The Personal Side of Bias, Prejudice, and Oppression


A time I can remember witnessing someone being the target of oppression was when a close friend of mine recounted to me a story of when he dated a white girl (he is black) and made arrangements to purchase a plane ticket and visit her family for Easter. Only later did he find out that his girlfriend’s grandmother was uncomfortable with him spending time with the family and gave them an ultimatum: either she would be attending Easter festivities with the family or he would; the two could not jointly attend.

Prejudice in this situation clearly diminished equity in that the grandmother and ultimately family chose to uninvite my friend solely based on his difference in race. There was nothing he could have said or done differently to effect change in this decision.

For me, I can remember sobbing after hearing my friend describe this experience and see how clearly it affected him. I remember truly realizing in that moment that racism still existed and did so on the basis of ignorance and hate. While up until that time, I was unaware that racism still occurred, I realized that ignorance and hatred are characteristics that will always exist, therefore racism will be difficult to ever truly overcome.

In order for this situation to be turned into an opportunity of greater equity, the family and grandmother’s attitude regarding prejudice and racism would have to change. Hatred would have to turn into compassion and love. Prejudice would have to turn into acceptance and empathy. Ignorance would have to turn into knowledge and understanding.


3 thoughts on “The Personal Side of Bias, Prejudice, and Oppression

  1. Renee,

    This is a very sad situation. It hurts my heart that sometimes it seems as though we haven’t progressed much. I hope that your friend was able to find someone who will accept him for who he is. Hopefully one day discrimination will be a thing of the past.



  2. Ressa

    Hi Rene,

    I also spoke of a similar situation. It makes me mad a young, black lady in 2015 and know that African American’s are still subjected to such treatment. I have not experienced it in the way your friend has, but I have experienced it and it is sick. I can only imagine how he felt. So did the relationship work out?
    Great Post!
    Theressa Lee


  3. Hi Renee, I enjoyed reading your discussion post on oppression, prejudice, and bias. The world we live in today should be different, So many people have chosen an alternate lifestyle; some being same-sex, different race, etc. Years ago, I could see that being an issue before the civil rights movement, but I really thought we were way passed that issue. For some people, they are still living in the past and believe in the same decisions that mattered years ago, but I’m glad the younger generation today can ignore the ignorance and live freely. Great discussion.


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