When a person hears the word prejudice, he or she might think it only refers to the racial prejudice often found between those with light skin and those with dark skin. However, prejudice runs much deeper than a person's color. Prejudice is found between gender, religion, cultural and geographical background, and race. People have discriminated against others based upon these attributes from the beginning of time.
Prejudice has become a complex problem in our society today and much of our world's history is based upon such hatred. In the 1600's, white men used Africans as slaves and treated them as if they were not human. "Colored" people were not even allowed to use the same drinking fountains as white people until the mid-1900. Hitler and his men killed over five million people because they were Jewish or were not their definition of "normal." The Ku Klux Klan exists today and openly professes its hatred towards Jews and colored people.
Our society is riddled with such hatred based upon peoples' beliefs and origins and it seems millions are fighting each other for no relevant reason at all. I do believe that we can greatly reduce the amount of prejudice in our world today, yet I do not think that it will ever completely go away. Society has seemingly come to except all races, religions, and genders, and supposedly has achieved "political correctness," yet there will forever be individuals who discriminate based upon these issues. These individuals often form large groups that recruit new members to enforce their hatred of those with a certain religion or skin tone.
Obviously, no one can tell these people that they cannot have their own opinions or beliefs, for they have the right to hate whomever they like. We need to raise our children to accept all people, no matter what god they do or do not believe in or what color skin they may have. If children are raised around people who are not the same as they are, then they will most likely not think anything different of people who do not look the same as them or believe what they believe. If we raise our children to believe all people are equal from the start, then prejudice will slowly disintegrate over time. We, as the human race, need to focus on not judging people before we know them for who they are.
Today, there are so many different people in this world that stereotypes are almost always incorrect, as many people choose not to be followers, but to be individuals. I know many white people who, if they see a young black male standing on the corner, wearing a certain type of clothing, will discern that he is in a gang and has intentions of hurting others. How could someone say such a thing when all they have seen is one's appearance? The boy standing there could be a great student in school who helps others and plans to become someone important in the future. I got many friends at my street that look that way and they help my mother with her groceries!
Asians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Caucasians, and all other ethnic groups need to look past each other's physical attributes and start looking inside a person to see who they truly are. After all, personalities do not lie on the outside of one's body, but in one's mind. People need to stop "following the crowd" and form their own opinions.