I live in a society where one is judged by their race, ethnic group, facial attributes, physical appearances and fashion preferences. People who do not know you, and have never had a close conversation with you, will just decide that they know what you can do and can't do by these minute things, this is generally referred to as Profiling. But before we define what profiling means, let's define prejudice. (article continues below)

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According to the Oxford Dictionary, prejudice is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. It's also disliked, hostility or unjust behavior deriving from preconceived and unfounded opinions. [1]

Now profiling, as defined by Oxford languages is, the recording and analysis of a person's psychological and behavioral characteristics to assess or predict their capabilities in a certain sphere or to assist in identifying categories of people. [2]

So the above definition makes some sense, but then, do we really have to put people in perfect little boxes just so we would be able to convince ourselves that we can predict their every move?

We have these common features of prejudice which are negative feelings, stereotyped beliefs, and a tendency to discriminate against members of a group, painting every individual who holds particular characteristics or beliefs with a very broad brush tagging that they are all the same, rather than look at each person as a unique individual. People go as far as discriminating others due to age, sex, or disability. And these takes us to our different types of prejudice which are

Racism: Racism is defined as the prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.[3]. Racism has been a thing over time and it only takes one to understand that the complexion is but a colour and not what defines a person. It also does happen here in African countries especially in Nigeria where an Albino is being treated like a plague making one uncomfortable in his or her skin color, forgetting that being black or white or even an Albino does not make one any less a person.

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Sexism: This is discrimination based on a person's sex or gender. It can affect anyone but it primarily affects women/ girls showing that men/boys are superior to women/girls. Let's bring it down to NIGERIA where this is very much rampant. You will hear phrases like "a woman's place is in the kitchen that the kitchen is meant for only the female gender" making the male gender lazy towards kitchen chores making them grow with such a mindset till their marital homes and won't assist their wife's out with kitchen chores not withstanding the fact that kitchen chores are not gender/ sex based. Anyone can do kitchen chores you will even hear some male gender say they love cooking. The phrase does not end there. You will also hear some parents saying that the marital home is to be put in order by the wife and that the wife is supposed to always make sure that the home is always without quarrel and she is to make everyone happy. What happens to the lady's happiness and her own emotions. You also hear that it's a taboo for a church to have a female minister not to mention the female minister preaching during services. Making the male gender feel so much entitlement especially when it has to do with the female body giving rise to increase number of rape in the society. In a recent argument on the social platform Twitter, a question was raised by an individual asking "if it's bad for Nigeria to have a female vice president just as the US'' and there were responses like, "what does a lady have to offer?", while others said "never that a lady can never be allowed to rule the country" and one is left to ask" since we've had male president and male vice president where has the country gotten to in terms of education, employment, listening to the people and giving solutions to the problems arising in the country?.

Religious Prejudice: These could also be referred as or called religious discrimination or religious intolerance where a group of a society, a religious group, specifically refuses to tolerate or accept one's practices, person's or beliefs on religious grounds.

They are various types of religious Prejudice but I'll just list four which are:

  • Discriminating an employee because if their religion let's take for a example, a Muslim manager in a company refuses to hire an employee cause he or she is a Christian.
  • Deciding not to hire an applicant because of their religion.
  • Refusing to develop or promote an employee because of their religion.
  • Paying an employee less because of their religion.[4]

All the above mentioned, could be categorized under the Muslim, Christian and Pagan religious grounds where any one who belong to any of the religious group mentioned can carry out the above types mentioned as those are the major religions here in Africa and Nigeria most importantly.

However, social profiling as defined by the urban dictionary is discrimination against a person purely based on their economic background.[5] So there a basically four types of social profiling also known as social discrimination but I'll just write on three of them which are; the direct and indirect discrimination and harassment.

Direct Discrimination: For these, it does not have to be intentional although, there is normally a deliberate act or exclusions which means that, even if discrimination occurs unintentionally a claim can still succeed like you can still own up to what you said and debunking it bring discrimination.

Indirect Discrimination: This is usually less obvious and it's normally unintended. Like what a person says to another person was not meant to be discriminative and might as well apologize to the person whom it was referred to.

Harassment: This is an unwanted conduct related to protected characteristics thus, must have the effect of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. Let's take for an instance in Nigeria where gay relationship is not accepted by the society thus, anyone who is seen practicing such around the vicinity, people leaving around wouldn't want to communicate or have anything to do with them not to talk of others allowing their kids to get close to them not to talk of greeting them. The market place is the worst therefore, causing a negative impact on their dignity be it at their offices, homes or on the street.[6]

With the above definitions and throwing of light on the types of prejudice we now ask the question who is to blame?. The blame goes both ways both on individuals and on the governments'.

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[1] Oxford Dictionary (definition of Prejudice)

[2] Oxford languages (definition of Profiling)

[3] Oxford languages (definition of Racism)

[4] brighthr.com (article: forms of religious discrimination)

[5] Urban dictionary (definition of Social Profiling)

[6] hrsolutions-uk.com (article: types of discrimination)

[7] Everyday life experiences