Week 7, Journal entry #1

Confronting Discrimination and Prejudice Namaste!

·  Write a short self-reflection response paper that incorporates these four questions.

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·  A minimum of two pages typed double space should suffice.

·  In order to respond to the third and fourth questions, you will need to view only the first 9-10 minutes of an episode of the ABC-TV series, “What would you do?” The segment centers around a “staged” scenario involving a bakery clerk’s treatment of and refusal to serve a young Muslim woman wearing hijab.

Question #1:

Which famous religious teacher/leader from India is most associated with the teaching of ahimsa—“do no harm to any living being”?

Question #2:

Name 2 or 3 prominent religious figures or teachers and their teachings on the treatment of others. For example, indicate briefly what the Buddha, Christ, Judaism’s Rabbi Hillel, Confucius, or Muhammad might have instructed or commanded regarding attitudes, deeds, words, behavior, and conduct.


Question #3:- 

Students are only required to watch the first episode (10-12 minutes) segment of the ABC series, What would you do? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl_Yp1IVo08  

To complete this journal writing assignment. This is a streaming video and unfortunately, the first image you will see is a woman not exactly putting her best face forward, but rather her backside.We are bystanders just like the customers in the South Texas bakery watching blatant discrimination unfold before our eyes. Students are to answer all four of the questions, and note how #3 calls for interaction with the episode that involves a staged confrontation between (two actors) a bakery clerk and a Muslim girl in hijab trying to buy an apple strudel at a South Texas bakery. Answer the four questions below.

How would you respond and why? (Also consider the provided materials below on stereotypes, and interact with the meaning and significance of stereotyping and profiling.)

Origin of the term stereotype

·  Stereotype is a printer’s term.

·  Molten metal is poured into a form to make an exact impression of what is to be printed.

·  It is a mechanical copy of a prepared form that allows no room for variation

Stereotyping is a short cut…

“The real environment is altogether too big, too complex, and too fleeting for direct acquaintance. We are not equipped to deal with so much subtlety, so much

variety, so many permutations and combinations to circumvent complexity.

And although we have to act in that complex environment, we have to reconstruct it on a simpler model before we can manage it.” Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion (1922)

Stereotyping in part is flawed thinking.

·  A stereotype is an opinion, based on limited information, that considers members of a group to have the same characteristics

·  It is affixed mental picture held by one group by another.

·  It is an oversimplified opinion applied to the whole made without regard for individual differences.

Flawed thinking that includes but is not limited to…

·  Misconceptions; misperceptions

·  Missing facts

·  Incomplete information

·  Insufficient knowledge

·  Limited contact or personal experience

·  Over categorizing; over simplifying

·  Drawing hasty conclusions

·  Bias

·  Add to the mix negative emotions

·  Envy and scapegoating

Stereotyping can lead to prejudice…

·  It is a preconceived attitude or opinion decided on the basis of stereotypes; labeling.

·  It is often fueled by a complex of irrational feelings and fears, contradictory / ambivalent emotions, for instance, a mix of admiration, envy, distrust, and perhaps resentment…. and prejudice to discrimination

·  It is the denial of justice and fair treatment by both individuals and institutions in many arenas, including employment, education, housing, banking, and political rights. Discrimination is an action that can follow prejudiced thinking.

The ongoing challenge:

·  Cultivating thinking skills

·  Develop skills in analyzing or evaluating arguments, interpretations, beliefs, theories, and viewpoints;

·  Separating fact from opinion;

·  Distinguishing relevant from irrelevant facts

·  Distinguishing bias from reason

·  Recognizing fallacies in arguments

·  Correcting erroneous thinking and adjusting behavior

Question #4:

In your personal and professional life, how might you actively apply religious and ethical teachings from religious and nonreligious traditions on the treatment of others?

If you choose to disclose, describe and briefly analyze an incident in which you faced the dilemma of whether or not to confront someone for their mistreatment of another. Consider what did you do and why. How might taking courses like Religions of the World or Religion in America better equip or prepare you to confront discrimination?

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