My working definition of prejudice involves judging someone based on insufficient or irrelevant information. Inferring things about someone’s intelligence, for instance, from his ethnic background, religion, or skin colour, qualifies — these are irrelevant to a person’s intelligence. On the other hand, inferring things about someone’s intelligence from the things he says and writes about, well, that’s perfectly relevant, and doesn’t constitute prejudice at all.
But what about a middle ground? Can I validly infer things about someone’s intelligence based on stuff that other people wrote, and which he chooses to display? It’s his choice, of course, so it’s information that’s relevant to something. If a guy likes to display stupid and offensive things... on his car, maybe... does that make him stupid and offensive?
Take the idiot who drives the vehicle to the right, which I saw on the road the other day.
I say “idiot” very freely, but see here:
- His license plate frame says, “HONDAS R LIKE TAMPONS / EVERY PUSSY HAS ONE”.
- On the upper left of his rear window is a sticker depicting some large utility vehicle, with the legend “Sorry About Your Tiny Penis”.
- In the upper middle of the window is a sticker that says, “Shut Up Hippy”
- The upper right sports one saying, “My Other Ride Is Your Girlfriend”.
But I suspect that if you look up “asshole” in the dictionary, they’ll have a picture of the driver.