Okay, I get it, we are tired of talking about these things.
The thing is, we don’t talk about these things because in my opinion no one has explained what exactly they are. So this is my little summary. Then we can have a real discussion.

Perspective the situation and angle from which a view is taken.

This has lots of facets for example, the situation… Single mother of four. These mothers may be of different races, socioeconomic status, nationality etc. which all changes their perspective based on the environment. Example two Single black males making 30,000 a year. One of these guys may go clubbing every weekend while the other banks his money preparing to invest in a business venture and the future. One compares himself to high school friends and one compares himself to the CEO of the company. They have different perspectives because of the direction they look in. at the same time, people on the outside looking in can never share your perspective. so the guy saving may look poor to his friends that never see him spending money. The club hopper appears rich because he flaunts his money. The mothers in the previous example may be respected in some communities and ridiculed in others.

Prejudice an idea that has been conceived without evidence to support it or before evidence has been sought out.
The key is, these ideas have to be made before or without evidence. Example one: teachers that say "The Chinese [or any race or ethnicity really] students [insert behavior here]". This has a few prejudices here. 1: they are implying that they can distinguish Chinese from all other Asian races. 2: that all Chinese students act similarly. 3: the students they interacted with are Chinese. 4: that the issues they describe do not imply to their race or other races. When measured, all these assumptions are usually found to be false.

Often subsequent "studies" or interactions may be created that seem to support these statements but are flawed. For example a "Chinese" student panel may highlight issues the Chinese students face. However, without involving other Asian, international and even domestic students, it is impossible to determine that these issues actually impact ALL students. So the anti-Chinese prejudice is perpetuated. Another part of the prejudice is that students are the problem. Also not true. The academic system is built by teachers administrators and *sigh* lawyers. This equates to blaming the customer for poor service in a restaurant. Again evaluations that focus only on students and where administration is never evaluated start from a biased perspective, driven by prejudice against the intelligence and autonomy of the student.

Most prejudice boils down to: "we are better than everyone else" (sounds like academia to me); "people we know well are better than those we do not" (all racist, classist or ethnic prejudice); and "if you look different you must be different".

Pride a feeling of high worth based on a personal (perceived) accomplishment or attribute.

Here some people have a prejudice to their own group. Their nation, skin color, language, accent, neighborhood, high school, field of study etc. Some pride is independent, objective and self reflective "I graduated!" "Our country made women’s rights a priority!" "We finished a puzzle!". Other sources of pride are comparative. "I am the fastest in my class!" (does this mean everyone else is slower than you?), "America is the greatest nation in the world!" (does this mean every other country is inferior?).
The other side of the coin is statements of low self worth. "I am so fat"; "I am so ugly", "I am so stupid". How does this appear from the perspective of someone who has a higher body mass index, receives fewer compliments or gets lower grades than you. Does that mean they must also be fat, ugly and stupid?

Where do you fall? What are your perspectives? Where do you have prejudices and pride? how do your statements of pride and prejudice affect those around you?

"Those who are incapable of committing great crimes do not readily suspect them in others." -Francois de La Rochefoucauld, aphorist (15 Sep 1613-1680)

Ancilleno Davis, PhD. Candidate
Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology- Miami University, Oxford Ohio

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