Racial prejudice is an insidious moral and social disease affecting peoples and populations all over the world. It is diagnosed by the cataloguing of its various symptoms and manifestations which include fear, intolerance, separation, segregation, discrimination, and hatred. While all of these symptoms of racial prejudice may be manifest, the single underlying cause of racial prejudice is ignorance. Historically, a race of people is defined as a population with distinguishable biological features.

While all humans belong to the same species, Homo sapiens, races are distinguished from one another by such characteristics as hair color and texture, skin color, eye color and shape, size of limb and body parts, and facial organs. Though scientists have reached the conclusion that these differences amongst peoples are superficial and have further agreed that all members of the species Homo sapiens have more characteristics in common than different, mankind itself continues to view each other from the features that are outwardly perceived.

Indeed, humans are outwardly different in appearance; the problem arises when the symptoms of the disease become evident: intolerance, separation, and hatred. In a positive vein, one may embrace the differences of peoples across the face of the earth and marvel at the uniqueness of individuals who live on a different part of the globe or across the street. Racial prejudice perverts this uniqueness of the races and takes the view that these differences separate individuals further into groups, with one group being inferior to the other.

Racial prejudice affects everyone. Inasmuch as racial prejudice manifests itself in that people are “pre-judged” based on superficial characteristics, we must honestly conclude that all people “suffer” from this on various levels. When we don’t know an individual well, we consciously or unconsciously begin to characterize him or her based on what we see. Again, this is due to our ignorance of the person’s real character and personality. We will form opinions, often based along stereotypical lines: “all people of such and such race are. . .” We can fill in the blanks with such expectations that certain races are intellectually superior, others are full of avarice, another is more artistically or athletically inclined, still another has members who are apt to be dishonest, etc, etc. . . These ideas have been formed from society, media, and our own upbringing.


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