Romanians Discuss Prejudice
By Christine Jasper
Licey Teoretic, Romania
Christine Jasper, a Peace Corps volunteer, asked several of her students the following questions about prejudice which appeared in the iearn.hgp conference. Their responses follow.
- Where does prejudice come from and why?
- If you could talk to students from another place about prejudice and stereotyping, what questions would you ask them?
- Have you ever been a victim of prejudice and when?
Collage by Kate Webber
- Prejudice comes from those times when black people were used as slaves. Since then they were treated like lowerclass people. They were thought to be inferior to the whites.
- "Do you think that prejudice and stereotyping negatively influence social relations?"
- No. We think that people exist who are prejudiced when they have in their mind only one way of thinking and judge the problems in their way.
Teodora Muresan and Tincuta Terhes
- Prejudice might come from historical events, ignorance, hate. For example, in the past, our country was invaded by the Turks and, of course, we have a prejudice against them.
- If we could talk to students from other places we would ask them this question: "Have you ever been a victim of prejudice?"
- We haven't been victims of prejudice because we did not get the chance to go to other countries, so we haven't been victims of prejudice.
Sorin Costea and Cristian Balaban
- In our opinion, prejudice comes from history or from some people's ideas about a certain category of persons. Prejudice also comes from ignorance and hate. In the past, there were a lot of wars between some countries, and then the people from those countries started to hate each other.
- If we could talk to people from other countries, we would ask them why they are not trying to live in peace with one another because all people are equal.
Cici Gyori and Edy Pop
- Prejudice comes from the differences between people (the color of the skin, culture, nationalities). Some people are not open to new ideas. They are unyielding because they don't want to change their preconceptions.
- If we could talk to students from another place about prejudice and stereotyping, we would ask: "Do you think that it is our duty to find a way to stop prejudice? Do you think that prejudice is a result of stereotyping, and if it is, in what way does it influence society?"
- No, we have never been a victim of prejudice.
Oana Boldea and Alexandra Malaies
- We think that prejudice comes from ignorance. People who are ignorant are tempted to stereotype others, which leads to prejudice. Stereotyping means to judge a society after a single known model.
- If we could talk to students from another place about prejudice and stereotyping, we would ask them: "Which was first: prejudice or slavery?"
- I was a victim of prejudice. I was in a special German class, and the other children didn't play with us just because we were different. That was when I was a little child. Now most of them envy me because I know another language. That means prejudice can be healed.
Florina Rus and Cristina Cuceuan
- We think that prejudice comes from people's desire to be and to feel superior, to be more powerful. With prejudice, people refuse to understand others, prejudice being a kind of self-protection. Violence stems from prejudice because fear gives birth to hate.
- Our questions would be: "Do you think that people have the right to be prejudiced against someone? When you talk with someone, are you influenced by the color of his skin, by the way he's dressed,, or are you interested in what he thinks, feels?"
- I don't remember that I have ever been a victim of prejudice.
Raluca Muresan and Flavia Cosma
- We believe that prejudice comes from the desire of some people to be better than others. They think that they are superior to others. Sometimes prejudice comes from the people who are not well-informed. Prejudice appears between the people who do not have the same color skin or people who are angry with others from historic problems.
- How do you fight against prejudice and stereotyping?
- I was prejudiced against someone when I was in a bar and talked with my friends about a subject. I wasn't well-informed, and I accused them unfairly.
Ciprian Briscan and Cosmin Zaharia
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