaye, Door Tumse Ho Naa Jaaye,Paas Aao Gale Se Lagaa Lo Toota Toota ek parinda...Jo bhi kaal hua kal bhi phir aayaga Hai...Tumse milke dil ka hai jo haal kya kahe..Ho gaya hai kaisa yeh kamaal kya kahe Ruka Ja, Oh Jaana Wali Ruka Ja...Nazara Mein To Tera Bhura Sa Sahi..Adami Mein Bhura Nahi Dil Ka Aja Re, Aja Re Oh Mere Dilbar Aja..Dil Ki Pyaas Buja Ja Re...Oh Noorie kabhie kabhie mere dil mein khayaal aata hai...ke jaise tujh ko banaya gaya hai mere liye..ke jaise tujh ko banaya gaya haiKitna bechain hoke tumse mila...Tumko kya tha khabar tha main kitna akela ..Ke kitna mohabbat hai tumse...Hai...Tumse milke dil ka hai jo haal kya kahe..Ho gaya hai kaisa yeh kamaal kya kaheTujhe dekha to yeh jaana sanam..Pyaar hota hai deewana sanam..Tujhe dekha to yeh jaana sanam.Tujhe dekha to yeh jaana sanam..Pyaar hota hai deewana sanam.Ab ahan se kahan jaaye hum..Teri bahon mein mar jaaye hum Aksar is duniya mein anjaane milte hain,Anjaani raahon mein milke kho jaate hain,Lekin hamesha voh yaad aate hain Na kajre ki dhaar, na motiyon ke haar,Na koi kiya singaar phir bhi kitni sundar ho,Tum kitni sundar ho Na jaane mere dil ko kya ho gaya..Abhi to yahin tha, abhi kho gaya..Ho gaya hai tujhko to pyaar sajna..Lakh kar le tu inkaar sajna..Dildaar sajna, hai yeh pyaar sajna



Dil Dooba Dil Dooba...Neela Akho Mein Yeh Dil Dooba.. Neela Neela Amber Per Chand Jab Aye...Aisa Koi Saathi Ho ..Aisa Koi Premi Hoi Jaanam Dekh Lo Mit Gayeen Dooriyaan..Main Yahaan Hoon Yahaan Hoon..Yahaan Hoon..Yahaan...Kaisi Sarhadein...Kaisi Majbooriyaan..Main Yahaan Hoon Yahaan Hoon..Yahaan Hoon..Yahaan...Tum Chhupaa Na Sakogi Main Vo Raaz Hoon...Tum Bhulaa Na Sakogi Vo Andaaz Hoon...Goonjtaa Hoon Jo Dil Mein To Hairaan Ho Kyon...Main Tumhaare Hi Dil Ki To Aavaaz Hoon...Main Yahaan Hoon Yahaan Hoon..Yahaan Hoon..Yahaan... Aisa muhje tu na dehka na...seeena se laga loonga, tum ko tumse chura loonga...dil mein chupa loonga Gila Gila Dil Gila.. Mila mila mila koi mila ...Teri Ha Adaar Laga sab se judaa hai dil tuje per fida hai... Dhoom Dhoom let ya body do the talking..Dhoom Dhoom be the fire thats buring..Dhoom machaalay dhoom machaalay dhoom Tere Liye Hum Hai Jiye..Hota ke siya...Dil mein Magar chalte reha chaahat ke Diya... Zara zara bahekta hai, mahekta hai,Aaj to mera tan badan, main pyaasi hoon,Mujhe bhar le apni baahon mein Dheera dheera se mera zindagi mein ana...tumsi pyar huma hai kitna jaana jaana Pyar ke isa khel mein..do dil aur mehl mein, tera peecha na chodunga soniya Mera mehboob sanam, tera ashiq hogaya hum...milaka nazaaro se nazaar tera pyaar mein kogaya hum... Wada Raha Pyar Se Pyar Ka, Hum Na Hoga Juda, Dil Ke Dhadkhan Sunrha Hai Mera Khudda Dheera Dheera Se Mera Zindagi Mein Ana...Tumsi Pyar Huma Hai Kitna Jaana JaanaSaamne hain raastein, hum guzar jaaye...Ya kisi ke vaaste hum thaher jaaye...Ab yahan tak aa gaye hain, ab kidhar jaaye...Jaaduuuuuuu teri nazar...Kushboo tera baadan..tu har kar, ya nah kar...Kali nagin ke jaise..Zulfe teri kali kali..Sagar ko moti aur..Suraj ko tu dati hai lali..Kali nagin ke jaise..Zulfe teri kali kaliYeh din yeh mahine saal guzar jaayenge mere yaar..Magar itna rakhna khayaal..Jeena sirf mere liye, jeena sirf mere liye..Kasam se jeena sirf mere liye, jeena sirf mere liye Banno ki saheli resham ki dori..Chhup chhupke sharmaaye dekhe chori chori..Yeh maane ya na maane main to ispe mar gaya..Yeh ladki haai allah, haai haai re allah Tum paas aaye, yun muskuraaye,Tumne na jaane kya sapne dikhaaye,Tum paas aaye, yun muskuraaye,Tumne na jaane kya sapne dikhaaye,Ab to mera dil jaage na sota hai,Kya karoon haaye, kuch kuch hota hai
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