29 October, 2002

On Prejudice

My heart's just not into anything today. Although I went to class this morning at eight a.m., I remember none of the lecture at all. I don't recall falling asleep in class, nor do I recall waking up, so I'm pretty sure that I was awake the whole time; it is just that when the class was over, I really could not remember what it had been about. After class, I ate breakfast, which woke me up enough to pay attention in theology class. I'm glad that I did, too, because my theology class is hard. It's not that it's hard per se; most of my peers don't seem to have any problem with the class. But I'm just not good at memorization. In math, all you have to remember is one simple equation, and then you can rearrange the terms and substitute other terms to make up fifty different equations. Because of this, when I study for my math class, all I do is study one or two equations, and I can just figure out the rest from these original equations. Even if I miss a class, I still do fine on my tests, because even if I've never seen the material before, I can always just derive it from what I do know just by looking at clues in the questions on the tests. But in theology class, I am asked to remember things that don't logically follow. There are many different interpretations of the bible, and if I miss a class, then I don't know which one I am supposed to know for the tests. All it is is rote memorization, and it is very tough for me. But I stick to it. And I'm glad that I do; although I am an atheist, learning about religion is somewhat important to me. It gives me a view of the other side, which is something I don't always get to see.

I feel much better today than I have been feeling in the past. The talk I had with Emp yesterday night really did make me lighten up, even if only slightly. It makes me feel better to talk like that, especially to someone I respect and trust. Boy, it sounds really weird to say that... Yet it's true. Back when I was a different person, Emp was the only person who saw me for whom I really was. He knew, and I knew he knew, and yet it was never talked about. He tolerated me, even at my worst. He deserves my respect. I wonder... Would I respect him as much if he weren't as intelligent? That is a good question, I think. It really cuts to the heart of the matter. Am I prejudiced against unintelligent people? I don't wish to be prejudiced, but perhaps I am. My maternal-maternal-paternal-great-great-grandfather was very prejudiced.

Once, my grandmother was walking home from school with two of her friends and the school janitor, a jubilant black man, jumped out of a hiding spot behind some bushes and yelled 'boo!'. He was that kind of jokester; he always had been, and the students loved it. On this particular occasion, my grandmother and her two friends ran away, terrified (though it was mock terror, of course), and they exaggerated the account to my grandmother's grandfather. Immediately, he became furious when he heard what the friendly janitor had done, and he went straight to the school and beat that poor black janitor very harshly, telling him that he should never scare white girls as he did. From then on, that janitor never again joked with the school kids, and he always walked with a limp. That scares me.

I don't wish to be prejudiced. I intentionally strike up conversations with people of all walks of life, just so I can hear the differing views of each side. For example, I am a staunch capitalist, so once I purposely went to a mission and volunteered my time in a soup kitchen serving to needy people. I talked to many people there and did my best to understand their viewpoint. I had the same problem with homosexuality. I am an extreme heterosexual; just thinking of homosexuality makes me cringe. The fact that homosexuality bothered me was in itself bothersome, so I purposely tried to become friends with a stereotypical homosexual, even going so far as to spend time alone with him both in public places and in my private residence. That particular experiment was a failure, though; I absolutely hated spending time with him. Eventually, I decided that I disliked him because of his personality, and not his sexual orientation, but I think I only came to that conclusion so that I could convince myself to stop spending time with him.

But stupid people are far worse. I cannot stand talking to stupid people. It doesn't bother me so much to be around them or to sit next to them in the movie theater, but I physically cannot get in a conversation with a retard. I know that sounds stupid, but it's true. I've tried it before. I bring up a simple topic of conversation and every facet of their expression and their words and even their very blatant thought processes disgust me. It makes me want to puke. As in actually physically throwing up, just because of my proximity to their stupidity. Of course, this applies only to truly stupid people, like people who actually live in a home specially made for retarded people. But isn't that even worse? Why does it bother me so? They are people, just like you and me, and it's just that they're sick. That's all. They have a diagnosed condition of mental retardation. Why does that fact bother me? Why can't I talk to them?


I don't have any pets. I know why other people do; I would get a pet if it would keep me company. But pets don't keep me company. I can't talk to a pet. I get no response or argument from a pet. To pet owners, this doesn't matter. Their pet is their friend. But to me, I can't befriend a pet. Pets are stupid; they don't understand what I say when I talk to them. Pets can't argue philosophy with me. Thus, I could never enjoy having a pet. It all goes back to me being prejudiced. I don't mean to be. I don't feel that I should be. But I think that I am. And I don't know why.

Do you think, mayhaps, that I have a superiority complex? I am tempted to say no, for I actually consider myself quite humble. But what if subconsciously I view myself as humble so that I seem that much more superior? That's a scary thought. But even worse: what if I fear stupidity because I am afraid that I myself am stupid? I mean, I know I'm not retarded, but I have problems with such simple stuff... I didn't know what a pantry was until I was a teenager. I am unable to believe in the concept of 'good' without tearing such belief to pieces with my infernal logic. Even when I play Magic, I make stupid inane mistakes that I'd never mistake if I were watching over someone's shoulder; yet at Magic tournaments I screw up in ways that a beginner would. The world may consider me intelligent, but what if the world is wrong? What if I am the stupid one, and it is the religious fanatics that are truly in the right? Maybe that is why I am prejudiced. Maybe I am just afraid that I am wrong. ::sigh:: And maybe I just think too much.

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