So, what is Discrimination Again???
While driving along I was listening to the news station and the next headline story that was to come up was “Affirmation Action” was discriminatory towards whites. I think it’s a good place to define affirmative action--an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education; positive discrimination.
Now that we are on the same page with the definition shall we continue? Discrimination*, racism* and prejudice* are some real sensitive subjects in our communities and society, often all three words get mistaken for some type of backlash or outcry of injustices, when truthfully, they wouldn’t exist if a certain group of people did not experience systematic injustices.
So, as I listened to the news story, the current Administrations’ Justice Department wants to sue colleges and universities for the “use” of affirmation action as it is said to be discriminatory to those that are of Caucasian descent. (Pausing intentionally) This must be by far one of the most absurd notions that I have heard in quite some time. To remain with just this subject area alone most of the colleges and universities except for HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) are 50-85% Caucasian. Point of interest here HBCU’s would not exist if the experience for minorities were equal from the beginning.
Along the timeline of history there was something created to try achieving fairness across the board, yet the ones who have made no initial or immediate attempts in the very beginning towards fairness for all is now calling foul and penalty for a policy that rightfully so should NOT have ever been created, however it was necessary to ensure the pursuit of happiness, life and liberty for EVERYONE.
We have been presented with a dichotomy walk with me on this one. So, we start with everything being great for one group of people and the life and pursuit of happiness. Someone comes along and mention “hey, this isn’t fair we are leaving out a lot of people if we leave the policy this way”. The policy gets amended to be all inclusive to a group of people who would have otherwise not have had the same opportunities as the original set of people. Now we are back to calling foul and saying it’s discrimination against the original group of people who only thought of themselves from the beginning. So are we really going to cry “injustice” when the mere thought of reversal/abolishing affirmative action will set us right back to where we were in the beginning.
I’m not a politician nor a policy maker but I am a citizen of one of the most progressive and proficient countries on this planet and I have a heart for all people. Why don’t we fix the problem by going to the very root? Too long we have been putting band-aids on symptoms and not correcting the problem.
When you or I go and apply for a home, job or car stop asking me questions like race, gender, or address. Ask for my name and read my skills and credentials. After all you are looking for the best person to fill the job or put in a new home or car, correct? It doesn’t matter what race, gender or where someone lives. The moment we stop asking those questions we can begin to chop off bits and pieces of the big boulder of discrimination and racism.
And one final note let’s stop using preferences interchangeably with prejudices. Please reference the definitions below, but to make it clear for daily consumption I like both orange juice and apple juice I have had my experience with both. There’s nothing like a good Saturday morning breakfast with a tall glass of cold orange juice, however on any given day I’d prefer apple juice.
I like working with both men and women as I have had some good and not some good experiences with both but it is my preference to work with men. Do you see the difference I did not prejudge either in the above examples I had experiences with all and I was able to make an educated choice to prefer one over the other, being prejudice would not allow me that opportunity? I would have had to make a choice based on what someone else may have said or having one experience with one and not the other.
So, I encourage you to begin to open your heart more and stop basing life choices on ideologies of others past experiences or one view of the matter we all have the responsibility to make this nation great and we must hold ourselves and each other accountable for the nation being great for ALL.
Definitions provided by Google Dictionary.
Discrimination-the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
Prejudice-preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
Preference-a greater liking for one alternative over another or others.
Racism-prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.
"a program to combat racism"
synonyms: racial discrimination, racialism, racial prejudice, xenophobia, chauvinism, bigotry, casteism
"Aborigines are the main victims of racism in Australia"
the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.