Discrimination History – Negative Impacts


Discrimination 6Discrimination has a long history throughout the world. Most societies, especially the larger ones, have practiced some form and some degree of discrimination. In fact, a notable trend (though by no means necessarily an always true law) is that larger societies have had a larger propensity to discriminate. Why? Because of their achievements. Larger societies, to reach the size that they were, had to accomplish.

They built extensive and complicated networks. Their engineering was on a scale and level enough to support a large society. Their art was complex. They had a formal language and writing system. All of these things were–and are–marvelous achievements. But couple with them the fact that for most of human history, people lived only within their societies and had almost no contact with peoples of different societies, and it becomes easy to see why discrimination occurred. They saw others as foreign and “backward,” not having accomplished as much as they did.

Effects Of Discrimination At Work

Discrimination in America is as prevalent today as it was in the early 1900′s. Some people may argue against the previous statement; saying that America has made huge improvements in civil rights and equality in the last one hundred years. In some ways those people would be right, but in many other ways they would be wrong. First off, when you think that the underlying causes of discrimination are based off immediate impressions such as: age, clothing, attractiveness, verbiage, heritage, cleanliness, etc. you begin to realize that this assumptive nature lies within all people and is used to judge all other people. In other words, discrimination can and is used against every nationality, age, sex, religion and every category in between. When these assumptions or stereotypes become hugely exaggerated or start to negatively impact the people they are being used against, that is when harmless judgment changes to the much more severe issue of discrimination. Because of the extreme historical disadvantages faced by African-Americans in our countries past, the little progress that we have had in addressing discrimination can be largely contributed to the leaders of the civil rights movement. True, a major improvement in the last century did occur when the American people became conscious of the need for equality and demanded government intervention. The government responded by passing the civil rights act of 1964 which, among other things, allowed prosecution for the following actions:

o harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age;

o retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices;

o employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities.

- Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub. L. 88-352) (Title VII)

The above laws were created to ensure that people are given equal opportunities in the workplace and would be protected from retaliation when confronting individuals whom discriminate. Then why do I argue that discrimination is still apparent in America? Mainly because I personally have been impacted by the negative affects of discrimination at my workplace and was subject to a bias resolution. No, I am not African-American, female, homosexual or disabled and yet I still experienced discrimination with just as severely of consequences as an individual from any of those sub cultures which are often in the news for being the victims of discrimination. In fact, it seems that because I do not fit into any of those sub-cultures, I am not taken seriously with my complaints or concerns. Discrimination 5Are some forms of discrimination more acceptable than other forms? I think not; discrimination is discrimination, no matter what context it is in or how small or large the person is affected by it. Don’t get me wrong; I am, by no means, attempting to say that I am a “victim” of the newly coined idea of “reverse racism”. Reverse racism is the idea that affirmative action has led to the over-protection of minority groups and has resulted in the majority group being disadvantaged as a result. In fact, reverse racism and the need for the civil rights act of 1964 are result of the underlying issue at hand.

The underlying issue that spawns discrimination and inequality is; anyone and everyone can fit into a stereotype held by another individual and will therefore be subject to some form of discrimination or prejudice in their lifetime. Because everyone can be discriminated against, does that mean that everyone also partakes in discrimination? To some extent, yes, I believe that everyone uses snap judgment and stereotypes to quickly asses a stranger’s personality. The ability to judge based off appearance is a natural ability that is vital in our species survival; but the intensity of this judgment separates innocent appraisal from an illegal injustice. When you think about it, almost any aspect of your personality, appearance, ideals, beliefs, wants, needs or desires can be looked at in a negative light and is therefore subject to appraisal; which in turn creates a positive or negative appearance which in turn can be a means for discrimination.

So, what can be done to help counteract discrimination? First, we need to understand that there are multiple forms of discrimination. There is an unconscious application of discrimination where an individuals’ (lets say a manager for example) personal beliefs and ideals contributes to an overall negative view of a certain person(lets say an employee). This subtle discrimination will inadvertently lead to a lessoned willingness for the manager to present opportunities to that employee, either consciously or unconsciously. This form of discrimination often goes unnoticed, making it much more difficult to asses. To help resolve this problem, I think that the media could attempt to bring the issue into the public’s conscious. If people are made more aware of this taking place; either the individuals who are unconsciously discriminating against people will become aware of it and attempt to change their actions or people around them (say coworkers) will report the discrimination to authorities. Another form of discrimination is the conscious / apparent form of discrimination. In this form of discrimination, an individual purposefully tries to belittle another person, sometimes maliciously. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was made for people like this. As we saw above, passing laws is somewhat effective but, up to this point, has only been able to protect members in minority groups. However, for people with malicious intentions, I think that the best form of rehabilitation would be through government interaction.

Different Ways Of Immigrants Are Discriminated Against

Every state in this country is a melting pot of various people from different cultures and that includes people from other countries as well. Some of these immigrants have entered the United States legally and have become citizens of the United States while others have come into the United States in illegal ways says an immigration attorney. According to an immigration lawyer, one state that has the highest number of legal and illegal immigrants is the state of California. This is due to its size as well as its proximity to Mexico which is the highest number of immigrants in California.

The illegal entry of many immigrants has caused many problems for other immigrants who have become citizens of the United State legally. The largest one is discrimination. Because there are so many people from Mexico illegally, a lot of Americans assume that anyone that is Mexican is here illegally and that is absolutely not the truth. Many Mexican-Americans find that they are frequently pulled over by police while driving because of their appearance and that the police are trying to track down people that are in this country illegally.

Another type of discrimination that occurs for immigrants that may have lived here their entire lives is the discrimination that has occurred since the attacks of September 11th. Many Middle Eastern Americans have been discrimination in various ways because of their appearance or that they practice the Muslim religion that was also noted to be part of the people who were responsible for the attacks of September 11th. Until more people are willing to accept that Americans come from many different nationalities and not all of them are here illegally, the discrimination will continue.

Discrimination 4One common problem that many lawyers are now encountering which deals with immigration issues; are the families that have some of them that were born in the United States and are therefore American citizens that are born to parents that arrived here many years ago illegally. Many of these families have lived here for decades and have worked hard to live a good productive life for their families. Their children have been brought up in the United States and are American through and through. Sometimes one of the parents is found to be here illegally and are threatened to be sent back to the country which they had left many years ago. This is sometimes causing Mothers to be torn away from their children who are allowed to stay here because of their legal status. This is one of the many issues that lawyers have to deal with regarding immigration.

Whether you agree with the current immigration laws or not, many families are being torn apart by them after living productive, good lives here in our country. This may not be true for others that have had not done much to make it on their own. Whatever the circumstances are, the issues are complicated and should be looked at case by case as all of the situations are different.