The Causes Of Prejudice In C. P. Ellis By Terkel

Decent Essays
A terrible experience during the eighth grade has caused me to become prejudiced against Koreans, and believed that they were the most avaricious race of people. Since then this has prompted me to develop a negative notion towards them. During my middle school years, my parents would give my brother and I lunch money for school on a daily basis. Every day after class, we would have to walk to our house which was quite distant from our school. One day, we decided to stop by a store on our way home because we were dying of thirst. After we selected one drink that we agreed to share and went to the counter, we realized that we were short five cents. The store owner told us that we could not purchase the drink unless we had the exact amount of…show more content…
Ellis”by Terkel is an essay that establishes a detailed analysis of the causes of prejudice asserted by Parrillo, one of them being frustration. Terkel narrates the story of C.P. Ellis who is a former Klansmen that claims he no longer depicts racism. From the essay we can identify that Ellis is a white man from a low income society. In order for him to make ends meet, he had to work seven days a week. After struggling for years, he began to get bitter about his situation and started to blame his misfortunes on the black people (Terkel 224). Parrillo argues that frustration derives from the unwanted occurrences in one’s life. When people are unable to succeed, they tend to vent out their dissatisfaction towards people whom they think are the causes of their frustration (218). This theory is substantially evident in our everyday lives because when we feel like something is obstructing our needs or desires, we immediately blame either the situation or subject. My encounter with the Korean store owner clearly illustrates an example of how frustration can provoke an individual to become prejudiced. Prior to my experience, I was never a prejudicial person. However, after realizing how greedy a person can be over money,my mindset completely changed, and this prompted me develop a negative attitude towards Koreans. After reading “C.P. Ellis” and discovering the effects prejudice has on people, I realized how wrong I was to stereotype a certain race. Although I will never…show more content…
If a child is brought up in a family with parents who are openly racist, for example, he or she may might find that they are influenced into being prejudiced against other races themselves. In the same way, the story of Ellis relates to this theory described by Parrillo. Ellis father acted as a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Growing up around his father and being exposed to his negative views and attitudes towards the blacks eventually instilled in Ellis a natural propensity to be prejudice against them (Terkel 222).Ellis explicitly states” The natural person for me to hate would be black people, because my father was a member of the Ku Klux Klan” (Terkel 224). The socialization process plays an important role on Guam. Growing up, my siblings and I were taught to show reverence to our elders by “Amening” or simply kissing them on the cheek. After continually practicing this deed, I often find myself automatically just”amening” any elderly whether they are Chamorro or not. In fact, when I see younger children not practicing this value I tend to consider them being disrespectful, and
Get Access