27 January 2014

Dreadlocks don't make you stupid (or a lowlife)

I am not a sports fan, so I don't know much about Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, aside from the recent controversy in the media about Sherman's recent adrenaline-fueled post-game rant. (As if we haven't all had our overly excited moments.)

And, given my general lack of interest in the world of sports, I haven't said anything about that controversy. Until tonight.

Tonight, I ran into my ultra-conservative neighbor, who was complaining about the fact that this "stupid lowlife" cornerback would be glamorized via his participation in the Super Bowl despite his recent "thuggery".

I asked this neighbor why he called Sherman a stupid lowlife.

The response: Just look at him!

Um, OK. I've seen photos. Sherman is black and he wears his hair in dreadlocks. Bingo!

Despite my sports apathy, I had read enough about Richard Sherman to know that he is a Stanford graduate. I pointed out this fact to my neighbor, and noted that it seemed rather incongruous to refer to a graduate of such a prestigious university as either stupid or a lowlife.

In response, my neighbor angrily muttered something about Affirmative Action, and stomped away. Typical.

This was a prime example of prejudice, which literally means "prejudgment" or "preconceived opinion" - in this case, that someone with dark skin and dreads doesn't fit the profile of a properly entitled Stanford grad.

And it seemed so desperate and pathetic.

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