Since we live in a world of appearances, people are judged by what they seem to be. If the mind can't read the predictable features, it reacts with alarm or aversion. Faces which don't fit in the picture are socially banned. An ugly countenance, a hideous outlook can be considered as a crime and criminals must be inexorably discarded from society.
Fear can be a source of facial discrimination because faces, which we are not used to, can be frightening, deviant or weird. Since the human brain permanently processes countenances, it identifies who is who, who is foe, who is friend, and who could constitute an imminent danger. Only, when the mind has become accustomed to the various facial types, people might drop their prejudices and their fear.
In the 1850s the Irish immigrant were victims of a selective perception as they were mocked at for their physiognomy when arriving in the US. With the influx of the numerous settlers, a discrimination of people's facial features or expression can be a common phenomenon in many countries. Only when the human mind has accustomed itself to the many different facial types, people might drop their prejudices.
But we should not fool ourselves. If some people say we are all born equal, this is partly true, because some are more equal than others.
PS Taiwan organizes a Facial Equality Day in May in order to attack prejudices.
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