Prejudice

The first time I ever saw a dark skinned person was when I was seven.  I was walking with my Mom down a street in the small town of Easton, Pennsylvania when we happened upon some black men unloading a delivery truck.  Having never seen a man with black skin, I asked her, “Who are they?”  I don’t exactly remember her reply, but she told me that some people think they are different than us.  The first inkling of racial prejudice came to my childhood mind.  Then we moved to north-east Washington D.C.

In Washington I went to an elementary school as one of the three “white kids” in the school.  My sister was one of the other white kids.  We didn’t think there was anything out of place.  However, the white people in our apartment building were always warning my Mother not to let her kids hang out with “the blacks”.  To me this seemed stupid.    They were my class mates.  I later came to hate racial prejudice.  Besides, black people were usually a lot more fun than white people.

In those early years, I prided myself as being above prejudice.  However, now that I have a better understanding of the word prejudice, I realize that feeling superior to those who embraced prejudice was in itself a form of prejudice.  I was separated out from those “prejudice people”, and I could therefore look down on them.  I find that it is in my nature to be prejudice.  I am always looking for ways to show myself better than others.  I may not have been prejudice against black people, but I have many prejudices.

Paul says in Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”  This is the anti-prejudice scripture.  Notice that the term others is not qualified.  It doesn’t say other Christians, or other white people, or other Jewish people.  Therefore, others must be all inclusive.  I can’t justify any prejudice when compared to this word from Paul.  Since it is an inherent tendency, I will fight prejudice in myself for the rest of my life.  With God’s help, I will fight to love others not belittle them.

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