What I hate is when people have positive "isms" and think they're acceptable, my grandmother says things like "Oh those gays get a bad time, I actually think they're a nice group of people". Her saying things like that is still grouping certain individuals together and judging their behaviour as a whole, which is still prejudice. Being my grandma though I just /sigh and nod along usually...
I had a rant at a particular female friend recently when she called me sexist because of something I'd said to her, I tried to get across the fact that I always try and treat others as individuals and not group them according to certain aspects of their appearance / opinions. I said that if I ever judge a female to be a bad driver it would be based solely on her ability to drive, not my opinion of any other females who I've seen drive. This is one of the reasons I brought up insurance groups in another thread, because of how sexist and ageist they seem. No matter how you act, sometimes you're stuck with the stigma of being a certain sex and age, things you have no control over (don't bring up the fact you can choose to change sex, I'm not going that far just for cheaper insurance =P)
We're going to have to have a discussion on social class and birth rights one day, I think there would be a similar line of thought to this one with the prejudice involved. It's stupid how some people perceive themselves to be higher up than others due to what they're born into, it's one of the reasons I hate monarchies. Uncontrollable circumstances should not be taken into account when judging someone's behaviour.
The worst thing about "ism"s is when you judge someone personally based on their individual behaviour, and yet they take it as an attack on their race / sexual preference / gender etc. People who hide behind the "ism" shield are probably unable to face up to their own behaviour and actions and so use it as a scape goat.
Thinking about your talk on slavery and other heinous acts like that, there's been a documentary series on TV here for the past few weeks about the British Empire, I think some people under that banner carried out acts which were easily as bad Hitler in WW2. It was appalling watching some of the things England did, and most of it well into the 20th century. We only gave Hong Kong their independence back in 1997, and many other countries are still recovering from the effect on that empire. I just wish any remnants of that empire could be completely removed now so we can let countries affected to recover, albeit hopefully with our aid. There was one English entrepreneur in the early 1900's who went to India with some armed men, and literally walked into an Indian princes' palace and threw him out, who then claimed that land as his own and took all the princes' jewels to sell, leaving some english guy to rule that providence in India. Local Indians were then put into slavery or at least made to do menial work for minimum payment. If you look into it it's all horrific, and when you think how recently it all was it makes it even more so. And yet the British Empire as a whole is probably never been viewed as something as evil as the nazi party was.
Xenophobism is another ism to consider, the fear of the foreign, someone hating people of a different race who moved to their country. When you think nearly every country on the planet is now made up of descendants of invaders or travellers in the past who arrived to that country from another, it really is a ridiculous notion. I think people get too possessive over the land where they live sometimes. I'd be interested to hear some of your views on this one.
"Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitates lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock, and as it always has, rock crushes scissors."