Thursday, 7 July 2016

Prejudice

Imagine this: You shuffle into the school cafeteria alone. A bunch of popular teenagers gossip about people. They spot you and point. Oh no, I better look down. You can pick up what they’re saying. 
“OMG she's the ugliest person ever”, 
“poor fashion sense” 
“She's from Africa, no one would want to be her friend”. 
You hug your lunch box, trying to hide behind it. You take a sip from your milkshake. 
“Hey, come sit with us!” shout the ‘uncool’ teens. 
“Hi, you’re the new kid from Africa, aren't you?” Says the mysterious teen. 
“Yeah”  You mumble. 
“ Well, hi” she says.
 “Hi” you reply uneasily. 
“I'm Janice”. Yay! My first friend! 
“I'm Cady” you say confidently. 
“You know that we only asked you to sit next to us because the principal told us to and you're from Africa so we knew you'd have no friends” Oh, I don't even fit in with the uncool kids. “But if you can prove to us that you won't sit next to the plastics then you can be our friend but only if you change your fashion sense, or else we'll look weirder and we already are considered the weird kids” Ok I'll do what they say at least I'll have friends. 
“Oh, and only while have no real friends” Janice sniggers.
*comment if you noticed the movie reference and which movie 😝

Prejudice is when you judge someone through racism, sexism or another way, before you know them. Like if you were just walking around one day and then everyone at school’s sniggering at you. You look down wondering is it the way I dress?, is it something I did? 

I believe as a New Zealand citizen that our country has a serious problem. We are judgement central.We're not the worst, but still we are pretty bad. There was a survey taken a few years ago and it shows that 1 in 10 people over 16 years old that live in New Zealand feel discriminated against, and 55% of those people feel racially discriminated against. Shocking fact: A man with the skin that majority of the country has with a criminal record is more likely to get a job than a man with the skin that the minority of the country has with a clean record.

Not all people in New Zealand feel welcome but there are many ways that can.
1: When you meet the person: Say hello, smile and be friendly because this makes people feel welcome. 
2: See if they would be a good friend: Include them and not treat them differently because why would someone want to be left out just because they are from another race or something stupid like that.
3. Actually become friends with them: Play with them always (well, when they want to), chat to them lots or invite them to stuff with your friends because you need to know about them and if they get along with your friends.

Sadly, there are also ways to make people feel unwelcome. Actually 2 types of ways, behind their back or right in front of them. Behind their back could be whispering, staring and pointing. Right in front of them is pretty obvious, laughing and teasing. I think it is more likely for people to do things behind people's backs and then act nice in front of them and thinking that that is okay but it's just as bad as the other. I find that  the internet is the biggest source of racism, sexism or similar for kids. There are a lot of racist or sexist memes on the internet that can influence kids to join in with the ‘trend’. For example, the meme where it's like parents with a particular type of skin colour are letting them do anything they want and the parents with the other skin colour are really strict. I think that it is important that we let people do whatever they want when they are adults no matter their race, gender or anything. For example there are a bunch of people becoming famous who are of a different race than most famous people,like my two favourite youtubers, Lizzza (2 million subscribers) and iisuperwomanii (9 million subscribers). They both get very racist comments on their videos because they are from India. There are heaps of other people on social media that get prejudice comments too. 


 But everyone experiences prejudice things against them. I think it is important to protest about not bullying people or saying your prejudice thoughts  out loud. I know what it's like to be prejudged because it happens to me a lot for my height (Sorry I meant lack of height), my gender (female if you were wondering), the way I act, people they know from my family, the way I used to be, the list goes on and on. This is one of the many reasons I love writing, so I can let all my thoughts out. Often people say to me “Are you autistic or special needs?” just because they have prejudged me, based on the fact that my sister has a learning disability. I feel stink, actually worse than stink. I feel like a nobody in this world, with no feelings. Then I have to wonder what my sister feels (because nearly everyone says she has autism). If small, nasty comments like these keep going on, then this can cause for you to block away connections from people. If this goes on for forever and gets bigger and bigger it can cause depression, anxiety or even suicide.

I think that to make people feel more welcome we should smile, make a conversation and just be generally kind, because why sit back and watch when you can stand up and help? You might not know this, but when you are new in a class or somewhere else, you would want other people to be kind and make a conversation with you, rather than you have to, because it is natural to feel shy on your first day or week (unless someone else makes an effort). If we all do this, it will eventually spread and people will want to do it too. 

Prejudice is not a good habit, a habit that we need to change. Different people have different experiences on moving to Christchurch. Most have a good experience but others don't. The thing is that the people who get prejudiced against are often from another country. Asians because there is always the stereotype that Asians work too hard and don't focus on being social. Iranians because of religion and some people think that they are all crazy killing people. But the thing with stereotypes is that they are based off famous people or stuff in the media. For Asians, it's all the products that come out of the country. For Iranians it's Isis. What I'm trying to say here is that you should get to know someone before you judge them based on ideas that have nothing to with them.
“Some people think that the world in the future will be full of hate and others think it will be filled with harmony”- Quote by my friend Luke. What this means is that we can fill the future with harmony if we get rid of stereotypes because most wars or fighting are over stereotypes or religion.


By Sophie










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