A helpless teen guy, beaten and mugged, left on the street. When asked by police what happened, he is eventually turned away, and the assailants never searched for to be charged with the crime. One crucial detail separates this crime from most others; the guy that was beaten was gay. Prejudice and stereotypes are a common part of today’s world, but they hurt and degrade others and both are morally wrong. Whether it is based on race, gender, sexuality, or another difference than the common human being, people will almost always find a way to make themselves seem better, and others seem worse, based on physical or social traits.
A main form of prejudice is in the form of bullying, whether in school or online. Kids and teens are teased because of embarrassing events and/or differences from the “norm” of society. Facebook posts, text messages, and phone calls can all be used to taunt and harass someone over a long period of time. New words are even being used to describe the prejudice ever present in today’s world. Cyber bullying, flaming, outing, all are used to describe different, hurtful aspects of prejudice. The common teen is exposed to almost five hours of media a day. Over that period of time, hundreds of thousands of hurtful messages, posts, and texts are being sent back and forth. The main receiver of these hurtful media items are usually of a separate from the normal group of people.
Secondly, prejudice clouds judgment and the ability to think things through. Gays aren’t allowed to marry most states because of a reason. The reason is that people feel that the family dynamic would be drastically changed and marriage wouldn’t mean the same. Marriage is the union of two humans who love each other. The only difference between two gays marrying and a man and a woman is the number of genders in the ceremony. Also, many rights of gays are being restricted based on common stereotypes and rumors. For example, gays may be refused the ability to give blood based on the common stereotype that all gays have AIDS or HIV. Many people of all races, religions, or sexualities are shunned from society in general without any given reason, except they are who they are.
A main reason prejudice and stereotypes are still a main part of today’s world is fear. The people that are being hurt or morally degraded are afraid of standing up for themselves. The minute they try and put an end to the bullying and prejudice, their lives will be even worse with more harassment and rumors. Also, people are afraid to stray too far from the “norm” for fear of being unaccepted. Gays, people of different religions, and people of different opinions constantly cover up their “true identity”, and try to fit into public, when they are really just living a lie. The people that do show their true colors, or ideas, have the fear of rejection. There is almost always that one person that will find a fault with them, and that person can convince others what is wrong or right according to their own ideas. Fear is what fuels a lot of decisions that can either be beneficial or harmful.
The choice to support someone, or to tear them down, is evident almost every day. Prejudice and stereotypes are a common part of today’s world, but they hurt and degrade others and both are morally wrong. Degrading someone for personal gain or benefit is a cruel way to become the “popular” person. Everyone is given a life to live on this planet, and everyone has the right to live that life with as much joy and happiness as possible. Prejudice and stereotypes destroy that sacred piece, called life.