Thoughts On Prejudice
Darling, we were born innocent. We came into the world with no prejudice. By the time we reached young adulthood, our experiences played a huge role in influencing our behavior. Our mothers were the center of our young world who taught us the importance of strength of character and showed us by her actions, moral strength. And, our teachers and friends of choice played an enormous role. Our teachers, if we were lucky, opened the window of our minds to question and be curious. And our peers, culture, and religion were very strong influences.
It’s Not Easy Growing Up
None of us found growing up easy because the fact is, it isn’t. The first 18 years of our life is lesson upon lesson. Our mothers taught us a moral code of ethics that we internalized and developed into our strength of character, our behavior. Our experiences left us with impressions, one being prejudice.
I am writing in the first person but I do believe I am writing your story too because our generation grew up with a healthy structure… but not without its flaws.
“Prejudice is based on stereotyping different categories, groups, because it is easier to pick on an entire group than individual by individual,” says psychologist, Gordon Allport the author of The Nature of Prejudice. He continued, “The human mind must think with the aid of categories. Nevertheless, prejudice and stereotyping are mental mistakes.”
The Thoughts of a Mother
A few nights ago, the second night of the lockdown and riots in Chicago, my Ultimate Concierge and I took our pooch America for his nightly walk. We live in the middle of the city so the sound of sirens filled the air, our building’s glass doors and windows were boarded up and the streets were empty of traffic except for three young males on motorcycles who roared past us.
Lying in bed later that night I thought about motherhood. I wondered if the mothers of the boys on motorcycles were worried about their son’s whereabouts. As well, I thought of George Floyd’s mother suffering over the grief of her son’s senseless and brutal murder; I thought about the four mothers who raised sons, now charged with murder. Then, I wondered about the mothers watching television thinking they recognized their child looting a store or burning down buildings that innocent people owned. I could feel their feelings… as could you, because we belong to a special sorority called, Motherhood.
The Police, Protestors, a Conscience, and Prejudice
I, like you, had a very difficult time watching the murder of George Floyd and finally turned and left the room. My initial thought: “Why didn’t the three policemen pull the other policeman off of Mr. Floyd? How could they stand and watch?”
Then, I watched young adults breaking into stores, looting, setting fires, and destroying buildings and businesses of innocent owners.
I feel many protestors were marching because they were receiving payment for the job. Many lacked the backbone to say ‘no’ to their peers. And many were angry at the world and their parents. Many were prejudiced against authority; the police force. Lastly, I wondered how many were brainwashed?
I know many protestors care about the murder of George Floyd. But, many marched because of their own private agenda. I wondered how many of them lacked a conscience. I was repulsed.
How Did the Mother’s Feel?
How did these mothers feel, not including George Floyd’s, knowing or wondering if their young adult child was looting and burning down buildings? Did they wonder if their child lacked a conscience, “An inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior.” – New Oxford American Dictionary.
I feel sad for the great mothers who are suffering because of their children’s actions. They must be asking themselves, “Where did I go wrong?” I can feel their despair and disappointment and I hurt for them. I also have some compassion for the moms who wish they had been better mothers. But, it is never too late.
Without Law and Order?
As a mother and a grandmother, I am enraged that the good kids have to live in a world of this extreme upheaval. I am fearful for my family if police protection will be put on hold. How can civilization survive without law and order? It cannot.
I am grateful. I am very proud of our children and grandchildren. Our children and grandchildren are strong young Americans who love their country and believe in the rule of law. They love their fellow man until that fellow man gives them a reason to no longer love them.
Would I leave America at my stage of life? The answer is yes. If our family was in harm’s way and this un-American way continues to grow, yes I would leave for safety reasons and make a new life. I have no fear to start a new life.
The Moral of My Story
America and I were taking an early morning walk. Walking time with my pooch is a time to reflect.
I kept asking myself why and how could these four policemen and thousands of protestors behave in this manner? I came to my own conclusion: All roads lead back to the first 18 years of our lives. Our lessons and experiences are stockpiles of thoughts and emotions that form our behavior.
I thought about my mom and dad. I thought about growing up in Kankakee by the Sea. And, I thought about my peers. I thought about my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Darling, I thought about the first 18 years of my life… I bent down and hugged my pooch and out loud I said, “Thank you all for being positive influences in my growing up years.”
Readers, please share your opinions with me. This is a reflection of my own thoughts and experiences, I am open and would love to hear yours. Please leave them for me in the comments at the bottom of this page.
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