Discrimination 2 Essay, Research Paper
Discrimination can be expressed in many different ways which are very hurtful and can also
be very harmful. “Discrimination means acting unfavorably toward a person based on the group
which a person belongs instead of on his or her merits” (Gillam 13). “Discrimination, in society can
also be defined as the unfair treatment of equals” (”Discrimination”). Different ways of expressing
discrimination can be by denying one a job because of his or her race or gender, treating others
unfairly because of his or her race or gender, or verbal and physical assault on one solely because of
his or her race, religion, or beliefs. These types of discrimination, along with others can impact ones
life tremendously. Discrimination can lead to different things such as quitting a job or often doing
something harmful to oneself or the aggressor.
Prejudice is a negative prejudgement of people of a certain race, religion, or belief due to the
stereotypes that society places on these people (”Prejudice”). Prejudice is expressed only by having
a negative attitude towards another person solely because of the stereotypes given to them by society
and not by their own merits. The effects of prejudice are the same as those of discrimination.
Although there have been many laws passed which outlaw discrimination, it still occurs in a variety
of ways in an imperfect society.
Women are a group who receive a lot of discrimination. They are fighting for the right to
work the same job as a man does. In the workplace it is much harder for women with the same
education as men to earn the same position (Palmer 43). Most of the time if a woman gets the job
above the man, she will receive a much lower salary than the man would receive if he had the same
job. “Women earn sixty-nine cents for every dollar earned by an equally educated man” (Gillam
45). According to Paula Christian, “Jane Pulliam worked at a computer company for nine years,
where she says the discrimination was so bad that it caused her depression, stress, high-blood
pressure, and kidney failure….she alleges her supervisors frequently made remarks such as ‘Do you
see the color of my white shirt? That’s the color of the work force I want.’ ” (B1). Women are also
faced with sexual harassment, a form of gender discrimination at the workplace
(Gillam 40). An employer may hire a woman for a job which she is not capable of because the
employer wants a woman to be there. Often times this leads to sexual advances by the employer or
co-workers. According to Scott Gillam, women may hear remarks such as “you’re a woman, what
do you know?” or “it’s a man’s job” (49).
Women also are discriminated against through their rights. Women around the world are
fighting for their right to be able to play the same sports as men do. “On April 19, 1966, Roberta
Gibb became the first woman ever to finish the Boston Marathon after being told that women are not
physiologically able to run 26.2 miles” (Docherty ). Also women are fighting discrimination in the
armed forces. The majority of society believes that war is a place for men and not women. Most
men in the armed forces do not want women to be in the forces because they believe women will
become scared and not be able to react in time of war which will cause
the loss of many more lives.
Age discrimination is mainly aimed toward the older (60+) and younger people in their early
teens. Many Americans have been fired, forced into retirement, or turned down from a job due to
their age (Lee 48). Older age employees are discriminated against in the workplace because of
appearance and their ability to do the work required is believed to slow (Lee 48). Employers are
more likely to employ a person who is much younger and more attractive than a elderly person.
Also, employers want to employ people who are able to do the work that is required. This is another
way in which older people are discriminated against even though they may be very capable to do the
job. Employers are also more likely to higher a significantly younger person because he or she will
work for less money than an older person will.
“Not all age discrimination is aimed at the older group” (Gillam 72). Young people are
discriminated against in many different ways. In some states, children are banned from public
places. Employers discriminate against the young people by not hiring them because of the
stereotypes that society puts on the youth because of few irresponsible ones. Employers are afraid to
hire young people because they feel that young people are irresponsible. However this is
not true in all cases. Some young people are mature and show that they are able to handle
The homosexual groups and people who are infected with the AIDS virus are one of the
most despised and discriminated groups of people in the world (Feugen 3). Although almost half of
America’s population believe homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle, homosexuals and people
infected with the AIDS virus still have trouble fitting into society because healthy, heterosexual
people fear homosexuals or contracting the AIDS virus. Homosexuals and AIDS infected people
are discriminated against virtually everywhere they go and for everything they do. When employers
find out one of their employees is either homosexual or has AIDS he or she will sometimes be forced
to quit or fired from their job. Although being fired from a job for being homosexual is common, it
is not nearly as common as being fired for having AIDS. Friends and family are among other things
which are lost due to homosexuality and AIDS.
Homosexuals are many times forced out of their homes and out of the lives of friends and families.
In this case, more friends and family are lost to those who are homosexual rather than to those who
are infected with AIDS.
