Developing a Common Language

Ableism

Ableism is a prejudice and/or discrimination against people with mental or physical disabilities. 

Ageism

Ageism is a prejudice and/or discrimination against people becuase of their age. 

Anti-Bias

Anti-Bias is an active committment to challenging prejudice, stereotypes and all forms of discrimination. 

Anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is a form of religious bigotry. It is a prejudice or discrimination against Jews, based on negative ideas about Jews' religios beliefs and practices and/or on negatice group stereotypes. 

Bias

Bias is an inclination or preference either for or against an individual or group that interferes with impartial judgement.

Bigotry

Bigotry is prejudice and/or discrimination against one or all members of a particular group based on negative perceptions of their beliefs and practices or on negative group stereotypes. 

Classism

Classism is prejudice and/or discrimination against people because of their socio-economic class.

Culture

Culture is the patterns of daily life learned consciously and unconsciously by a group of people. These patterns can be seen in language, governing practices, arts, customs, holiday celebrations, food, religion, dating rituals, and clothing, to name a few examples.

Discrimination (an action)

Discrimination is the behavior that can follow prejudicial thinking. Discrimination is the denial of justice and fair treatment in many arenas, including employment, housing and political rights.

Diversity

Diversity means different or varied. The population of the United States is made up of people from diverse races, cultures and places. 

Harassment 

Harassment is a pattern or course of conduct of using abusive words, gestures, and/or actions directed at a specific person for the purpose of causing that person substantial emotional distress and alarm. 

Hate Crime

A hate crime is a criminal act directed against a person, group of persons, or property in which the perpetrator intentionally selects the victim because of the victim's actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or disability. State laws differ on protected categories.

Heterosexism 

Heterosexism is prejudice or discrimination against people who are gay, lesbian or bisexual.

Homophobia

Homophobia is the fear of homosexuals, or of people thought to be lesbian, gay or bisexual. 

Libel (individual/group)

Libel is defamation by false written or printed words.

Multicultural

Multicultural means many or multiple cultures. The United States is multicultural because its population consists of people from many different cultures.

Prejudice (a feeling)

Prejudice is pre-judging, making a decision about a person or group of people without sufficient knowledge. Prejudicial thinking is based on stereotypes. Prejudice is a feeling or attitude.

Racism

Racism is a prejudice and/or discrimination based on the myth of race. Racists believe that some groups are born superior to others and, in the name of protecting their race from "contamination," they justify the domination and destruction of races they consider to be inferior to their own.

Scapegoating

Scapegoating is the action of blaming an individual or group for something when, in reality, there is no one person or group responsible for the problem. It means blaming another person or group for problems in society because of that person's group identity. Prejudicial thinking and discriminatory acts can lead to scapegoating. Members of the disliked group are denied employment, housing, political rights, social privileges, or a combination of these. Scapegoating can lead to verbal and physical violence, including death. 

Sexism

Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on gender. 

Stereotype (an idea)

A stereotype is an oversimplified generalization about an entire group of people without regard for individual differences. Even positive stereotypes, such as Asians are good at math and computers, have a negative impact.

© 1999 Anti-Defamation League