When We Have Impostors, We Have No Prejudice
I believe that prejudice will never be “a thing of the past.” Everybody makes judgments on another person, usually with out realizing what they are doing. I am constantly judged, whether it be based on my age, sex, race, people make up their own stories for what they do not know. I am outspoken because I am African American, I am weak because I am a girl, I am not experienced because I am eighteen. All false however all validated based on stereotypes. As long as we still have stereotypes in this world, we will still have prejudice.
Stereotypes give us as a people, a category to put others in. What would we do with our 24 hours if we could not label everybody around us? Would we be forced to reflect upon ourselves? It takes too much effort to have to stop ourselves from judging others. America is known to be a very lazy nation. Too lazy to get to know a person, the only way a proper judgment is made. Is any judgment proper?
A proper judgment is made over time and is personal. I can have a different view of a person than that person’s mother. When I was younger there used to be an older woman who would walk around to gas stations in my neighborhood and collect cans. Her clothes were old and dark, she looked poor and homeless. I constantly felt bad for her, my mother even gave her a few cans we cleaned out of our car on one occasion. This woman seemed like an easy person to label all signs lead to poor old woman. That woman was far from poor, she was smart. About a week after my mom gave her the cans from our car we saw her in a store in the mall wearing a fur coat buying her daughter clothes I probably would not have been able to afford. My mother and I were appalled. Was she smart? Or just lowly? I believe I would have to get to know this mysterious con artist.
I did not know this woman, yet I was dumbfounded by her. She was a trickster and I had been tricked. I was beyond judging her; I was legitimately trying to simply figure her out. Impostors deflect judgment because they are past it, they are not able to be judged because they make it known that they are not who you think they are. The only way our world will be rid of the prejudice that darkened our past that we should be so proud of is if all people make it known that they are swindlers, masking our true selves until we are ready to let you in on our big secret.
I believe that prejudice will never be “a thing of the past.” I am not ready to let the world know that I am a liar, fake, cheat. The judgments will keep coming because only I can know my true crux.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.