The recent unrest in Baltimore and Ferguson has led to questions regarding stereotypes and the existence of prejudices, especially in a world that prides itself on campaigning for equality and justice.
Despite how we violently contest at the use of derogatory words and stereotypes, the fact is - on a basic level, everyone makes judgements. Making judgements equates to viewing the world through our evaluative lens that is tinged by our values and beliefs.
We all have deep seated notions in us regarding certain kinds of people. We make judgements based on the way people conduct themselves or look like, and categorise them into tiny little slots in our heads as way of making sense of the world. Going about our lives is much easier when everything is categorical and fits neatly into pre-existing definitions. It becomes easier to conduct ourselves once we are around people we know, or people we think we know.
Comments by President Obama and the Mayor Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore termed the rioting masses in Baltimore as 'thugs'. This term is one that is being used frequently to refer to African-Americans. But while some people breaking rules get labelled negatively, others, such as white policemen shooting unarmed black men on the street are free from labels. Councilman Stokes, Baltimore said that 'thugs' is the 21st century equivalent of 'nigger'.
Prejudices lie beyond race too. The Germanwings air crash, where Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed a plane of 150 passengers into the Alps was such an instance. The authorities concerned made sure to state that Lubitz was 'not affiliated with any terrorist group'. The French prosecutor stated that there were 'no grounds to suspect this was a terrorist attack' and that the pilot's 'religious background' was not up for further discussion.
An act of #Terrorism simply put, is an act that inspires terror into the hearts of human beings. However, since 9/11, it seems as the brand of 'terrorism' is one that has grown exclusive to Muslims only.
If a Caucasian male does something horrendous, it is viewed as a single, isolated act by a misled, or mentally unwell member of #Society. Yet when the same act is perpetrated by individuals who are African Americans or Arabs, the entire race is condemned.
This is wrong. It actively destroys people's impressions of themselves and others, attacks their self-worth and redirects the opinions of others in relation to them. Prejudice festers and is backed up by the media and major institutions feeding the public's perception.
Sayings like 'Don't judge a book by its cover' are a shield that many use to counteract the basic instinct in us to make judgements. A lot of people feel hampered by the judgements imposed on them. They fear the label upon them would carry on to their actions and lead them to be misinterpreted. Carl Rodgers is of the opinion that people are unable to achieve a positive growth in the context of judgements by others.
The human race is equal. The same rules regarding terrorism and violence and unrest apply to all. Yet this belief is seldom applied.
It is high time we faced the fact that even while living in a world where everyone is eager to call themselves a broad minded liberal, does the general public shut their eyes to the atrocities committed by non-Islamic, non-black members of the global community? #Religion and ethnicity is what leads to man's condemnation, not his actions. This is the common albeit sickening, practice.