Blog Post: Why Everyone is Prejudiced and Therein Lies the Problem

Linda Elder
Jul 19, 2020 • 71d ago
Why Everyone is Prejudiced and Therein Lies the Problem

{"ops":[{"attributes":{"color":"#231f20"},"insert":"Since the Foundation for Critical Thinking has been advancing fairminded critical thinking for 40 years, it should be no surprise that we stand in solidarity with all those people working across the world to cultivate, support, and lead the way in creating egalitarian societies. It is clear that fairminded critical societies, properly so called, would not support biases, prejudices, or unethical actions based on a person’s skin color or ethnicity (or indeed any other superficial reason). Fairminded critical societies would not allow police to assault and abuse the people it is charged with protecting. It would not advance a police-state mentality designed to control the people."},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#231f20"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#231f20"},"insert":"Going deeper, it is important to recognize that prejudice is a natural part of human thinking – indeed everyone is prejudiced in favor of many things and against others; these prejudices live in our assumptions, which we take for granted, and from which our worldview is formed. Of course, some people are more prejudiced than others; some act on their biases in egregious ways while others are more subtle in the ways they express their biases. Some people have the power to harm other people based on their prejudices and biases.  As we have now clearly (and sadly) seen, some groups, like the police, have considerable power to terrorize people based on their prejudices."},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#231f20"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#231f20"},"insert":"While we need to address and redress the immediate illegal and unethical behaviors of the police against African American people in this country, the problem will not be solved until we as humans understand what lies at the heart of bias and prejudice. Until then, only superficial approaches will be taken to the problem, and those superficial approaches, being superficial, will not lead to a more fair and just society. Only revolutionary changes in the way we think can do that. These revolutionary changes must be based in ethical critical thinking, or they will be superficial."},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#231f20"},"insert":" "},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"#231f20"},"insert":"For an excellent treatise on the role of prejudice in all human thinking, read "},{"attributes":{"color":"#231f20","italic":true},"insert":"Critical Thinking and the Nature of Prejudice "},{"attributes":{"color":"#231f20"},"insert":"by Richard Paul, which you can find at this link in our community:"},{"insert":"\n"},{"attributes":{"color":"purple","link":"https://community.criticalthinking.org/viewDocument.php?doc=../content/library_for_everyone/95/Chapter11-CriticalThinkingandtheNatureofPrejudice.pdf&page=1"},"insert":"https://community.criticalthinking.org/viewDocument.php?doc=../content/library_for_everyone/95/Chapter11-CriticalThinkingandtheNatureofPrejudice.pdf&page=1"},{"insert":"\n"}]}


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