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Published: Thursday 31st of October 2013
In contemporary society, discrimination is among the serious problems that we have. Discrimination may occur due to lack of knowledge or because one’s actions may be intentional. In other instances, it may be due to personal ignorance, intricate sociological triggers or societal delusions. One may argue that it is our mind that makes us judge other people and that this is how we are even as we compare them to our ideal model of a human being or ourselves. To start fighting against discrimination as much as the complexity of the matter is overwhelming, it is then vital to determine how discrimination is promoted by our society and developed in our minds to learn how the misconceptions occur. It is therefore imperative to understand the effects of discrimination on people’s lives and the different types that are there.
Everywhere that you go, you will find discrimination. The basis of discrimination against other people lies in their ethnicity, social status, gender and their specific worldview or one’s way of behavior. Discrimination appears in many forms and types, and here we will take a step further by looking at the individual structures that are there:
This is a form of unfair treatment from people because you look different from others since you have physical or personal characteristics which are protected by the law.
You are likely to find some regulations that put specific people at a disadvantage. This means that the policies or rules will be applied to everyone in the group, but due to some characteristic that you might have, the law will be harder on you.
This means a person can discriminate against you and justify that it was proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
This means proving you suffered worse treatment than someone else who doesn’t have these characteristics. This person is called a comparator by the Equality Acts.
You are protected against discrimination if you are absent from work and you want gender reassignment. You cannot be treated any different if you were sick, on maternity leave or had an injury.
This is an inappropriate or unwelcome sexual advance in exchange for a reward in the workplace. It mostly leaves a person feeling degraded, offended, and violates their dignity.
This is inappropriate behavior that is meant to humiliate and intimidate you. This act is aimed at you because of your age, race, disability, religion, or sexual orientation. A person can speak, write, gesture, joke or use images to harass you. Notably, harassment happens in work environments.
You cannot make a person discriminate a particular or specific group for you. Such type of discrimination is done by those people in higher authority.
This mostly happens when you’ve raised concerns about discrimination. It could be that you have been mistreated or someone else has. By trying to support your claims and intentions, you might find yourself excluded from many activities in the office to frustrate you so that you leave work.
We have been told over and again that disability is not inability. You may find that a person has qualified for a particular position in an organization, but the mere fact that they have presented their application in a wheelchair automatically disqualifies them from that race. Although it is against the law, many employers tend to turn a blind eye to these circumstances.
We forget that by the same criteria, we are also judged by others. Is this a typical model of human behavior? Such a question may arise. Or is it pre-programmed by nature and it is imposed on the society that we live in intentionally by some prejudices and stereotypes? I tend to lean in more on a point that I had made earlier, the way that people act, speak, think and look differently are the main reasons as to why we start discriminating them.
We feel unjustified superiority over them since they do not necessarily belong to the same social group and we experience some feeling of their segregation. Most people’s acceptance of others’ differences is a thing that they do not like because they are highly prejudiced. We have found it convenient to be living in a comfortable world with the people that share our social status, beliefs, and color. For those who fall short and do not fit into this category, they are shown extreme disapproval regardless of whether those people have some outstanding talents or have achieved goals that you could never have imagined or they are 10 times smarter than you.
We deceive ourselves by having a delusional mental paradigm of what we perceive as the perfect woman or man by applying our requirements and expectations to other people. Not only do we deny their uniqueness, but we also refuse ours by not acknowledging the fact that we are all different. If we imagine a theoretical world where we act in a standardized way, i.e., we all dress, speak and look the same and a crime would be possible if deviated from this. In the hypothesis, would these people be considered robots or human beings?
Everyone deserves equal rights and opportunities despite their social status, beliefs, the color of their skin, ethnicity, race, and culture and we should, therefore, learn to respect each other’s individuality. For those that enjoy the act of discrimination and show zero tolerance, they should try the simple exercise of putting themselves in other people’s shoes and imagining how they would feel if they were shown the same attitude if they came from a different location, family or even time.
We should eradicate the superior nature of modern people who have the attitude over other people and abolish the whimsical nature of our minds being fascinated by our innermost propaganda. As far as discriminatory issues are concerned, everyone has a role to play if we are undoubtedly sure that we want to overcome it. Everyone needs to act as far as discrimination issues are concerned irrespective of dissipated efforts. The conventional way that we perceive the world should be changed. This way, we will respect other people’s life choices, appearances, attitude, as well as their peculiarities if we learn how to discern.
One of the leading causes of violence today is discrimination. A teenager is shooting his peers in a school because of being discriminated upon, and that is the best way he thinks to retaliate. Discrimination is a chain that starts from the top, from home with our parents, in government with our leaders, in a learning environment from our teachers and in a working environment with our bosses. They should start by thoroughly abolishing any form of discrimination and uphold the law that protects everyone. If it starts from the top, you can be assured that the chain will delete all the traces of this disease.
We would like to believe that discrimination fight has made further steps forward but has it? We still have situations where people get locked out of job opportunities, others still receive hate mail, or in other instances, some people are ridiculed when they differ from our expectations. On your part, have you called other people names or judged them even without knowing their names? You may tell yourself that it’s not discrimination, but in actual sense, it is. Sadly, the rate of racial profiling has increased. It is not only done by the police enforcement but even us as a society. There are those who support it by claiming that it helps with crime control. This profiling creates a humiliating nature of discrimination.
The current rate of depression and anxiety has also gone up because of discrimination. Those who have suffered ethnic discrimination have been affected psychologically, and with time, they face mental breakdown. The coming up of social media has had its fair share of spreading and enhancing discrimination globally instead of being a positive tool which was what it was intended for in the first place. In the employment world, you may be disqualified from a position just because of your social media post. Even before you step into that interview room, you are already judged. In school, some students spread discrimination by trolling their peers online, they may be considered different to them and hence are shamed in this way.
Can we become a world with no discrimination? Where one can fulfill their dreams without fear of being discriminated upon, judged by your merit and not the skin color. Instead of separating, we learn the art of reuniting people. Is it all utopia or can we achieve it? We can start by following these simple steps:
Discrimination is not only wrong, but it is selfish. The adverse effects that discrimination has brought upon the development of humankind may take some time for the contemporary society to fix because the issue remains unresolved. If left unchecked, it can be a significant threat to the democracy. It is not only a risk to the nation but more so to the victim who is subjected to such a hostile treatment. The promise of humanity developing in the right and promising direction can be achieved if every one of us makes a little effort to understand that we are different, and it is this uniqueness that makes the world exciting and flamboyant to live in. To ensure a happy and bright future for the next generation, let us all work together to bring out the best in our souls and be honest.