Essay on Prejudice

641 Words Dec 25th, 2012 3 Pages
Causes of Prejudice

Racism and prejudice have always existed in human history. Many persons have tried to explain and find the reason to such human behavior towards another group of people. Such researchers are the hope of many to see the racial discrimination ending. Vincent N. Parrillo, through his essay, "Cause of Prejudice" tries to explain the reason of racism and discrmination in the U.S. Parrillo divides his essay in two parts, one for the psychological causes and one for the social reasons. In the first part, Parillo cites the main psychological causes as levels of prejudices (cognitive, emotional and action-oriented), self-justification, personality and frustration. In the second part he deals with the social reasons which
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Ellis’ racist behavior. Looking at his childhood, Ellis comes from a low-income family. Because he was poor, his clothes were not appropriate and he was humiliated by his classmates. Ellis felt like he was inferior comparing to the others. At seventeen, his father died and he had to work to support his family. He worked at a gas station, got married and had four children. One of his children was retarded and blind, which cost Ellis a lot more money for the care. Then he took a loan to buy the gas station, but two months before the end of the payment, he got a heart attack and did not make the repay. All this misfortunes made him really frustrated. As a consequence, Ellis started to blame the black people for his tragedy. In fact, Parillo explains in his essay that “frustrations tend to increase aggression toward others” (583). Moreover he says that “the frustrated individual or group usually redirects anger against a more visible, vulnerable, and socially sanctioned target” (583). This is exactly what happens when Ellis says “I didn’t know who to blame. I tried to fond somebody. I began to blame it on black people. I had to hate somebody” (593). Ellis felt that he had to find a way to redirects his frustration on somebody else. Because he was so unlucky, he needed people he could blame because it is always easier to make somebody

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