Saturday, August 4, 2012


“Prejudice is the reason of fools”
French Philosopher and Writer
What memory do you have of an incident when you experienced bias, prejudice, and/or oppression, or witnessed someone else as the target of bias, prejudice, and/or oppression? Keep in mind that one can encounter such incidents in real contexts, including online environments, as well as in fictional ones, such as movies, books, television shows, and the like.
Prejudice is an attitude, opinion, or feeling formed without adequate prior knowledge, thought, or reason (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). The incident of prejudice that I witnessed was when my husband called one of his clients and stated the company name, and who he was and that he was on his way to her home in an hour. She asked him was he black and he stated yes.  She then told him that she did not want a “nigger at her house.  The lady was prejudice toward African Americans and she made it known through her attitude and conversation over the phone.  He then called his supervisor and they said for him not to approach her property and he didn’t, instead a Caucasian male had to go to the lady’s house.

In what way(s) did the specific bias, prejudice and/or oppression in that incident diminish equity?
This incident diminished equity because, this lady attitude showed that Caucasians are dominant and many of them will never respect African Americans, perhaps age is the reason for prejudice, but it is still no excuse to make another human being feel unwanted and demeaned by hurtful words. 

What feelings did this incident bring up for you?
It was very hurtful, because in 2012 you do not think that people would still talk that way to people, but they do.
What and/or who would have to change in order to turn this incident into an opportunity for greater equity?
Personally, I am striving professional and personal for social equity, but in this case the lady would have to make the effort to eliminate her negative views, attitude, and behavior toward people.  Furthermore, for greater equity, we must learn to treat everyone with respect.

Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J. O. (2010). Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves. Washington: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).


  1. Hi Tamieka,

    You are right! There is never any excuse for using hurtful or demeaning words against another. Such attitudes sadden me.

    Prejudice is expressed in many ways and against all walks of life.

    My husband is caucasian and spent many years in the military. While in Fort Benning Georgia, he was invited by a Black friend to attend a barbeque. When he arrived, he instantly knew he was the only white person in attendance, as he was asked to leave. He graciously left and his friend appologized for the actions of the group and left with him. What a great friend.

    It is sad that prejudices are everywhere and affect so many people. Some would say that it served my husband right, that white people deserve to feel the pain their ancestors caused. I say that "two wrongs do not make a right". I sincerely hope that some day we all rise above the standards that have been set by our predecessors.

    I think it would be a great challenge for that woman to change her attitude and behavior towards others. I am not saying it cannot be done. However, change for some is a difficult task when they have spent years practicing the art of being prejudice.

    Tell you husband that I am sorry he had to endure such behavior.


  2. Hi Tamieko,

    Prejudice can try to hold the most strong of us back. I really like to quote you posted about prejudice. As an African American we still face prejudice today in this times.

  3. Tamieko,
    Talk about a microassault! I too sometimes think that it is generational. The more diversity that future generations endure, the more accepting, in my opinion.

  4. Tamieka,
    It can be very hard to deal with prejudice. Being the bigger person by not getting mad and being as professional as possible can be difficult to do. In my experience, I have had parents of whom I knew didn’t think fondly of black people. I had to “swallow my pride” in parent teacher conferences, put on a smile, and act like it didn’t bother me. My parents always reinforced that thought of “kill them with kindness”.

  5. There may be someone that works with you or worships with you or shops where you shop that is racist, prejudice, or bias and you may not know it. I have been to a grocery store where the other people look at me like 'why are you at our store? Don't you people shop closer to your home. Downtown at that not to clean store. It is still here and its everywhere.
    My brother worked for a natural gas company and he told us how the white people did not want the blacks doing anything to their homes. If something was wrong the company needed to send out the right people to do the work.
    One day we will be equal. We will all be treated the same. The day is coming, just not sure when but it is coming.

  6. Just a reality check for us that we never achieved what we think we did and that the Civil Rights Movement is not over.
    And yet, when I told my undeniably old-fashioned mom that I was about to marry my wife (an African-American-Cherokee) a woman with multiple Master Degrees, she looked at me and said, only partly in jest, "Are you sure you're good enough for her?!"

  7. I enjoyed reading all of your comments! Thank you all for sharing your insights on these sensitive topics that only make us stronger!