Homosexuals and people with AIDS are sometimes assaulted in different ways. It may be
verbal, physical, but it is emotional every time. Homosexuals are often the blame for the spread of
AIDS because it was significantly high among gay men (Lee 40). Although studies have proven
that AIDS has not entirely originated from homosexuals. Society, family, and friends continue to
insult, hurt and leave behind those who have ho choice about who they will become as a person.
People with disabilities are discriminated against by people because they look at the disabled
as if they cannot do anything to help themselves. People discriminate against others with disabilities
because they are not sure as to what will be helpful behavior when they are near a disabled person
(Gillam 79). Employers deny work to the disabled because they believe the disabled employee will
slow production. On the contrary, in some cases, hiring a disabled person
can not only help to increase production but it can help a company to save money. “For example,
the Marriot Hotels has hired more than 8,000 people with disabilities and with this has found a
lower turnover rate among their disabled employees. Also, Pizza Hut has concluded that it has
saved more than $2.2 million in turnover costs from employing disabled workers” (Dickson vii).
Society often believes that a disabled person will not be able to survive in a world which can
demand more than they can handle. “It was assumed that a majority of people with disabilities
would not have a normal life that included marriage, a job, and a family. This particular stereotype
has been proven incorrect” (Gillam 84). “In life, many people with disabilities in vision, speech,
hearing, or movement can actually perform many of the same daily tasks as a normal person” (Lee
The discrimination the disabled face causes an enormous amount of emotional suffering.
Sometimes a disabled person cannot go down a street without being stared or laughed at. Society
looks at disabled people as of they are some kind of joke. Society shuns disabled people because of
what they look like, how they act, or for the reason that they cannot help themselves at all.
Discrimination towards blacks is the leader of discrimination in society today. As far back
as the Civil War, blacks were discriminated against in many of the same ways they are today
(Williams 85). Blacks have some stereotypes such as being unruly, always being in trouble, or as
being the instigators of a conflict. “Even though African Americans make up thirteen percent of the
population, they are found in less than one percent of the high management positions in large firms”
(Gillam 24). Black people face discrimination virtually everywhere they go. Restaurants will
sometimes make black people wait in line while white people, who came in later, will be seated
immediately. In most stores blacks are considered a possible shoplifting threat to the owners. A
black person will be watched much more closely than if a white person were to enter. “This is true
in spite of the fact that national crime statistics shows that most shoplifters are white (Williams 85).
Blacks are also discriminated against by some police officers. Most black men
rather than a white man because police look at the black community as a serious threat.
“The Child by Tiger” by Thomas Wolfe is a story about black discrimination and what one
of the effects can be. This story showed how one black man, Dick Prosser, was treated in the early
1900’s. Blacks have the same amount of rights now but in the beginning of the nineteenth century,
blacks could not even stand on a sidewalk and talk to another black friend without being arrested for
loitering. An example from the story of how badly blacks were treated and could not do anything
about it is when Lon Everett crashed into the car Dick Prosser was driving. When Dick got out of
the car to see if his master was not injured, Lon Everett hit Dick in the face not once, but twice.
Dick Prosser only stood there and took the hits. If he would have done anything back to Lon Everett
he would have immediately been put into jail and possibly be executed. This type of antagonism
and discrimination can cause a person to go insane and do harmful things. This is exactly what
happened to Dick Prosser. He had a lot of anger and frustration from being discriminated stored up
inside of him that it pushed him over the edge and he began to kill people. This was a result of the
constant discrimination and hatred Dick and some people face.
White people are a group who are also discriminated against. At the workplace, a white
person will sometimes not be employed by a black employer because the employer may have some
kind of hatred towards the white person for how whites treated blacks years and years ago. Another
example of white discrimination is at certain schools and universities black students with lower
grades and test scores will be admitted instead of a white person with better grades and test scores
(Gillam 25). Also, some black communities will harass a white person if they enter a black
With an assortment of laws passed to terminate discrimination throughout the world, it can
still occur in many different ways in an imperfect and stereotypical society. Virtually everyone in
the world has been or will be discriminated against somehow or some way. “In 1986 more than five
million people worldwide died as a result of discrimination” (Williams 18). Society is too caught up
in the stereotypes given to a certain group of people that they do not recognize
the group for his or her own personal achievements. Discrimination and false stereotypes needs to
be put to an end or else an imperfect society will destroy itself.
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