Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Prejudice vs. Preference

A couple of nights ago I sat down to watch a movie called "Something New". If you haven't seen this movie, I'll give you a short synopses. It's about a career driven woman (African-American) who gets set up on a blind date with a free-spirited young man (Caucasian) and she's put off by his race but is intrigued and surprised that she's actually attracted and interested in him. She hires him as her landscaper, allotting for them to spend a good deal of time together. Long story short, they enjoy a quiet meal at her home after he'd worked in her yard all afternoon and they get on the subject of race and dating. He says something to the effect of "So, you don't do white guys, huh?" And she says, "I happen to prefer black men. It's a preference not a prejudice." And of course, it made me think. Preference and not a prejudice. This isn't one of my usual ranting blogs this is actually one that I'd like to generate a discussion about. My question is, is there really a difference? If you prefer one thing over another aren't you displaying a type of bias? And is that really a bad thing? We usually take prejudice to mean something awful and horrid and have a tendency to associate it with segregation and the Civil Rights Movement - and with good reason. But if you prefer one thing or person - in this case - over another for personal reasons are you wrong for that?

1 comment:

Johnathan said...

I love that you brought this up for discussion and you make an admirable point by asking is there a difference. In other words, I know what you mean: but in reality there is a HUGE difference and there is in fact something wrong with one of the words and nothing at all wrong with the other. To have a preference or an affinity to one thing as opposed to another is a perfectly safe and healthy state of mind. It speaks of strong self knowledge and clear understanding of personal boundaries and desires. Now, the difference is prejudice speaks of making up your mind about one thing or another prematurely. The root of the word being prejudge leaves one to assume that not much knowledge about a particular subject is considered in the judgement of that subject one way or another. I do believe there is a tremendous injustice when something is dispositioned without knowledge of or being educated about that "something". I hope that makes sense along the lines of your question Ash. The Blog is hot...keep it Pushin Mama