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Prejudice of a Bigot
"The only people I\'m prejudiced against are bigots." That is a quote that has been used often by many people over the years. While most of a bigot’s prejudices are directed against the "obviously different," that is, the people with different colored skin or with different accents, one may still feel uneasy around them, as if that abundance of ignorance might slop over and get someone. There might not be anyone obviously different around to vilify and they\'ll turn around and see someone to have prejudice against. Bigots are prejudiced people, who are ignorant and intolerant.
While prejudice means "prejudgment," there seems to be an area where that is okay. For example, we prejudge people on a daily basis. A person may look students in their class over the first day of school and appraise them. That guy over their looks a little sleepy -- maybe he attends many parties, better watch out for him. The lady across the aisle is looking perky -- too perky. Maybe she\'s just out to brown-nose the instructor to try to get a good grade. The prejudgment phase is why many students wear nice and well-mannered clothing the first two weeks of class. They know the very real danger that other students might dismiss them as second class citizens if they just wore comfortable clothing such as jeans and a T-shirt.
Everyone knows the problem with prejudgment because everyone has been a receiver of such. One such occurrence may be if a couple would be repainting their house when they realized they had an appointment with a loan officer at their bank. They arrived with just minutes to spare only by not changing clothes but by going as they were, paint-splattered and in work clothes. The appointment lasted ten minutes, and the loan officer didn\'t even take down their written history. As they were ushered out the office, the loan officer thought that there would be no way to give
someone like that a loan. Even though they looked like the Beverly Hillbillies, their credit was very good, for they had no outstanding debts, had bought and sold four houses and a business, and were being bombarded by credit card companies to take their credit card.
The single point where "prejudgment," the okay kind, becomes "prejudice," the bad kind is in closed mindedness. There is always a chance in a person’s mind that they are wrong with their prejudgment, and they know it. It is possible the guy that has been pre-labeled a guy that attends many parties is really holding down two jobs. It is possible the perky lady is so excited about learning that she\'s going to hold the instructor to teaching. So one should accept prejudgments as fluid, not solid. True bigots make up their minds and keep up the attitude in spite of evidence to the contrary. It may have much to do with insecurity. They make themselves feel okay by association (these are my friends, they think like me, they like the same things I do) and by disassociation (you are different, you don\'t belong to our group). This “lowering” of other groups makes the bigots seem okay in contrast. All a bigot has is an appearance of being higher than others are. But they would lose that if they allowed other groups to be just as high. So they continue to put down other different people.
Can one ever get away from the "I am better than you are" kind of thinking? Only if the "I am better," isn\'t based on association. A person is better, not because they are the same as others are, but precisely because they are different. But no one will ever be able to persuade a bigot of that. So now one must be beginning to think that saying that is being prejudice by going against bigots. On the contrary if a person does not have open-mindedness, then that person will be on the same path as a bigot.
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