With all well-deserved respect to those whose lives have been ruined or ended by prejudice: i fail to see the bottom-line difference between:
To me all statements like this are unacceptable. Even when they don't lead to slavery, pogroms, wars, they are at the least unfeeling and rude. I don't see what good they ever lead to.
- There are no lines between the colors in a rainbow. But we need to parse the rainbow to describe it: "Red / orange / yellow / green."
- — Leonard George, "The Teachings of Iamblichus: Between Eros and Anteros", Lapis, Issue 13, Spring 2001.
So categories are useful for thinking about things — very useful! Can't hardly think without 'em. But only as long as we don't confuse the category with the reality, the stereotype with the individual. Or use our categories to hurt people.
I guess it's like any tool: if you make it your only tool, or misuse it ... oh well ... i guess that's just what all humans do.