Reducing Prejudice: Raising Children to Accept Diversity

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The forum discussion is about the persistence of prejudice in society and the importance of teaching children to be accepting and respectful of others.
I do believe that we can greatly reduce the amount of prejudice in our world today, yet I do not think it will ever completely go away. Society has seemingly come to except all races, religions and genders andsupposedly has acheived "politcal correctness," yet there willforever be individuals who discriminate based upon these issues. These individuals often form large groups that recruit newmembersto enforce their hatred of those with a certain religion or skin tone. Obviously, no one can tell these people that they can not have opinions and beliefs,for they have the right to hate whomever they like. However , I believe we need to raise our children to accept all people, no matter what God they do or do not believe in or what skin color they 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 whodo look the same asthem or believe what they believe.If we raise our chidren to believe all people are equal from the start then perhaps prejudice will slowly disintegrate over time.

We thehuman 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 worldwho stereotype others and are mostly always wrong in their judgement.Some of uschoose not to be followers butindividuals. I know many white peoplewho see a young black male standing on the corner andwearing a certain type of clothingwillassume that he is in a gang and has intentions of hurting others. Or we may observe a Muslim getting on a plane and immediately assume that they are a terrorist and this individual is a successful doctor who own his own practice. How can one 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. Asians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Caucausians and all other ethnic groups "not mentioned here," need to look pastother'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.

I believe people need to stop"following the crowd" and form their own opinions.We as adults, children, young, old and all the peopleof theworldneed to have courtesy and kindness towards others, no matter what. Some joinracist and religiously biased group because they feel it will make their lives better. Not caring aboutothers who will be affected by their hatred. Parents need to instill in their children the value of one treating others as they would like to be treated.

If everyone in this world had respect for one another, we would live inpeace and be able to let others believe in what they wish and except that everyone is different.We need anenvironment that is centered around acceptance of different ways of life and cultures of others.We can start byteaching our children the hard right over the easy wrong and change our ways about acceptance of each other, effectively comminicate and learn something positiveabout others perhapssometimes in our future we will be closer to accepting that a man's character is based upon the content of his soul, not his religion, gender, ethnicityor the color of his skin.



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Hello Angelicamarie.
Thank you for your post, which to my mind is stating the obvious but nevertheless seems to need repeating regularly to remind people of what is right and what is wrong. You are so right about the importance of educating children into being more accepting and tolerant of others. Unfortunately, the hateful people you refer to in your post are the ones who are most likely to educate their own children into being as intolerant as they are.
Most modern societies have gone some way to criminalising the worst excesses of human hatred but even this has not stopped some people continuing to commit the crimes. Persuasion is a useful ploy and punishment establishes what a society is not prepared to tolerate. However, the underlying causes of these problems remain inherent in the human condition so the answers must lie in effective 'management' the problems, rather than thinking they can be eliminated altogether.

Best wishes
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Good morning Bill, thanks for responding and commenting. How true you are, but we can hope that things will change. Truly, it would be a better world. Have a great weekend!!!


Angelicamarie, there is prejudice in the world and even here on our support forum. You are also correct in that the only answer to prejudice is to teach our children respect for all persons. Bill is correct in that the human condition seems to require feeling superior to some other group of people, so prejudice exists to satisfy that need. When prejudice seems to be justified (but truly it can never be justified), hatred soon follows. In the USA, prejudice seems to follow racial lines and skin colors. I have done a small amount of world travel and found prejudice follows ethnic lines in other countries. For instance, in England, people of African origin are accepted, but the Scottish or Irish neighbors and countrymen are considered inferior. I have heard of English merchants refusing to accept currency from Scotland, even though both currencies are guaranteed by the government of England. This is a prejudice that goes back close to a thousand years and shows no signs of going away. It even exists in some measure in many parts of America. Again, I see the only answer is respect. Teach it to your children and guard against lack of respect in your own mind every day. Thanks for being open and honest. We need that.


Hi Don, thanks for responding and commenting. It is sad that we can't respect one another as humans. No one is better. You can do better. Respect, and how right you are, even on this site. One day perhaps things will change, prayerfully!!! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


Thanks, Angelicamarie. I do pray and you have a great weekend. I have seen your most recent photos and you look great! Enjoy yourself now.


Don, thanks for the compliment!!!


Great discussion, Angelicamarie, and I agree completely with you and others on the absolute necessity of teaching our children respect for all others. I also think it is important that we practice what we preach to our kids. They notice everything. Equally important in any community is having and creating shared values sometimes referred to as "ties that bind us." In recent years, all the emphasis has been placed on diversity and multiculturalism. I think, however, the need to "bind the nation's wounds" may be better served by looking forward to creating a new social contract rather than backwards to perpetuating the same old animosities and divisions that have undermined civilizations since time started. That said, Ang, watch out for those people up there in Jersey. I have heard the most awful things....


Hi John, thanks for responding and commenting on prejudice, will it ever change? I pray that it will. The sad part is it's here amongst us (prejudice) on the site. As far as Jersey City, NJ, I was born and raised there. You have good and bad, and since the crack epidemic, it has worsened. Thanks for the warning, John. A lot of people I grew up with relocated because of the change. Have a wonderful day!


Ang, I was referring to the state of New Jersey, not Jersey City, and wrote with tongue in cheek. I include myself in the population I described. Sorry for any misunderstanding.


John, no need for apologies. I know you meant no harm. Just warning me to be careful. Thank you! Angel


Hi Angelicamarie: Great topic. I cannot speak for the situation in the USA as I do not live there. In my opinion, one of the best ways to learn about and respect others is to travel. I do not mean with others like us, but as an independent traveler (as compared to a "tourist"). We took our kids with us to Jamaica, Japan, all over Europe, Cuba, Dominican Republic and a few other places I forget now. Stayed with locals, ate in the markets, went to their religious ceremonies, etc. Tried as much as possible to speak a bit of the language and avoid other North Americans. If I lived in a multi-cultural city like Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver, I would endeavor to meet people who have immigrated to escape hardships back home. By being face-to-face with others works wonders in reducing prejudice. In my humble opinion.


Trifinisher, thanks for your comments on prejudice. Have a great Fourth of July!!!!


Thank you, Angelicamarie, for wishing me a great Fourth of July. However, we as Canadians don't celebrate the 4th, as it is the USA's Independence Day. Our national holiday is July 1st, Canada Day. I hope you and all your compatriots had a great 4th. We had a great 1st. :-)


Hi Trifinisher, I didn't know that but the day you celebrated the 4th was my birthday, very kind of you to comment again. Great news that your holiday was enjoyable. Best wishes, angelicamarie

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