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A History of Outcasts

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jen hik

on 10 November 2014

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Transcript of A History of Outcasts

The Elephant in the Room
A history of outcast minority groups and why they exist in our society
By: Jenna Hewitt-Kenda
The ideology of outcasting individuals has existed since the creation of man. Marginalizing certain groups outside of social conformity is customary worldwide due to the superioralist qualities in human nature. Examples of this attitude towards social outcasts can be seen throughout history.
After the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001, Muslims living in North America--particularly those living in the United States--faced a backlash of discrimination and rejection because they were thought to have a racial or religious association with the terrorist group Al Qaeda.
By the end of 2002, the number of hate crimes against Muslims in America had increased by an overwhelming 1,600%.
Many of these women were accused of witchcraft simply because they belonged to outcast groups including the handicapped, the mentally-ill, and the widowed.
Between the early 1300's and the late 1600's, over 50,000 women were sentenced to death for witchcraft in a hysteria known as 'the European witch-hunt.'

Because of our psychological need to disguise our own problems and insecurities with those of others, our society has persecuted people who are considered different from the social norm.
Thousands of years ago in Ancient Greece, people who displayed nonconformist or offensive behavior would have their name written on a piece of broken pottery called "ostraka" that would be placed into a bowl.
In the event that an individual had their name submitted 6,000 times during their lifetime, all of the members of the community would shun them for 10 years.
...several groups including Jewish people, Catholics, handicapped people, homosexuals and Poles were persecuted by the Nazi authority because of their religious views, physical and mental disabilities, or because they were not part of the "ideal" Nazi Aryan race.
11 million people were killed.
Of the 750,000 teenage girls that will become pregnant this year in America, each of them will at one point become victims of judgment and stereotypes.
At school, many of these girls will become outcasts, disdained by peers and, in some cases, by teachers.
During Adolf Hitler's rule in Germany...
Many of these women were accused of witchcraft simply because they belonged to outcast groups including the handicapped, the mentally-ill and the widowed.
In today's society, homeless people, are demeaned because of a social stigma that says that homelessness is a choice and that these people are simply too lazy to get a job.
A racist, anti-black attitude was one of the main reasons why many African-Americans became outcasts in society.
Used as slaves,
So why does our society have outcasts?
Even in today's society, due to the ongoing social stigma, a black man is seven times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police than a white man.
The ideology of the outcast can no longer be accepted.
After all, if we were the ones who created these walls between groups in our society, who says we cannot break them down?
According to the Social Dominance Theory created by psychology professors Jim Sidanius and Felicia Pratto, "group-based inequalities are maintained through three primary intergroup behaviors" including:
Institutional discrimination
aggregated individual discrimination
and behavioral assymetry
In other words,
The answer lies in our human psychological makeup.
People and social groups who seek power over other people generally have a need to overcome an inner feeling of powerlessness.
Power provides people with a defense against the feeling of weakness, worthlessness and inadequacy.
As a result of having this trait, humans have marginalized groups they consider to be different from the norm in order to satisfy their need for power.
These groups form the social minorities and the differences that make them minorities cause them to suffer in the hands of the power-hungry groups.
The reality is it is extremely difficult for many homeless people to get a job as they often struggle with illness or disability. Not to mention that many of these people have no address and huge gaps in their employment history.
And the social misconceptions about homelessness have caused society to see homeless people as objects, as opposed to humans with history and life experience.
We are one race. The human race.
Societal boundaries exist because
create and maintain them.
Something important to remember
With all of the social progress our world has made in the last few hundred years, isn't it time we get rid of the stigmas and misconceptions and start accepting the minorities in our current society as equals?
Examples of this can be seen throughout the history of the human race.
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