No More Lemons!

Sweeten the Sour Taste of Discrimination & Inequality

Discrimination Has Shaped America Throughout History

An Overview of Problems and Solutions to Discrimination Throughout History

As the United States grew, many forms of discrimination were experienced and changed America. Although discrimination has decreased, people still face many forms of it today.

  • African Americans now make up over 57% of state prisons because of the racism that exists within our culture.
  • Latinos and Hispanics are the second highest population in state prisons after African Americans, ranking at 22%.
  • A study from 2012 shows that 51% of Americans expressed anti-black feelings in a poll which was a 3% increase from 2008.
  • Ever since Martin Luther’s “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, only 45% of Americans say they have seen increase in equality for African Americans.
Even though there may be laws against slavery and segregation of non-Caucasian races, it still is very apparent in today's culture along with many other forms of discrimination. These statistics prove that America may be working towards a non-discriminatory environment, but it will be a difficult feat to achieve since it has been present since the birth of different races.

Steps Taken Over Time to Improve Equality

There have been many advancements towards accepting the different races, genders, religions, and cultures such as...

  • The passing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 which in theory made it legal for anyone to vote at the proper age, including African-Americans.
  • The idea of Black Power was introduced in 1966.
  • By 1967 inter-racial marriage was now legal.
  • By 1974 the first major Latino voter registration group, the Southwest Vote Registration Education Project begins, registering over two million Latino voters in the first 20 years.
If America can keep heading down a track filled with progress and advancements towards the rights of other races, discrimination will decrease and our history will continue to be changed for the better.
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Discrimination Still Exists in America Today

Everyone is Different, so Many Different Types of People Face Discrimination

Whether someone lands outside the box due to religion, sexual orientation, gender, race, or culture, almost everyone faces some form of intolerance from other social classes and cultures.

  • Members of the LGBTQ community still face nonacceptance in America currently.
  • Even though part of the LGBTQ community say society is more accepting and gay marriage is now legal, half still admit to experiencing forms of discrimination.
  • 73% of Americans believe Muslims face a lot of intolerance. This statistic takes out African - Americans, which 63% of Americans see as victims of bias, and Mexican - Americans who are viewed as targets of discrimination by 60% of the American population.
  • Women experience discrimination through the workforce, legal proceedings, domestically, in the medical field, when using marketing tactics, in the education system, and even through church.
  • 52% of Americans say Islam is more likely than other religions to promote violence. This stereotypical belief was much higher in Republicans, 74%, than Democrats, 41%.
  • Donald Trump calls an end to all Muslim immigration into the United States.

America's reaction to cultures, religions, race, and sexual orientations that are "different" than our own have caused many other groups to experience discrimination in their lives. There is always new groups that try to gain equality but are instead discriminated and judged with stereotypical thoughts by America.

Discrimination can be Found Everywhere in the World

Considering how vastly different everyone is from one another, there is bound to be some cultures not agreeing with others. This creates conflict and debates between social groups.

  • Muslims face a lot of negative stereotypes worldwide.
  • Christians are the most disliked religious group in the world.
  • Jews make up less than 1% of the world population but still experience discrimination in eighty-five different countries.
  • Some European countries are selecting Syrian refugees to move from Lebanon to Europe based on educational and religious standards, causing over a million refugees including children and families, to be homeless.
  • 197 countries and territories have identified a sharp rise in religious restrictions worldwide with a 6% increase in restrictions from 2006-2010.
  • 63% rise of religious intolerance from mid-2009 to mid-2010 in numbers of countries that increased government restrictions.
  • Discrimination against the LGBT community can lead to torture, killings, executions, arrest under prejudice laws, inequality and unequal treatment, and denial of family rights and recognition.
  • People with physical or mental disabilities are sometimes locked up without the opportunity to have a social or political life and are restricted from having children or families. They also face increased violence and intolerance within the community.
There have already been one too many examples of the discrimination that occurs with any different social or political groups, and hopefully one day it all will end. But for now, the world is living in a web of different cultures and ways of life, and its causing lots of conflict for different people.
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The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained
Chained and Locked Up in Somaliland

Why Do People Hold Prejudice?

We Know There's a lot of Discrimination, but Why?

