Argument about Discrimination
People prejudge others due to their lack of knowledge about cultures and religions. They treat immigrants as enemies who came to take advantage of the country and the citizens. Moreover, you and I might suffer for nothing: we did nothing, but someone else who has the same religion or race made a mistake. People leave their country looking for better opportunities to raise their children and live peaceful lives. They crossed the ocean with great hopes and dreams. They might have struggled a lot to get to the foreign country. Some of those people fled because they were afraid to die in military conflicts. Others left because of poverty, aiming to earn enough money for their children to get good education. They probably tried to achieve something in their countries, but there were no chances to live a decent life and the better future remained just a dream. These cultural differences provide us with new knowledge and introduce us to other aspects of peoples lives.
During one of the classes in Canada, we had a small group activity. It did not take more than twenty minutes to see how similar we were. It was a sort of a quiz where we all had to name our hobbies, favorite colors, teams we supported, players we liked, season we preferred, and many other things we appeared to share. However, most of the students were disappointed with the result our professor showed us. The similarity in the answers , which we see on the board, does not mean that we are all the same. I hate seeing someone else like me, said John. Those things we are all sharing mean that we all have the same mindset and our experiment is directed at what we experience daily. So, if you like red color, it may be because your favorite team has red shirts, but I like it because it reminds me of roses and Valentines Day, replied Sara. I honestly get mad at those who support other teams than mine. What makes you not fall in love with Calgary Hitmen? They are the best... , said Adam, laughing. Our professor said at the end of the class: As humans, we have a need to accept and to be accepted. Although acceptance does not come easy to many, to some of us it is as natural as any other form of action. We are all different and significant individuals, all in our own unique ways, seeking the same thing. We do not need forced acceptance, we need mutual acceptance, and this can be achieved only when all of us take a moment to reflect on the fact that we are all aiming for that one thing. When given the power to reflect and empathize, we can relate and connect with one another, therefore, all gathering under one roof truly unite and stand together.
Positive stereotypes can be as harmful as the negative ones. According to the study: A positive stereotype made people feel less like an individual. It happens when positive stereotypes are calling something characteristic of a particular person or a group of people. For example, being Asian will mean being good at mathematics and physics. What about those people who are poor at those disciplines? How would they feel about themselves? The same is to say that Middle Eastern are all rich and Eastern Europeans are strong. How awful it is when people think you posses some qualities and then it turns out that you are not as good as they thought, so they become disappointed. Positive stereotypes are also harmful, but just in less obvious ways.
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Sometimes people ask strangers for help and become shocked at their unreasonable reaction. I experienced race discrimination when I asked a man to show me the road around the area, and he said: Terrorist, go straight, then you will see the road on your right. My friend told me that he might have been influenced by the media and got an idea that in the Middle East all people are terrorists. In the place I belong to, we are victims of terrorists, but it is not a reason for him to call me a terrorist. I wanted to turn around and ask the man how can he tell who was a terrorist and who was not. He probably had not seen a terrorist except in his video games, and we have families and friends who are dead because of terrorist attacks. However, I knew that this would just add fuel to the fire instead of putting it out, so I kept walking as if nothing had happened.
It made me wonder if there was much discrimination around us, so I decided to ask my friends about their experience. Mike told me a curious story. Once he was playing a game online and there was a chat. People from many countries had access to that game. Mike is fond of communication, and he likes learning how people in other countries live. He began to chat with a young man from Germany. His name was Rainer. Mike said that Rainer seemed to be a good person, easy to talk to and funny, until Mike asked how life in Germany was. Rainer made a joke and said that it was ok, but cigarettes cost much money. Suddenly, Rainer wrote that Germany was the country which provided goods for the rest of the European Union. He said that their taxpayers had a great burden, and many people did not understand why they had to give money to those poor countries. When I heard this story, I was shocked. Rainer was not the only one who had a similar point of view. In 2014, Eurobarometer published the results of the poll: 30% of Germans thought that their country should leave the European Union. I used to think that Europe had a discrimination problem with immigrants, but I had no idea that it also concerned poorer nations within the Union. I am not sure where Rainer works, but taking into account that he was playing online games and complaining about cigarette prices, I do not think that he owns some corporation. Probably Rainers income is average. Thus, he does not pay much money to the government, then why is he telling such things? Clearly, Rainer has no right to say so. Germany is one of the wealthiest, most developed, and influential countries in the world, but other European countries are also powerful: Great Britain, France, Switzerland, and Austria. Besides, poorer countries such as Poland or Latvia make their citizens pay taxes as well. These countries are members of the Union for a reason, and not realizing it is not a good reason for discriminating whole nations.
Another friend of mine, Paul, told me what he observed when he entered college. The college was situated in a big city, and Paul was one of its citizens. More than a half of his group came from other towns or from the country. Paul examined behavior of the girls. The difference was huge: those who came from the city wore stylish clothes and much make-up. They acted as if they were real queens. Paul noticed that they looked attractive to boys. On the other hand, girls who came from small towns differed. They were also very beautiful, but they were not so self-confident, most of them wore no make-up, and their clothes were casual and probably not so stylish. Paul remembered that it was interesting, but very sad to see how the girls from the city treated the girls from small towns. No discrimination came from men who were in the group, but the girls were rather cruel. For example, the girls from the city did not talk much with other girls, and if one of them asked for a small favor, they often refused. They acted superior. Paul mentioned that when time passed, the situation changed: the girls mixed and started being friends. Still, I think that it is wrong to treat someone like that only because this person comes from a small town, but not from a big city. From Pauls standpoint, the girls who came from small towns were kinder and more natural, so maybe such competition just scared the girls from the city in the beginning. But fear is not an excuse for discrimination. Girls from small towns already experienced much pressure when they left their homes, family, and friends. But it was not enough: they also had to face discrimination during classes. I think that many girls had such experience.
My friend Amanda made me realize that discrimination may be very deep sometimes. In her case, she was the one who discriminated another person. She went to the mall to buy something nice, but prices disappointed her, so she was about to go home. On the way out, an African American said: Hello, how are you? and she answered: I am fine, thank you, smiled, and kept walking. She took her bus, and when she was already in her district, that man ran up to her and said that he was going after her. She was surprised, but decided there would be nothing bad if they talked. He said that his name was Alex and he liked her, he also added that she was pretty. Alex invited her to the cafe, but she refused and said that she had to go home. Then Alex asked her to give him her phone number. Amanda remembered that, at that moment, she thought that not giving the number would be politically incorrect, so she agreed. Alex often phoned her, so finally, she had to ask him not to call her again. On the one hand, I would never say that this girl is a person capable of discriminating someone. On the other hand, she said that she did not want her friends or even any other people to see her with Alex. This story shows how deep discrimination can be.
To conclude, discrimination is everywhere, which is rather surprising because the world became so developed, but many people stayed the same. It is important to remember that prejudging someone is wrong. Firstly, the one who wants to judge cannot know anything about this persons life and which character he or she has. Secondly, even if you had a viewpoint, nobody would die if you kept it to yourself. When that man called me a terrorist, he spoiled my mood for several days. A person should be careful about what he or she says because discrimination leads to great emotional wounds.