The word prejudice refers to prejudgment: making a decision before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case or event. The word has commonly been used in certain restricted contexts, in the expression ‘racial prejudice’. Initially this referred to making a judgment about a person based on their race, before receiving information relevant to the particular issue on which a judgment was being made; it came, however, to be widely used to refer to any hostile attitude towards people based on their race. Subsequently the word has come to be widely so interpreted in this way in contexts other than those relating to race. The meaning now is frequently “any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence”. Race, gender, ethnic, sexual identity, age, and religion have a history of inciting prejudicial behavior.
John Cleese Explains
Everybody’s a Little Bit Racist