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Prejudice and Stereotyping

With diversity and differences in race, culture, ideals, opinions and beliefs comes inevitably the harsh differentiation of a minority from the larger group of the society called the natives. This can be somewhat be referred to as discrimination or prejudice. In the United States, knowing it has this very large land territory, very good economy, and very rewarding opportunities, lots of ethnicities from all over the world have been attracted to migrate and be part of its society. This has made America a home for various ethnicities, races and colors from all over the world.

And with this diverse population, history itself has exposed the nation to the truth that racial discrimination will always be an inevitable phenomenon. Over the years, racial discrimination in the United States has been very prevalent to the extent that it has been considered by its citizens as a normal everyday phenomenon. Racial prejudice can be more likely observed done against African-Americans. However, knowing that a lot of other ethnicities exist in America, racial discrimination can never be avoided by other foreign migrants as well.

The Asian minority group is one of the largest groups of foreign migrants in the United States. And I personally belong to this group. Being an alien in a foreign land was never easy. The values, culture and way of life may not always match the ones to which you have been used to. As an immigrant I can personally say that racial discrimination is indeed a natural phenomenon in America. Stereotyping appears everywhere and people will always have this impression about me as if they know everything about me when they just tend to generalize every Asian they see to this one certain impression.

People would often associate Asians to being geeks, nerds and uninterested to fun. Looking back in my experiences as a young immigrant I have been through various situations where people in school have been calling me names which imply that I am stingy and that I am just a “trying-hard-American. ” These name-callings have affected me in such away that I find it hard to socialize anymore. With every American I meet there is always this thought that he or she might also discriminate me the way everybody else does.

Looking at the different levels of prejudice, it can be observed that this experience of mine falls under the Antilocution level where people are being called names for them to feel that they are unwanted or that they are not welcome to the group they wish to belong to (Stangor, 2000). Aside from this, there have been lots of instances where I also felt like I was unwanted in a certain group. This affected my confidence and my social skills. I fear of making a lot of friends for I always think I might be rejected. According to the levels of prejudice, this is the Aviodance level.

There were also times when I experienced very humiliating forms of discrimination when I started working part-time in a fast food. Some American customers there would refuse my service and would request for the service of a white American service crew only. This can be considered to belong to the Discrimination level of prejudice. At this point, I realized that immigrants can never avoid racial prejudice no matter how much they try. I am just thankful that I did not experience racial discrimination to the extent of Physical attack and Extermination.

Racial prejudice in whatever levels in was done has indeed several negative effects on the person being discriminated. Not just on the levels of self-confidence but as well as on how they socialize and interact with other people. Racial discrimination, based on a personal experience decreases one’s trust and esteem in his or herself because of the negative thoughts and impressions that other people associate with him or her. Racial prejudice may be very hard to avoid especially in a very diverse country like the United States of America.

But knowing the effects it can impinge on the behavior, attitude and outlook of a person, people must also consider respecting how these people feel and empathize on their experiences to understand that being different among all the others in a foreign land can be one of the hardest and most painful things in the world. Thus, people will have to respect and accept diversity in order to avoid the worse scenarios of racial discrimination. If this will be made possible, a lot will surely see this world better, kinder and more peaceful. References Stangor, C. (2000). Stereotypes and Prejudice: Essential Readings. Psychology Press.

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