Discrimination in America

Why the Battle for Civil Rights is not Nearly Finished

Age Discrimination

Anti-age discrimination laws were passed in America in 1967, and although there have been several additions and revisions over the years, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act falls very short of providing the protections that Americans need. Its first failure is that, it addresses solely the needs of persons over the age of forty, while research indicates that discrimination follows an inverted U relationship; as age increases towards 42 to 48 years of age, the likelihood of hiring increases, and that after this age the likelihood drops off. Young people have no protection under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, even though they are just as likely to be discriminated against.

The Supreme Court has also ensured that the bill remains largely toothless from its decision in the case of Gross v. FBL Investments Inc. in 2009 in which it found that, a higher burden of proof should be placed on age discrimination cases than on other federal anti-discrimination statutes. This resulted in only 2.7% of cases filed under age discrimination in 2012 to be found to have just cause. This was out of over twenty thousand cases.

The problems of age discrimination may seem less sensational than many other forms of prejudice, and certainly you would be hard pressed to find exciting films and books on the subject, but disregarding the facts in this case would be a serious blow to American civil rights, and would only get worse in the near future. Thanks to advances in nutritional, medical, and environmental standards, Americans are living longer. This means that we will need to remain in the work force longer in order to be able to support our increased years in retirement. The stresses of age discrimination in hiring and firing practices will increase, although researchers debate on which side of the divide the hammer will fall: Whether younger workers will be less hirable in an environment inundated by more experienced members, or if older workers will be less desirable as new hires due to this same fact.

Perhaps the most important question we can ask ourselves is, “what can I do about it?” One route would be to increase legislation and provide further protections to young workers. The pitfalls are obvious: Where do we stop legislating? What age is young? What age is old? How do we give the laws the teeth they need to uphold our view of what the law should do without causing a legal case every time a company passes on an interviewee? The thing to remember is that discrimination can’t be solved through legislation alone, it is a symptom of learned habits. So why don’t we try to treat the cause and not the symptom.

Early exposure of children to diverse friendships has been shown to decrease negative stereotyping. By creating and adopting a practice of hiring or recruiting volunteer teaching aids from a cross-section of ages that would attend class weekly or biweekly, and form personal connections with young children, we could be helping to inoculate the future against prejudice. If you are a parent, you can also help by increasing your child’s interaction with adults of all ages. We all must face the future together, and this plan of adult child interaction will help stop the walls of prejudice, the, “us versus them,” distinction, from forming at all.

-Matthew Samollow

Racism in America

Almost half a century after Dr. Martin Luther King made his great “I Have A Dream Speech”, America is still fighting Racism. While some believe that racism has nearly gone extinct here in America, others are suffering greatly from it. Have you heard of the names Treyvon Martin, Michael Brown, or George Zimmerman? These are just a few of the many names of unarmed black men who have been shot and killed by white law enforcement in the recent months. Just this month Walter Scott was shot eight times in the back by a white police officer. Although that Officer was charged for murder, many of the other cops who have shot unarmed black men were not charged. In many of these cases, the officers’ life did not appear to be in danger. Thousands of people have gathered to protest in what the media has portrayed as these “white vs black” incidents. According to CBS news, there have been gatherings of over 25000 people in multiple cities to protest. With protesters holding up signs saying “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” or “Black lives Matter” it is evident that they feel there is a strong prejudice against the black population. Racism hasn't just been seen in our law enforcement, but also Among us, college kids. Who are the future of our nation. According to CNN, The Sigma Alpha Epilson Fraternity of Oklahoma that was responsible for an extremely crude and racist chant that went viral on social media; learned the chant while at a National Leadership conference hosted by SAE. The chant is rumored to have been shared by many SAE fraternities all across the nation. There is also a huge race gap seen in the business world. According to Business Insider, the Average Income of a white household in 2011 was $67000; While the income of a black household was only $39000. Almost half that of white. According to the Washington Post Billionare and Formere Clippers owner Donald Sterling recently had a tape of him leaked, in which he made extremely racist remarks. He told his girlfriend that the did not want her to be seen with any black people because it embarrassed him. His friends were telling him bad things about how they saw her in pictures with Magic Johnson, a black NBA legend. So we have billionaire business owners and their wealthy friends afraid to be seen associating with black people? That’s horrible.

Racism in America is a serious issue that we cannot stand by and ignore. Racism can be extremely emotionally hurtful, and deteriorating to ones self esteem. It is based off the false idea that one race is superior to another. There is no room for racism in our world and we must get rid of this type of thinking. The best way to do this is too educate our young, while they are toddlers and beginning to develop their beliefs and values. It’s hard to change how adults think now, because they were brought up thinking a certain way. But if we can change how the toddlers think, then our future generations won’t have racism in the back of their minds. America would be a lot more peaceful if we didn't have all these race related incidents.

