Prejudice is an inherent component of human thought and behavior. The term designates the tendency to judge a person or situation based on certain preconceptions; and despite the fact that since the Enlightenment people have tried to assert the absolute dominance of reason, false opinions in different domains have not ceased to circulate. This situation is due to the fact that we are not and never will be omniscient. Even at the level of science, which is supposed to be exact and flawless, errors are permanently found in theories which had been considered fundamental. How cold we then expect popular conceptions regarding different groups to always be correct and unbiased?
Prejudice is a mark of human imperfection. What we do not know we don't understand. And what we do not understand we either reject, or accept the existing theories regarding that subject, no matter how unreasonable these may seem. This may be also seen as a possible source of racial discrimination.
People perceive the representatives of other races as different and have an instinctive reservation in interacting with them. What derives from this situation is the following- white people mostly speak to white people, blacks "stick" with their own etc, and the opinions of each group regarding the other is mostly based on preconceptions and stereotypes.
Preconceptions represent the informational heritage passed from one generation to another, consisting mainly in ideas unfiltered by reason and which are not up-to-date with the latest realities. This damaging inheritance determines all sorts of anachronisms and it holds collective consciousness one step behind the latest scientific discoveries or social realities. This is what determines black people, for example, to sometimes over-amplify incidents when they involve white persons. The white man is still seen as an oppressor, which is undoubtedly a cultural reminiscence from...