The Pros And Cons Of Religious Stereotypes In America

1020 Words5 Pages
All Muslims are terrorists, Jews are greedy bankers, and America is a Christian country. These represent only a few of the many stereotypes causing negative perceptions toward minority religious groups. Every day, religious groups across America experience some form of discrimination because of such stereotypes about their beliefs. Hate crimes and discrimination are on the rise, increasing by 31% since last year (“19 Dramatic”). Teenagers in our society and specifically at Blue Valley West High School, are victims of false religious stereotypes, but so are those who accept and perpetrate these stereotypes.
Historically in the United States, stereotyping and prejudice have been widespread. Strong evidence exists to show stereotyping and bigotry specifically towards various religious groups throughout American history. A popular example resides in the story of immigrants because “White Protestant Americans hated the Chinese, Irish, Jewish, and Catholic immigrants” (“Causes of Prejudice”). These immigrants were categorized as different, even undesirable, based on unfounded perceptions and were therefore unwanted. One typically acquires stereotypical or prejudiced opinions without any previous information, facts or interaction. They develop “by the individual from some source other than his direct experience" which causes misconception from the reality of the situation (Sills). Ideally, an opinion should be formed by complex thinking and first-hand knowledge, while a prejudice
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