THIS I BELIEVE
People have prejudice against others because they can’t face the reality of their own flaws. Why do I say this? This is why:
Black Friday happened a couple of weeks ago. I’m from Brazil, and therefore the concept of standing in a huge line as early as 12:00AM, after a big holyday to celebrate thankfulness, just to get a big screen TV for a “good” price sounds a little silly. This year something tragic happened. A crowd in a Wall-mart in Long Island trampled a man to death. When I heard about this, I immediately logged onto “Youtube” to check the latest news on it. After watching a couple of news clips, I proceeded to read people’s comments on this tragic event. I realized many people felt like myself: infuriated that something like this could happen in our society (or any society, for that matter). One comment, however, completely shocked me. An individual said something along the lines of “If you look at the kind of people that were in that line you can understand why this happened.” Now, I’m not going to assume that he was making a reference to blacks, or to poor people, or to Wall-mart shoppers. Regardless of what he was making a reference to, it is clear that he was not assuming any responsibility for what happened that day.
The bottom line is, this incident happened because we, the American society, allowed it. Yes, I am from Brazil, but I realize I am living in this country, and therefore I am part of this society. No immigrant should excuse him or herself from taking some responsibility for what happened. I believe prejudice arises when we fail to admit the reality of our flaws. We don’t want to admit that we could possibly allow something like this to happen, and therefore we pin it on someone else. Is it really that much easier to say it’s someone else’s fault? Our society as a whole has put so much emphasis in the material things that we have become insensitive to our own human needs. The newspapers called the crowd of people a stampede. Is that what we have been reduced to? A mere bunch of animals? As long as we fail to assume responsibility and ignore events like this, YES, we are no more than mere animals. Unless we stop thinking about the things we WANT and don’t NEED, and start thinking about what other people NEED, nothing is going to change.
Is there hope? There sure is, but something has to be done. We can’t just choose to switch the TV channel and go to another show, pretending the tragedies never happen. Unless we take a stand, and become determined to do all we can to change this situation, things will remain the same.