[lit-ideas] Re: Muslim Prejudice

  • From: Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2011 11:48:20 -0500

This is exactly the reason that so many writers write so passionately about the importance of libraries in their young lives. Books can show you the possibilities when nothing in your environment will. And it's no wonder that those young people, so profoundly awakened from their slumber, need to write themselves.

I'm particularly reminded of Annie Dillard's homage to her childhood library experiences (visiting friends, she called it) in her memoir An American Childhood.

Even more poignant (because of her impoverished chidhood in the deep south) is Dorothy Allison's ode to libraries.

Thanks, Mike, for bringing these to mind,

On 27/01/2011 10:59 AM, Mike Geary wrote:
Doesn't Eric's definition depend on what is meant by "experiences"? I know from having lived my formative years and 90% of my adult life in Memphis that when one's social milieu is drenched in bigotry and prejudice, it's a miracle to escape sharing that prejudice. How many times does one have to be told by one's society "They live like animals", "these people are savages", "these people can't be trusted" until one starts experiencing those others in the ways one has been taught to experience them? I took Eric's definition in that light. We become prejudiced by being taught the prejudice and coming then to experience the other through the prejudice. Prejudice need not be towards other peoples. In fact, I would argue that 99% of what we believe and how we conduct our lives is through prejudice. We were taught how to conceive the world and we experience it as we were taught.

Mike Geary

On Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 2:51 AM, Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx <mailto:mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

        Eric: Prejudice is NOT by definition "a form of unjustified and
        > false belief." It is rather a blanket judgment about a group
        > or class of people or things that has developed as a result
        > of the experiences of the prejudiced person

        Judy: I have never seen a definition of prejudice --
        pre-judgment -- that did not in some way accord with Donal's
        suggestion, rather than yours.  Can you link to a dictionary
        definition that matches yours?

    Wikipedia: "Prejudices are abstract-general preconceptions or
    abstract-general attitudes towards any type of situations, object,
    or person."

Merriam-Webster 11th Collegiate: [second definition] "preconceived judgment or opinion"

    See? It is still possible to discuss "prejudice" without
    immediately imposing the conditioned moral aversion terminology.
    Thus one may discuss how social prejudices arise from commonly
    observed behavior and become generalizations.

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