If you pay close attention to the people around you, you will notice that everyone is different. There are people with different religions, sexual orientation, traditions, beliefs in the after life, disabilities, everything down to liking a different food than some people. These differences can make others who do not agree afraid that it will change their own personal beliefs. Other people may also get jealous of your wealth or social status and try to make that person not have those things anymore. Greed aids in people being ignorant to other customs and not wanting to help others. We can see these effects occurring in our communities, churches, work places, homes, and schools. In school, kids will be judged by their peers first by appearance, then by personality. If the kids do not have name-brand clothes or dress just like everyone else, they are bullied or made fun of by others. If the kids do not act cool or fit in correctly, the same consequences can occur. How smart and competent you are is also a scale of popularity and social acceptance within schools. If you're too smart, the student is seen as "not cool" or "lame" but if the student isn't smart enough, they're seen as incompetent. This same example can occur in all other aspects of our culture. The trick is just deciding which social, religious, or political group you fit into and ignoring others' unjust opinions.

Women: The Gender Fighting for Equality

The Major Events that got Women in America Going in the Right Direction

Throughout American history, women have experienced inequality. Years have passed that women have been fighting for the same rights and treatment as men, and they have accomplished some great feats.

  • 1903: the National Women's Trade Union League (NWTL) is established to improve wages and working conditions for women.
  • 1913: Lucy Burns and Alice Paul work towards gaining women the right to vote and picket the White House along with other civil disobedience.
  • 1923: first year birth control clinics were finally allowed and supported by the courts. Margaret Sanger helped with this movement.
  • the federal woman suffrage agreement written in 1878 by Susan B. Anthony was finally introduced to congress by 1919.
  • Aug. 26, 1920, women were finally granted the right to vote through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.
  • 1960: the FDA approves birth control pills.
  • 1978: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans employment discrimination for pregnant women. Now “A woman cannot be fired or denied a job or a promotion because she is or may become pregnant, nor can she be forced to take a pregnancy leave if she is willing and able to work,” (Infoplease).
  • Nancy Duff Campbell, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, said in a statement, “We applaud today’s announcement that knocks down the last remaining official barrier to women’s military service and ensures the full integration of women into all military jobs, positions and units,” (Bloomberg).
  • 2015: 220,000 jobs have been opened in the armed forces to women including combat roles.
Women must continue to work towards equality, however, since women still have less benefits and are not treated as equally as men. If women continue down this path of great achievements, they're bound to wind up just as successful as men in the future.
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Women and Men are Treated Very Differently in America

No matter what race or religion, sexuality or social class, women all over the world are treated differently than men. Especially in America, women are treated differently in their workplace, churches, in public, schools, and even at home.

  • School dress codes are applied to girls as they are body-shamed and told to cover themselves up to avoid sexual harassment.
  • Women make $0.72 to every man’s dollar.
  • Studies have shown that men get raises faster and take less time off work to raise a family.
  • Women have been waiting since 1948 to get into some combat jobs that were previously closed off to women even though men have been fighting for centuries.
  • Women get maternity or motherhood penalties while men receive fatherhood bonuses.
  • When women get angry they are foreseen as too emotional while men are not. They are also interrupted or ignored in work meetings and dress codes are much more strict on women.
  • Women are treated differently in the workplace including being seen as aggressive if they add too much opinion on discussions, being seen as less likable the more successful they are, and are less likely to receive as much credit as men in group projects.
  • They’re seen as “incompetent” until they do an action that proves their competency.
  • At least 40% of all women in America have experienced some form of discrimination not only in the workplace but at young ages too.
  • Boys rambunctious behavior is accepted by society while women are expected to be polite.

Through all of these differences that occur between the two genders, women obviously have less advantages than men in the workplace, military, schools, and many other environments. Women also experience a concept known as the "glass ceiling." This concept proposes that women can only advance to a certain level in their workplace while men can advance to how ever high they want. This also proposes and proves that women experience many challenges on their way to becoming a successful worker of the workforce. There has been very slow progress with breaking the glass ceiling, but any progress is better than nothing. Some advancements for women's rights are shown through this timeline. Hopefully future generations of women won't have to experience these challenges.
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America Isn't the Only Place Affected: The Whole World Is.

It's unfortunate to hear about, but all over the world women are facing different treatment and inequality than men., not just America. Everywhere you turn, there's a push to have women receive the same rights as their male counterparts.

  • Women have just gained their right to vote on December 12, 2015 in Saudi Arabia-That's a long time without any political say! The first woman to vote, Salma al-Rashed, and said "It felt really good," she told the BBC. "Change is a big word but the election is the way to make sure we are really represented." All 130,000 women that are now registered to vote are living in the history books.
  • Around 90% of the marriages that take place in Middle Eastern, Asian, and African countries have been arranged marriages. This number is decreasing, but is still very high and the majority of marriages.
  • Arranged marriages have been popular throughout history to keep the support of a family stature or to stay in a particular caste.
  • If the child refuses the arranged marriage, some consequences can occur such as: some form of punishment, disowning from the parent and/or being kicked out of the home, the child's opinion is ignored and the marriage is held anyways, or, in some rare cases, the child is killed.
  • Parents are paying to have a baby of their desired gender using one of two techniques: Microsort, a sperm-sorting technique, allows clinicians to sort X-bearing and Y-bearing sperm, and then use the sperm with the desired chromosome to inseminate the mother-to-be or using a more precise, but also more invasive and expensive technique for gender selection is preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) which genetically modifies the baby at the embryonic stage.
  • At first these techniques were meant to get rid of genetic disease, but now parents are using it to pick one gender over another, usually for very selfish reasons.

