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Prejudice judges a man’s character by his outward appearance. Discrimination deprives a person of the right to have. Segregation deprives a person of the right to belong. Stereotyping deprives a person of the right to be. Racism deprives a person of the right to birth.
It seems ironic that the worst differences between races are exaggerated when brown and pink people are labeled “black and white.” Those very terms themselves begin to polarize our thinking between two extremes, rather than emphasizing the closeness of the two. They emphasize the differences in people, rather than the similarities.
A) Stereotypes Lead To Prejudice. Stereotyping is a lazy way of lumping together all of those who come from a certain class, or a certain occupation, or a certain race, and attributing to each individual the same characteristics of the group. Although something may generally be true of a group, it is not specifically true of each person in that group.
1) Such stereotypes as “Blondes are all dizzy,” “Teenagers are all rebellious,” “All preachers are lazy,” “All men are pigs,” or “All women are temperamental” do not demonstrate our careful, calculated observations. Rather they show our laziness of judgment, and our blind acceptance of some generalization as being the rule.
2) The Bible says that those who judge according to outward appearance are foolish—that we do not see people the way God sees them, “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7).
A) Prejudice Is Ugly. It divides, isolates, and ostracizes people. Prejudice is the mark of an ignorant mind that perceives itself to be enlightened. Prejudice thinks it understands persons or actions before acquiring any actual first-hand knowledge, or before consulting with all the facts. Prejudice has its root in ignorance, and leads to further ignorance.
B) Prejudice Is Blind. After Jesus healed a man who was born blind, and witnessed that man’s faith, He pointedly identified the Pharisee’s prejudice, “And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may be made blind.’ Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words and said to Him, ‘Are we blind also?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, “We see” Therefore your sin remains.’” (John 9:39-41).
C) Prejudice Is A Perception Problem. It is defined as “unfavorable judgment due to partiality.” Likewise, prejudice is never neutral. It reacts strongly either for or against someone or something without knowing the facts. Sometimes it is confused with conviction, but there is nothing that noble about prejudice.
III. RACIAL PREJUDICE
A) Racism Is Not New. It was a problem in Biblical times (John 1:46; 4:9; 8:48; Acts 22:21-23).
B) Racism Uses Crude Descriptions Of People. They are offensive and demeaning. Such ugly slurs should never cross the lips of men and women who are bought by the blood of Christ, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29).
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