What is the cause of discrimination? Why are we discriminated against? Why do we discriminate ourselves?
At a very basic level I think it is about superiority versus inferiority, have versus have nots, black versus white- whenever there is a comparison and one comes away feeling more advantaged there is discrimination. Take some instances: speaking rudely with the maid or security guard, throwing attitude in a restaurant if the reserved table is not available on time leading to angry voices creating discomfort for other diners.
Of course discrimination is about prejudices. In the power equation it is these prejudices that lead to wielding influence. To suppress and oppress. To inflict physical or emotional hurt. Or simply be insensitive or unthinking. Think of the time when an aunt simply turns up at your doorstep without any prior call to check your convenience? She may be welcomed but the situation causes you to resent her unconsciously. Or think of a wedding reception queue for dinner, when some few willful brash people cut across the queue to fill their own plates. Or in a holy place when an obviously rich family gets a direct entry from the side gate into the sanctum sanctorum while others wait patiently for hours for their turn.
Look at instances from everyday lives – A young talented recruit is made to run around tasks because the boss is stamping with authority. Differences in work load, pay scales are manifestation of the same discrimination. One ‘follow’s a fair skin person more closely as good looks soften up senses, average to ugly looks bring on negative emotions. People often slip into their mother tongues despite being aware of others presence who may not understand the same language – this is done most consciously with an intent to seclude
It’s our bags of bias’s and conditioning since childhood that manifest itself as discrimination. O and not to forget the age old discrimination of man versus woman! Gender bias is the stiffest of them all. Ever seen how wannabe Romeos size up girls on the road or at a railway station? Is that discrimination or wat? Lets not hide behind words as lack of courtesy or upbringing because deep inside it is rooted in discrimination
The reason I started writing this piece is because I heard that a columnist in the Time magazine wrote something inflammatory /discriminatory against Indians (living in NJ) and omg all Indians are up in arms against that American journalist. It makes headlines on prime news hour on tv. Well, ahhemm does his wrong make us feel more superior? More vitriolic? Or do we hide behind his faults to shield our own guilt at being discriminatory ourselves? Under the same guise don’t we inflict more hurt and more biases of our own?
The more diverse world we live in today, the more should be the tolerance, humility and courtesies. The more should be a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. Ethnicity, age, gender, wealth have since long been used to advantage to oppress. Perhaps the real advantage will be if we could create common platforms, common values and common active advantages that benefit a larger group of communities than individuals. If we practice humane behaviour in our daily existence –if we treat others with the same respect we’d like to receive ourselves we will create awareness for inclusion, commitment, harmony and integration in the true meaning of the word. Practice it, preach it, encourage it- that is the way to un-condition our world and create better opportunities to live fulfilled lives.
Posted by Mee at 11:22 PM