Sometimes our characters are racist, sexist, or elitist - but not for the reason we think.
In our day and age, racism, sexism, and religious discrimination are some of the most alienating faults a person can have. People often believe that there's enough hatred in the world without a skin-deep differences adding to the mix of prejudice.
But is it so skin-deep?
Imagine a world where you are in an isolated group of people, all of whom share your skin color. That's all you know. Then, from out of nowhere, a stranger appears of a different color.
Maybe your first instinct is fear. More likely, it's surprise. It could be awe, it could be anger. But there's one thought that probably dominates. Us vs. Them.
The difference feels huge. It's also skin-deep.
Here's where I'm going with this: when we, as fallible human beings, see a particular fault in an individual, we want to separate ourselves from it. Faults are ugly, we don't want them. And more importantly, we never want to be accused of having them.
So what do we do?
We look at the individual with that fault and try to separate ourselves from him as much as possible.
If I am white, and I see a black person with a fault, and I never want to admit that I may have that fault, what will I attribute it to? I'll attribute the fault to the one aspect of the person that I will never have. His skin color. Or his gender.
Hence, racism. Sexism. Elitism. Prejudice.
"That woman is ignorant. I don't want to be ignorant, and I'd never say something like she just said. It must be because she's a woman." Thinks. Justifies. "I've never heard another man say that. It must be because she's female."
See how easy it is?
Wrong, yes. Ignorant, yes. Natural, yes.
Why does your character hate the group of people he hates? A lot of us have at least one group of people we generalize and dislike. For me, it's people who buy brand new playstations. (ha, jk... mostly.) Is it because he's trying to distance himself from a fault of theirs?
And will he ever learn that playstation buyers are normal people too?