ECIDUJERP -- PREJUDICE: Either Way It Doesn't Make Sense by Irene & Betsy Bliss Gersten

ECIDUJERP -- PREJUDICE: Either Way It Doesn't Make Sense

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This well meaning but flabby attack on prejudice might conceivably be used as a class discussion starter, and the example of an Iowa fourth grade class that learned about discrimination first hand by mistreating first the brown-eyed and then the blue-eyed pupils might make an impression on children who haven't heard of it before. Mostly though the argument is just too vague and superficial to provide either understanding or ammunition. For example, the authors blame Levittown residents' attacks on a new black family on the fact that they didn't view the newcomers as individuals, but they never examine the real estate myths and realities that prevail in such situations or any of the whites' reasons for feeling threatened. Similarly they announce that in most countries women are treated unfairly bemuse they are thought ""not to be as good as men"" -- but sexists' arguments like those of racists are far more sophisticated than that (and what about the pedestal approach?). They predict that people will ""bend"" the Civil Rights laws as long as they continue to hate and fear those whom they regard as different but never investigate the psychology of hate and fear, their suggestions for ""what you can do"" -- take a long, hard look at yourself and other people, read and watch TV about different ways of life, search out friends of different races and backgrounds -- recalls some unprintable mock slogans for Brotherhood Week, and when they report that ""a society tends to break down when the rules that govern the society are different for different groups. . . there must be some specific general (?) ways of behaving. . . . No one should have special privileges or opportunities,"" it seems that the authors might benefit from a long, hard look at world history.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1974
Page count: 72pp
Publisher: Franklin Watts