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Why is There Prejudice?

Café-Salon Philosophique #44

September 18, 1999

No. of Participants: 10

Evening's Topic of Discussion: "Why is there Prejudice?"

Samuel welcomed everyone new and old to the Café gathering which is now meeting at our new location, The Boulder Book Store. Samuel then read The Café Guidelines.

After considering various topics for the evening's discussion, participants chose to discuss, "Why is there prejudice?" Jeremy thinks prejudice exists because "people are uneducated, ignorant and lack understanding of people." "Ethnic pride and the culture from which one was raised makes a difference," he continued. The attitude that "I'm better than you!" divides and separates people.

Frank agreed, "It is how we grow up that makes the difference." "People who grow up and are raised in smaller communities like farming communities tend to be a "closer-knit" bunch of people who support and treat each other with more respect than city folk do."

Cindy thought that "maybe if parents and society weren't so prejudice, maybe children wouldn't be." "All that we hear, see, and learn from everyone and anybody makes a difference in how we form opinions and relate to life in the world."

Dan has observed that people are even prejudice to how "people talk," or just because they have "different accents." "It's a racial thing." Dennis thinks "at the root of prejudice is judgement." "If we could learn to stop judging ourselves and others, then maybe there would be less prejudice. In essence, we are all the same."

Steve said we are "driven by our egos." "We learn to "distinguish, defend, protect, survive, and unify with what we know." "We are programmed to "divide, split apart, break off into groups, which can cause suspicion of others."

Samuel then asked, "What makes us prejudice?"

Dan thinks "fear makes us lack confidence and creates insecurities, which then makes it easy to project blame and create judgements onto other people or things." Frank and Steve agreed that division has occurred since the beginning of time. They discussed briefly how "since the time of primal man, clans, and tribes, people have divided up into different groups, cultures, etc. This was an established way of life. It still is in our culture today."

"There is room for personal growth. We need to learn to see and think in new and different ways without judgement," said Samuel.

Frank continued the discussion by stating, "most people want to differentiate them selves and have a need to feel like they "belong" to some group." Dennis thinks "there is a need for organizations and groups of people to live by rules, follow, and obey guidelines. "There would be chaos if we didn't live with rules," he continued. "Rules should be strictly enforced and obeyed; and those that don't follow the rules should be punished."

Samuel says there is a "Universal Law" which reigns over all. The Preamble reads as follows:

"The purpose of human life is to prosper and live happily. The function of Society is to guarantee those conditions that allow all individuals to fulfill their purpose. Those conditions can be guaranteed through a constitution that forbids the use of initiatory force or coercion by any person or group against any individual."

The Constitution of the New Civilization is such:

Article 1: "No person, group of persons or government may initiate force on an individual's self or property.

Article 2: Force may be morally and legally used only in defense against those who violate Article 1.

Article 3: No exceptions shall ever exist to Articles 1 and 2.

In other words, we need to think of the other as our self. As the golden rule states, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

The problem is, sorry to say, but most humans are stupid. They think they know everything, are unwilling to change, and become stuck in their own personal assumptions. Dan agreed and shared that his prejudice is, "smart people." He thinks "smart people are over-pretentious." They have to be visible and show what they got.

Samuel says we need to "see and think differently." "We need to drop personal assumptions." He then held up the mirror to Dan, and reflected, "maybe one's own judgements, lack of belief in one's own intelligence, and insecurities could be "the prejudice" towards smart people."

"Judgement and prejudice can lead to hate, violence, crime and killing." Samuel added. Dan says "hate is born from apathy, lack of consideration and the desire to cause ill will." Dennis says "we are too left brained and that hatred stems from not being stimulated as artists."

Connie who arrived a little later also believes "the way one is brought up makes a difference." Our culture, the environment, educational level, religious upbringing, peers and family can have a direct affect on how we relate to the world around us."

Samuel says "we have to be aware and identify what prejudices we have in order to be able to change our way of thinking to dismiss preconceived notions, ideas and judgements."

Dennis thinks "it is impossible to live without prejudice." "As children, we are told so many different things - what's good/bad, right/wrong, up/down, etc." "We become confused about living because we have received so many mixed messages."

The final question Samuel asked was, "So what can be done about prejudice?"

-Self Examination/Inner Exploration- One needs to change their way of thinking and begin the process of change now!

Our next Café gathering is scheduled for October 9, 1999 at our new location, The Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl St., Boulder, CO. Start time is 6:30 p.m.

Hope to see you there! Invite your friends!

(Please note that there was no report for Cafe No. 43. The Troubadour Bookstore which had been our gathering place was unable to accommodate us the night of September 4, 1999. Boulder Book Store graciously allowed us to hold an "impromptu" gathering that night which is now our permanent location for Café gatherings. Time passed quickly, and due to the confusion in location, there was no regular Café discussion. What few did attend, we enjoyed discussion in the book store's coffee shop.)

Reported by Alessandra


"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."

 

- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.