“There is a big difference between racism & prejudice…” ~ Annette Gray (11/25/2014)
Annette, this is an important statement. While I don’t think it’s possible to be racist without being prejudiced, it is entirely possible to be prejudiced without consciously being, or meaning to be, racist.
For many people, prejudice is something subconsciously visceral; it’s possible to feel a prejudice for a moment before your higher faculties come into play and over-rule it.
Prejudice is not just about race. It can be related to politics, nationalism, music, or almost anything else. This is not to say that prejudice can be less injurious than racism, but I think that true racism is more about conscious intent, making ‘true’ racism closer to evil.
As I see it, part of the function of racial integration in our communities, schools and places of business is to acclimate all of us — but especially our youngsters — to world with many different kinds of people who look, sound, believe, dress and perhaps even smell different, and not seeing or feeling anything remarkable about that. This is a multi-generational endeavor, and the only path to success will require multi-generational effort.