RESPONSE 3 (Teaera): For this weeks forum we have been assigned a discussion on prejudice. According to our reading for the week prejudice is a view that is held towards a group that is either hostile or negative (Aronson, 2012).
RESPONSE 1 (Kenneth):
This topic for our discussion can be very thought-provoking, or it will create some animosity. Our textbook defines prejudice as, “a hostile or negative attitude toward a distinguishable group, on the basis of generalizations derived from faulty or incomplete information” (Aronson, 2012). To that effect, in my current environment, prejudice is not an obvious problem. Contrary to popular belief, I have not personally witnessed bias of any kind, from any one group towards another, in my 20 years of active duty Army service. Now, as a senior NCO, I have had to deal with Soldiers (of all races, creeds, ethnicities, and religions), that held prejudices of some kind towards another group. For me, I was not concerned with their reasons for having these beliefs. Given my beliefs and my position at the time, I recommended punishment of the Soldier to my Commanding Officer, and let the military justice system do its job from there. For me, tolerance of any discriminatory actions of any kind, towards any person, for any reason, is as good as me being the individual holding that prejudice. A person can argue that the military has not been a shining example of tolerance over its history. To a limited extent, this would be true. As societal norms evolved, and civil rights for all Americans have advanced, the military as a whole as lead the way in being the first to break down imposed barriers.
Case in point, recently the military opened all jobs to females (Tilghman, 2015). For the Army specifically, this means that if a woman wants to be an infantryman, or a tanker, or an Army Ranger, she can do that. Women serving alongside men, in all capacities, makes our Army stronger. This brings up a question. If women can serve in combat jobs historically held only by men, why have professional sports not allowed women to begin playing in the big leagues, such as the NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB? The nation demonized the military for not allowing women to serve in direct combat jobs. No one has done that to any professional sports league, forcing them to integrate women into their team rosters, yet they continue to be supported and praised.
I have never viewed myself as prejudice towards anyone. However, I will say that there are those individuals that I prefer over others. For example, I enjoy talking to people who seem to have a healthy air of common sense. I also prefer individuals that can carry on an intelligent conversation. If I share similar interests with a person, I am more drawn to them and want to share in those interests together. I don’t care about their gender, age, ethnicity, religion, our cultural differences, none of that. It’s those differences that make us stronger as a collective nation. Everyone gets a fair chance to prove themselves to me. All I ask is that I get the same chance with them.
Aronson, E. (2012). The Social Animal (11 Ed.). New York, New York: Worth Publishers.
Tilghman, A. (2015, December 3). All Combat Jobs Open to Women in the Military. Retrieved from Militarytimes.com: https://www.militarytimes.com/2015/12/03/all-combat-jobs-open-to-women-in-the-military/
RESPONSE 2 (Xaiver): In my current environment there isn’t much if any at all any type of prejudice behavior. Being that I am a federal police officer, we are all accustomed to having different backgrounds with the individuals that I work with on a daily. It is a mix of us, age differences, sex differences, race differences, nationality differences and religious differences. What makes it easy for us to work with each other without having or showing prejudice behavior towards one another is the fact that we all served in the military. I wouldn’t say that the military breaks individuals of prejudice behavior, but being that we are all around each other day in and day out working together to get things done. One thing I realized while serving was that we learned to accept each other differences, almost because we had no choice but to. Also that fact that the amount of trouble we could get into while serving in the military or as a government employee is far more harsh than those individuals not working in the military or for the federal government. The mindset plays a factor as well. We development a different mindset serving, become more disciplined, more understanding, more team player like. This is not saying that individuals whom have served or are working in the federal government aren’t prejudice or have prejudice behaviors but it is just not as common. In my life the only time I felt that I was a little prejudice was on my first deployment. Being in Iraq as an 19 year old doing outside the wire missions, I truly believed that ever Iraqi that I saw was a terrorist. It could have even been a toddler I thought they were a terrorist too. I would also find myself being on “high alert”, feeling like I had to watch my back and front, not knowing whom was a bad guy. It wasn’t until I started spending more time with Iraqi’s in general that I realized that not everyone Iraqi was a terrorist. I would ask my self after I realized that not everyone was a terrorist was what led me to truly believe that every Iraqi was a terrorist? The answer that I came to conclude was because of all the news media I had seen, all the intel briefings that I had went to and that fact that anytime terrorist was mentioned, Iraqi was placed in front of it it seemed to me. Therefore, I made myself think that all Iraqi’s were terrorist.
RESPONSE 3 (Teaera): For this weeks forum we have been assigned a discussion on prejudice. According to our reading for the week prejudice is a view that is held towards a group that is either hostile or negative (Aronson, 2012). These views are usually derived from incomplete information that results in a generalization.
I am an active duty army Soldier. As such prejudice is considered a really big problem. We are given annual training on the subject and it is extremely frowned upon and harshly punished if discovered. I have heard story after story of prejudice in the military and in the workplace. In the case of myself I have not experienced any prejudice to myself, however, I have worked with many Soldiers who have had to face prejudice aimed towards themselves.
One example I can think of, that a fellow female Soldier imparted on me, was victim blaming. This female Soldier had been receiving sexual and threatening notes and when she was being interviewed about them her interviewer kept asking her what she had done in order to receive the notes. As described in our reading, this would be classified as victim blaming (Aronson, 2012). This was obviously not her fault but her interviewer was trying to thrust responsibility on her. With this example I do not feel that I work in a prejudice free environment it is simply that I have not been the victim of it therefor I have failed to notice the issues that are present. I do think as of lately there has been less prejudice in the military as when discovered it is dealt with quickly and severely. My husband had to deal with a Soldier who made some extremely negative and sexual remarks about women while at a school required to get promoted to a higher rank. The Soldier was kicked out of the class in less than 24 hours and proceedings were immediately started to kick him out of the Army.
I have realized that I was feeling prejudice towards a group of people. I am ashamed to say that I was raised to have negative views for a specific minority group. When I moved away from my home town and went to college I was able to identify that my views were wrong and disgusting and had to work at rerouting my own belief system. I was surprised to discover my own prejudice. In my home town it was just considered a normal view point, so when I left and discovered how messed up it was it I felt really ashamed of myself and the fact that I had ever accepted such beliefs.