Prejudices are Changeable

Prejudice is defined as an unfavorable attitude and behavior towards other people. History has witnessed the pernicious effects of prejudices in the form of genocides, holocausts and colonialism. The most useful tool for expressing prejudice has been language, therefore it is regarded that we can change peoples attitude and prejudices if we if we can change the language they use. Prejudice and discrimination can be both subtle and blatant (Kupetz 37). The relationship of language with prejudice is very strong as the words are the currency of prejudice (Rauch). Purists who aim to eradicate a single tint of prejudice from the society are of the view that as language has been used by the propagandists and biased ones to bring harm to the society, such language must be scrutinized strictly. They also believe that peoples attitude and prejudice can be changed if the language they use is altered in its very nature.

On the other hand some of the writers, mainly pluralists, are against the view of changing language to eradicate prejudice. Prejudices may not be all pernicious in its entirety and therefore need not to be eradicated from any society but the greater need is to channel these prejudices in the positive direction to make the most of it. This is the main reason that some of the journalists have resented the options for abolishing prejudices from the society. Jonathan Rauch is one of the writers who argue that by investing more on prejudices we can be able to take advantage of the underlying prejudices in any society. In his article, In defense of prejudice why incendiary speech must be protected, Jonathan Rauch announces that his article is not for defending any kind of prejudice rather his article is favoring for intellectual pluralism (Rauch). The racist expression is a fruit of freedom of expression and in order to access the progress of knowledge and advancements of science, one has to swalow the bitter fruit of prejudice and accept that for as thickheaded and wayward animal as us, the realistic question is how to make the best of prejudice, not how to eradicate it (Rauch). Prejudices are changeable but the real utility of prejudices can be in using them rather than altering their forms. As Rauch defends the reviving of prejudices on the ground that if intellectual pluralism is promoted in a society prejudices can be made socially productive by pitting prejudice against prejudice and dogma against dogma exposing all to withering public criticism (Rauch). Pluralism, defines Rauch, is the principle that provides space for the minorities against whom the prejudices of a society are targetted. These minorities include the criminals and gay, etc. although they, dissidents, are responsible for the progress of a society. The real threat to pluralism, that defends prejudices to an extent, is from purism which aims to wash away the tints of prejudices without paying heed to the consequent injustices on the subjects of prejudices.  Purism campaigns against the language that is an efficacious tool for prejudice. Rauch holds the view that language does not reflect a persons feelings in all cases, as in Mark Twains novel Huckelberry Finn the use of nigger does not make the book an act of hate speech , and it is an ironic fact the mere utterance of the word nigger by a non-white is a racist act (Rauch).

Some of the researchers see the prejudice as a serious psycological issue that must be given full treatment through guidance and reforming ones attitudes and behavior towards other human beings.But the important point is that prejudice can be changed through language. The need is to implement changes from the authorities to design policies to secure the weaker and stigmatized sections of the society. While the view of utilizing prejudice in a better way also holds an impact if it is applied in the society. But due to the strong relation of language and prejudice the real need for the law enforcing authorities is to pay constant heed to the abuse of language by the prejudiced souls.


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