Prejudice is an idea or opinion that is not based on fact, logic or actual experience. Prejudice examples are found in negative attitudes, especially when it displays itself as intolerance towards another person or group. Some prejudice examples are as follows: Class prejudice usually occurs when people of a higher strata discriminate against the tastes and choices of individuals from a different, usually of a lower strata.
Historical acts of Prejudice and Discrimination in Canada
These instances are far too many to enumerate. However, a few instances that fit the category of an example of prejudice need mention. Canada being a land of immigrants had to fight prejudice and discrimination against the many cultures and people who went there to call the country their home. Prejudice against different people who came to settle in Canada was experienced as and when they migrated. The earliest instances of discrimination were between Europeans and the Aboriginal people in Canada. Europeans considered them to be without Christian beliefs or having the needed skills to have mastery over machinery. These factors led them to be regarded as inferior to the European race. In some cases, they even refused to allow Aboriginals access to their own customs and religion.
In extreme conditions, the Europeans forcibly converted many of them into Christianity. About the mid 1800’s when the fur trade ended between the Europeans, the Aboriginal people became an obstacle to white settlement. Europeans needed Aboriginal land and removed them from their property. By the 18th century, the government began a policy of confining Aboriginal Indians to small pieces of land, called reserves. Indian affairs were settled by the government without prior consultation. Aboriginal children were sometimes removed from their families and sent to far-off residential schools.
Other examples of prejudice in Canadian society are exemplified in the abstention of women to vote. The holocaust of World War II took place because of a prejudice towards the Jews. Many Jews were turned away because the Canadians did not believe that they could assimilate the Jews in their society. Examples of prejudice and discrimination reveal themselves in racism which was a driving force behind the Transatlantic slave trade. Similarly, the Chinese people who built the railroads throughout the West were victimized not allowed to associate with white people.
French and British Prejudice
The animosity between French and English settlers had its roots when the French population was placed under British rule The French were largely Roman Catholic and the English were largely Protestant. The war between these two groups resulted in one of the strongest rifts in European society . However, the French Canadians fought and won their right to religious practice from the British people. It was quite a victory as the same rights that were not enjoyed by the Catholics in Europe. The tussle between the French and British Canadians continued onwards until in 1867, hoping to end the war between the two groups, the French-speaking province of Quebec was born.
White and Black Prejudice
Blacks were brought to North America from Africa as slaves. There were about 1100 Black slaves in New France in 1759. The LOYALISTS brought about 2000 slaves until in 1834, slavery was abolished in Canada. As a result, many escaped American slaves fled to Canada via a secret route called the underground railroad. Nevertheless, Blacks were allowed only the most menial jobs. They were refused admittance to white churches, hotels, restaurants, theaters, and swimming pools. Instead they were allowed to go to only segregated schools. Today, the picture for Blacks in Canada have considerably improved. They belong in all strata of Canadian society and have a higher level of education than whites. Unfortunately, they still face discrimination in some places.
Over the past quarter-century, the federal governments implemented legislation to combat hate. Under the hate propaganda legislcourtation, the government of Canada took individuals, eg, KEEGSTRA and ZUNDEL to stop them from spreading their ideology. While blatant racism is uncommon examples of racially prejudicial beliefs are still evident. Today, racism and discrimination is experienced more by minorities. Statistical analysis predicts that by 2017, more than twenty percent of the population will be of a minority group and more government programs in place to prevent future acts of racial prejudice.
Examples of Prejudice today
As far as examples of current forms of prejudice, interracial marriages were prohibited in most states. “Racial profiling” is still used by the Department of Homeland Security. Same-sex couples are allowed to marry in some states, but not others, and even if married in their home states are denied the Federal benefits given to opposite-sex married couples. Women specifically have been targeted for using their civil rights. Some have remarked that they have to pay more for car repair than men.
One woman comments on a prejudice example where “a former boyfriend of mine worked in the repair department at a dealership years ago and told me that they had a higher “women’s price” for every service. It was an actual code in the computer!” Other prejudicial instances where women have been the targets of discrimination have taken place during job interviews. Women are often asked inappropriate questions about child care. Some are routinely grilled on whether or not they are parents or if they intend to become parents. Many women have been relieved of their positions due to pregnancies.
Unfortunately, one of the most prevalent form of prejudice comes in the form of discrimination in obtaining housing. Renters have routinely experienced the wrath of landlords who tell them that no children are allowed or that they will not rent to people under a certain age limit. There is discrimination against same sex couples who wish to either rent or own their home. Housing discrimination can often be subtle. Harassment towards renters or home stay persons can take place in the form of sexual aggression such as inappropriate gestures towards the individual who might be a care giver in the home who is then forced to move out.
Immigration and Prejudice
Historically, harassment towards immigrants has been common. Some who migrated to Canada have faced bigoted insults. An example of such an instance is well described in this scenario: “A Japanese family has recently immigrated to Canada. Their son who attends the local school has been bullied because of his Japanese heritage. He is frequently pushed around and told to “go back home”. The parents complain but the school will not take action against the racist behavior and the bullying continues. The grief stricken student fails to attend school and his grades suffer dramatically.” Another stark example of institutional prejudice is the Chinese head tax that assumed that immigrants would be a burden on white society. From 1880 to 1885 Chinese immigration was allowed to ensure the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. A more recent example is the migration of Mexican seasonal agricultural workers. These “coloured” workers were considered racially suited for physical labour but not worthy of becoming future citizens of Canada.
The Forms of Prejudice
Prejudice in the form of race, class, gender, sexuality, age, and property has not ceased over time. In fact the current use of racial slurs reveal the extent to which prejudice is well and alive in society. For example, the term “Anchor Baby” refers to Mexicans, children of parents who crossed the border illegally. It is a not so veiled reference to their adulthood. At that time, they will be able to become the family “anchor” to legally bring in the rest of the family. Virulent prejudice examples are those in which an Asian family is referred to as an ancient Chinese Secret. While laws have somewhat stemmed the flow of hatred, individual instances of bigotry are rising at an alarming rate in nations. Concerned people should voice their fears about prejudice to law makers and authority figures in their counties, states, and nations. Without action, the problems will not disappear, they may merely be hidden for the time being until one day your child or spouse or yourself becomes a victim of hate. Such an act of barbarity might be prevented by being proactive and putting people who engage in hate in any form on notice. Inertia is not citizenship. Political freedom has to translate into human freedom for people of all shapes, sizes and colors to live together and prosper under a common mandate of humanity.