The closer the person is to the “ideal” that a discriminatory society
imposes- being a man, white, straight, with no disabilities-the better chances
you have to succeed in society. Throughout history, minorities have been
mistreated, excluded and subordinated. Much progress has been made; the society,
in general, has finally become more conscious of its differences and pluralism. However, it is clear that the concept of
equality is still violated when certain privileges are given to a specific
group of people, while the other has more barriers to overcome. This discrimination
hinders progress in a society, has huge psychological impacts for the victim and
is the cause for much violence around the world.
If societies want to progress, they
must fully abandon old concepts that hold them back intellectually and
culturally. The roots of discrimination are more ancient that one can imagine.
The history of humanity greatly influence the way people live and their beliefs
today. To begin, the use of old precepts causes
discrimination, wrong assumptions and judgments of many social groups. For
example, in the book To Kill a
Mockingbird, the population of Maycomb is extremely racist and wrongly
convicts the character Tom Robison because of his skin colour, violating
democracy and his human rights. In addition, if citizens still hang on to these old
precepts, they will never include the marginalized social and racial groups of
a community. Therefore, these groups will never have the opportunity to leave
the fringes of society and change their reality of poverty and exploration.
This will only increase social and economic inequalities, suppressing progress.
Finally, this environment prevents the emergence
of constructive relationships between people supposedly different. This impedes the creation of a supportive
community with a sense of unity. For example, in the book, the community of
Maycomb is strongly segregated, blacks and whites go to different churches and
live in different parts of the city, and the sense of community is lost when
they are constantly against each other, instead of working together for the
common good. Therefore, the discrimination that
originated from historic contexts hinders the society´s progress through wrong
judgments, social exclusion, and disunity.
that discrimination affects the world is by harming the mental health of those
who have to face it daily. To start with, diseases like anxiety and depression
are many times caused by rejection or by the fear of not being accepted. This is
very clear in the book Flowers for
Algernon when the protagonist, Charlie, realized all the discrimination he
had suffered when he was mentally challenged, which made him extremely lonely
and frustrated. Moreover, the discrimination diminishes
the way people see themselves, which discourage them to show the world their
full potential. For example, a Latin
American woman in the US stops believing in her potential because she is a daily
target of critics related to her geographic background. Even though she might
be competent, she is discouraged and her strengths are wasted in the labour
market. Lastly, when people are discriminated
because of who they are, they start to deny their identity in order to adapt to
the ideal society imposes, which devalues their individualities. Therefore, much
diversity is lost and people end up losing track of what they really are. To conclude, the pressure put on people becomes the
cause of many mental diseases, loss of self-worth and of identity only because
the diversity of the human race is not properly accepted.
Finally, discrimination changes the way people see each other; they stop seeing
their fellow citizens as equal and start viewing them as inferior. This may
cause conflicts, violence, and even wars, disturbing the peace of a community. To begin, when people find themselves being excluded
or discriminated, they will look for a way to leave this reality. Frequently, violence is seen as one of these
exits, from little fights after school to conflicts in a global scale. In fact, these global conflicts are also a constant concern nowadays. Triggered by discrimination, those conflicts
now involve political and economic interests and may cause an international
impact. For example, the various
conflicts in the Middle East today originated from an extreme discrimination of
different religions. The impact of this discrimination is not restricted to the
Middle East; terrorist attacks and immigration crisis are happening all around
the world because of it, which confirms the strong connection between violence
and discrimination. The violence happens not only in major conflicts involving
different countries, but also in a smaller
scale. Around the world, domestic violence, rape and femicide remain a problem.
Throughout history, sexist principles affirm that a woman must be treated as a possession,
which encourages the violence and the abuses against women. Therefore, the discrimination against the
female gender causes much pain and suffering as women are constantly being subordinated
and mistreated. Violence as a consequence
of discrimination will only cease if there is tolerance between different
races, genders and religions. The oppressed group will not need to resort to
violence anymore if the differences are respected.
conclusion, discrimination negatively affects the world in numerous ways.
Discrimination against a specific group of people is a form of violation of
their identity, of democracy, and of their human rights. It not only causes
global conflicts but also conflicts within one’s mind. The victim will lose confidence and the
world´s diversity will lose its value. In order to move forward, towards
progress, societies need to leave sexist, homophobic, and racist principles
that were originated centuries ago. Although
people are getting increasingly more conscious, discrimination is still
impeding improvements in society, harming the mental health of the world’s
population and causing verbal and physical violence.