There are countless more examples of woman being treated unequally and getting less advantages than men, and it needs to end. Women shouldn't have to watch their male counterparts get many more advantages like voting, raises, and even driving in some countries. It seems that in some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, women are finally gaining more rights such as voting and applying in political careers, but in other countries there is new technology being used to grow a male baby instead of a female one. Across the globe women are bumping their heads on glass ceilings, being denied the right to vote or marry, and are being denied to fight in militaries. When will this change? The slow progress is agonizing, but hopefully soon future generations won't have to endure this inequality.

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Someone Has to Make a Difference, but Who?

Through all the advancements that have been made for women, who has been influential to the female population?

  • Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head at close range by a Taliban gunman due to her opinions in education and criticism in the Taliban. She survived the gunshot and is now a spokesperson for human rights, education, and women's rights. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 along with many other peace awards throughout her life as an activist.

  • Cece McDonald is a black transgender woman who was sent to prison for self-defense against a racist and transphobic hate crime. McDonald says, “We need to stop raising our younger generation to this idea of what hate is and it’s really hard. I know that it’s possible” (Open Democracy).

  • Hilary Clinton continues to make women's rights speeches and says that as a president she will work to close the pay gap, fight for paid family leave, make quality childcare for families, and protect women's health and reproductive rights.

  • Oprah Winfrey established the Angel Network that has raised over $80 million thus far to help women and children empower, educate, and believe in themselves. She helps those who are underprivileged to help get an education and reach their potential. she also developed programs to help girls in South Africa who have been violated of afflicted with AIDS. The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa opened in 2007 to help educate the new generation to lead themselves towards peace and economic prosperity and enrolled girls who displayed leadership skills and were known for helping others.

  • Angelina Jolie, actress and humanitarian, has either donated or founded twenty-nine different charities and organizations, one of them being the Women in the World Foundation. Established in 2010, this foundation is dedicated to finding solutions to advance women and girls in the world.

If more people such as these noble and caring souls helped the world with advancing women's rights, future generations wouldn't even hear of something like "wage gaps" or "no voting for women." It takes a smart person to talk and believe in women's rights or feminism, but it takes a courageous and noble one to act upon it.
Hillary Clinton's keynote address at the 2015 Women in the World Summit
Angelina Jolie speaks at African Union summit
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Making Lemonade from these Sour Fruits

The sour fruits of discrimination and gender inequality play a huge role in the novel Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff. In the novel, a seventeen year of mother, Jolly, single-handedly takes care of two kids: Jeremy and Jilly until fourteen year old babysitter Verna LaVaughn comes along. Together, they work through the harsh reality of raising two young ones with no source of income. Jolly was making minimum wage until her male boss sexually harassed and fired her. If a women weren't looked upon as incompetent and could be the boss instead, Jolly wouldn't have been fired. All the women in LaVaughn's neighborhood take self-defense classes to protect themselves from the men in the low-income area. The fear of being sexually harassed or feeling defenseless that they have to live with is unacceptable. Why are men the only gender that can act out and not be punished? If a woman tried to retaliate, she'd be seen as aggressive. This happened to Jolly when she was planning to report her ex-boss when she was warned not to because her boss had a "system support" that could get her in trouble. The discrimination that LaVaughn faces for being too smart for the education system she's in makes her feel very distant from her friends and peers. Jolly also faces discrimination because she ends up having to join a Moms Up program for teen mothers or pregnant teens. She's being discriminated against in this case because the fathers of her two children don't have to continue their lives down a separate path like Jolly. The two accidental fathers can continue to go the same high school that they did previously and continue their lives like they were before, while Jolly was forced to drop out and choose a low-income, abusive job over her education and future. Jolly finally finds help from others in her community, but she still has everyday struggles that a smarter or wealthier person wouldn't have. In the end, however, with the help of LaVaughn and the will to raise her children as best as she can, Jolly turns the lemons of discrimination and women inequality into the taste of a sweeter future, the lemonade from fate's lemons.

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