All right, I'll admit it. I'm prejudiced.
It's not what you think. I don't think myself above women, black people, latinos, immigrants, arabs, homosexuals, or the Dutch. (The Dutch one was as close call, though.)
My problem is my perception. I've had a relatively easy life. I naturally assume that others have had an equally difficult/equally easy life as well. It's hard for me to think that people are denied any kind of amenity in life based on their social status. I think two things when faced with a story of someone being put down because of society's perspective on them: First, I think "Come on. When I'm denied a job/college entrance/promotion/whatever, I can usually think of a few good reasons why they're right as well as a few good reasons why they're wrong. I can give them the benefit of the doubt, why can't you?" Secondly, I think "I wouldn't treat them that way, and I can't think of instances where I've been treated that way. I think they're just saying it to rattle the cage and make some noise so that they can mentally overcome whatever legitimate shortcoming they do have."
My old perception was wrong. But, I don't think the issue can be so easily simplified-- in one direction or in any other. I have become convinced, primarily from getting older and partaking directly or indirectly in others' experiences, that there are those out there who are disparaged for reasons abhorrent to the majority of people out there. However, I think that it happens more than I'm prone to admit. The difference now with me is that I've let go of whatever guilty feelings I had that motivated me to identify with potential bigotry and deny its existence altogether. No white man wants to feel the weight of society's sins on his shoulders. And it's hard not to because whatatever European and American ancestors I have, I'm sure that many of them were directly or indirectly involved in the root causes of many of our social ills of today, be it slavery, anti-suffrage, anti-immigration, or anti whatever.
But not me. At least not knowingly. Whatever sins I have committed, I need to and will repent of them.
I think there is worthy fuel for the fire, so to speak. I think that minority and gender causes are true and noble. However, I cannot agree with many tactics nor the gamut of reasoning for the causes.
I think Satan will foment whatever environment he can to counteract the principles of the Gospel. Many women have become falsely convinced that all men are their enemies, that motherhood is cowardly, small and unfulfilling. Sadly, it's an easy fight for Satan. How many men demean their wives? How many men are threatened by a change in the status quo? How many marriages are devoid of the pursuit of perfection through knowledge, spirituality, and mutual respect? In the same vein goes the fight for many minorities. I can't imagine how easy it is for Satan to convince a young black man to hate white men because he was the victim of racial hate speech, racist jokes, or racial slurs. The natural reaction to be angry and frustrated is a breeding ground for a returned hatred, rebelliousness, and vengeance. These feelings don't let the Spirit in. They don't bring us closer to God. They create enemies both when they're present in the guilty party and in the victim.
It is a sad truth that there are a great many social injustices in the world, in America, today. I believe that there are far more than I imagined in my sheltered upbringing. I have since changed my views to be more-- dare I say it-- liberal. But I remain convinced that rancor is not the solution. Angry fighting will not get us as far as forgiveness, courage, prayer, and faith. Not only is Satan poisoning us with bitterness but he turns men against women. Women are men's greatest allies, and men are women's greatest allies. He perpetuates negative stereotypes on both sides of the race fence so long as we remain committed to our hurt and anger. If a black man was the recipient of harsh denigration at the hands of a white man, here is his greatest opportunity to be Christlike and forgive if for nothing other than the sake of forgiving a fellow child of God.
In the meantime, those guilty of disgusting sins of pride and hate deserve themselves and whatever apt punishment our society can mete out upon them. If our society could only embrace the Gospel, those responsible for spreading their ill fated ideas would be rooted out and no one would listen. Our families would share positive stories and we could sow love, friendship, and healing.
It is my opinion that forgiveness is the best way to fight these injustices. Forgiveness is a core concept of the teachings of Christ, and best implemented by faith in His redeeming power. Our social ills can be cured by His teachings, and it is my hope and prayer that they will be.