All Generalisations Are Dangerous, Even This One Essay
Generalizations exist in many contexts of today’s society. From self-experience or hearing of another’s, people form opinions about countries, food, companies, people some of which involve religious and ethnic groups. These opinions are passed on and thus the birth of stereotypes, a generalization about a group of people whereby defined sets of characteristics are attributed. It can be a dangerous thing to assume ALL people of a particular group are one way or another because this leads to scrutiny and discrimination for otherwise innocent people. The September eleven bombings in the USA believed to be a result of suicide attacks lead by Muslim extremist groups received extensive media coverage over a long period. Muslim’s were portrayed as corrupted and violent and the religion itself a driving force for the bombings.
A generalization surfaced that Muslim’s “must ALL be terrorists.” As airport security was advanced in many countries, Muslim’s, men and women wearing religious clothing were said to have been under greater scrutiny compared to other traveller’s because of their religion. This type of generalization is unfair and discriminatory to the innocent Muslim’s, especially women and children who themselves suffer at the hands of extremist groups such as the Taliban in Afghanistan. Indigenous Australians are often portrayed as alcoholics. Although it is true that there are Indigenous Australian’s out there that are alcoholics, so too can be said for non-indigenous Australian’s. Most people that would make such a generalization probably don’t have factual evidence or any statistics to back up their belief.
Thus this generalisation exists because it is easier to characterize indigenous Australian’s based on their similarities such as features and skin colour, than it is non-indigenous Australian’s. The same way that Muslim’s are characterized by their choice of clothing. In making such assumptions people fail to consider successful Indigenous Australian’s such as athlete Cathy Freeman, or musician Christina Anu, whom would take great offence to such statements made about their people.
Generalizations can be deeply hurtful, especially to the Indigenous Australian’s who were introduced to alcohol by British settler’s that came and disturbed their peace. People pass judgment that they otherwise wouldn’t if it weren’t for existing generalisation. It is the idea that ethnic or religious groups are automatically assumed as guilty until proven innocent. That is, they are ALL terrorists or alcoholics for example until that individual proves otherwise. This train of thought is dangerous as it is unfair and unjust for people to face discrimination based on generalizations.
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