Personal Essay: Prejudice


I. BACKGROUND

The location was a moderate to large size city near the east coast of
Massachusetts. The city has a mix of all races and is diverse in its racial
distribution. It is a city where most of the people are middle class working
folks. While it is a moderate size city, it has few city problems such as
homelessness, poverty and violence.

The year was 1992 and it was the summertime. It was very hot and humid
at about 11:30 at night and I was in a car driving around looking for something
to do. It was a boring Tuesday night so I decided to go to a big video arcade
hangout called Funworld. There is a number of video games as well as young
people. The establishment is a large building with a large parking lot.

I was with three other people in the parking lot when we were approached
by a group of three other gentlemen. I myself am a caucasian male under 21
years of age. Two of the people I was with were upperclass caucasian males also
under the age of 21. The last person was also under 21 and male, but he was
African-American. One of the caucasians was a close friend and another was an
acquaintance. The African-American was also a friend of mine. Of the three
gentlemen that approached us, two were hispanic males that appeared to be over
21 and the other was a caucasian male that appeared over 21, although I couldn\'t
be sure. Although I didn\'t want to make any judgements about them, they looked
as if they were poorly dressed and over 21. So I deduced that they were in a
gang or they were drug dealers, high school dropouts, etc.;.

II.ACTION

At first it appeared as if both groups would just pass by each other
unnoticed but the caucasian male in the other group made a racist remark about
my African-American friend. He said "Look at those dumb dudes walking with that
fucking spade". My African-American Dave turned around suddenly and said "What
the fuck did you say?" The caucasian male retorted "None of your fucking
business dick!" At this point both groups approached each other and then my
friend Dave said "You wanna go", in response the other kid said "Let\'s go!" and
shoved him in the chest. The other two of the caucasian male\'s friends jumped
on top of Dave and then we all kind of got into a fight. We were mostly just
pushing and shoving each other at first.

After about a minute of pushing, two of the guys jumped on Dave and one
jumped on my friend Chris. When I was looking at this I noticed that Chris, who
is well-built, and the hispanic were mostly wrestling, but Dave was really
getting hit. My first instinct was to help Dave, of course, because he was
getting killed and Chris was okay. To my surprise however, my friend Dan helped
Chris.

I immediately jumped in to help Dave even though I was equally good
friends with Chris and Dave. Dave was getting hit the hardest and needed help
bad. I pulled one of the guys off Dave and then pulled the other off. By this
time Chris and Dan had easily overpowered the hispanic kid, and when the three
kids saw it was four against three, they just ran off when they saw that there
was more of us than of them. I helped Dave off the ground, and saw that he had
a bloody nose, but he seemed okay when I asked. Chris and Dan were fine and
didn\'t show any ill effects at all.

When I saw the hispanic people and the way that they were dressed I
started wondering if they were going to start any trouble. My attitude toward
was possibly prejudiced, but under the circumstances, at night with the clothing
that was being worn, I think (obviously correctly), that I was right in the
conclusion that they were out to cause trouble. I was taught no to the
prejudiced, but in this situation I\'m wondering if what I did was considered
prejudiced because I was correct in my first assumption of them. The problem is
that though the actual instigator seemed to be that caucasian male from the
other group, and not the hispanics. I feel a bit puzzled as to how my thinking
and value or belief system could be construed in that situation. I believed
that they would cause problems and they did