This is Viewpoints for Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 19, 2014 

Obamacare fix?

Why does the Medical Center need funding from the city when everyone has insurance aka Obamacare?

-- Harpe Suggs

Warner Robins

Prejudice, good and bad

Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling spewed racist invectives against blacks who comprise 70 percent of the players in the NBA. Another team owner, Mark Cuban, gave his views on prejudice. He said we all have our prejudices and gave examples of his.

As defined by Webster’s New World Dictionary, “prejudice is suspicion, intolerance or irrational hatred of others.” It implies a preconceived, unreasonable and usually unfavorable judgment or opinion. We all have our prejudices. We have all learned to dislike someone or a group of someones. We continue to believe stereotypes of others.

In his child-development schemata, O.F. Kernberg defines “differentiation” as being able to distinguish between good and bad. He explains that we must know the good and bad about ourselves before we can understand other people and learn to accept their good and bad points. This, then, is maturity. A healthy person projects both good and bad on others. His view of the world and others is both positive and negative.

A person who is consumed by prejudice cannot see the good in others because of his “suspicion, intolerance or irrational hatred” of them. Because he projects only bad on others, he is blinded by the negatives of his prejudice.

Notice in the definition that prejudice is “usually unfavorable.” Prejudice can be positive. Applying Kernberg’s approach to differentiation, we can learn to project both good and bad on others and to accept them as they are. There will always be prejudice, and much of it will be negative. But perhaps we can learn ourselves better, become more mature, see more good in others and make prejudice a more positive influence.

-- Robert L. Lehane

Fort Valley

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