-Louise Garcia

Discrimination Based on Appearance and Dress

Discrimination and profiling happens everywhere we go. We do it without even being aware of it. Discrimination is an ongoing issue and we must address the issue peacefully. It's hard for our nation to accept we have a problem regarding discrimination because we have so many laws that are suppose to protect us from such an injustice. Things like EEOC, the Equal Employer Opportunity Commission, restrict employers from discriminating against their employees and even those trying to obtain a position with the employer. A common visualization of such discrimination can be imagined when you think of tattoos. In our society today, tattoos are interpreted as a very unprofessional physical attribute. For some reason, this legacy or idea has been passed down throughout the century. A female model gives a TED talk about how she won a genetics lottery and was born a legacy. Perhaps this is because tattoos were originally used by gangsters and convicts to identify what gangs or groups they belonged with. The art of tattooing was very rigid and bland at first and many saw it as a very crude form of art. In the last century though, this art has transformed into one of the worlds most casual form of art that anyone can partake in. For instance, if you have experienced or lived through a very memorable moment, one way many people like to remember it is by having it tattooed onto their body in the fashion of ink. These small pieces of art that can be found on several people across the world are seen as unprofessional and possibly fas filthy. People that have tattoos are often declined from work unless they can cover it up when they are at work. Employers sometimes try to force employees to hide what that employee views as beautiful and memorable. These employers cannot be punished in anyway because there is not a law that prohibits employers from discriminating based on an individual's appearance. There will most likely never be a law that states it is unjust to discriminate an individual based on the way they look and dress. To do this would be like trying to define beauty. Beauty is unique and differs from each set of eyes or ears it travels through. Unfortunately, companies like Hooters and modelling services require their employees to uphold a certain standard of body dimensions if they would like to work for their business. Several companies discriminate on job seekers because these employers are entitled to project the view of their businesses in any way they see fit. Even though we live in a society of relatively open-mindedness and freedom, there are still several ways we live in a society that is close-minded and monitored. The best way to reduce this issue in society is through education. Throughout history, education is used to correct issues. Our nation needs to begin placing awareness in the young people of all future generations to come. Since we cannot establish to keep people open-minded, we need to instill this trait in them while they are young.

-Wesley Kuehn

Cameron Russell: Looks aren't everything. Believe me, I'm a model.

Religious Discrimination

Religious Discrimination is valuing or treating a person or group differently because of what they do or do not believe. It is when different religions or denominations are treated unequally, before law. Today I will be discussing the importance of ending religious discrimination worldwide. : According to the article, Tim Cook: Pro-discrimination ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous, by Tim Cook, he states that “Discrimination isn’t something that’s easy to oppose. It doesn’t always stare you in the face. It moves in the shadows. And sometimes it shrouds itself within the very laws meant to protect us.” Religious discrimination is currently happening worldwide, countries like Canada, Germany, Greece, and the United States find themselves in cases where discrimination of some sort occurs.

The situation of these events are currently getting out of hand. The amount of cases that toke place this decade in the United States, has surpassed 100, not adding other countries to the sum. For example, the Unites States, is known for their Bill of Rights law, including the law for freedom of religion/ belief, yet when looking at graphs and searching up religious discriminations, a numerous amount of articles and cases were brought forth. According to the DoSomething Campaign, “Nearly 50% of countries increased their religious discrimination between 2009 and 2010, and only 32% saw decreases.” “Jarvis, 19, was upset after an administrator asked her to take the cross necklace off, saying the religious symbol of her Christian faith might offend some other students who did not share her beliefs.” Says the author Andrea Billups, who wrote the article, “Christian Student in Discrimination Case May Leave University.”

The significant problem is that people are becoming bolder and the retaliation shows. People of all sorts are being harassed based on their religion, and having to face difficult circumstances. “Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case filed by a Muslim plaintiff, Samantha Elauf, who argued that clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch denied her a job because of her hijab,” posted by Gurjot Kaur, in her article “Abercrombie Religious Discrimination Case Less Than Cool for Supreme Court, Sikh Americans.” It is very insulting and disrespectful for things like this to be reoccurring, and should not be tolerated in any way.

You ask for my opinions about how to stop all this nonsense, simple, I demands an early intervention in high schools, placing students into discrimination courses. . At this certain age, kids are old enough to grasp important information and use it in everyday life. People all over, are getting too comfortable with breaking the laws of the Bill of Rights, and other laws other countries have established. With this policy enforced, individuals will be satisfied that something is being done about this disgraceful act. Money will be saved as of court cases becoming more minimal in the world. As of all this analysis, Religious Discrimination should be taken more seriously. It’s caused law suits, retaliation by others and several amounts of chaos. It invades your personal space, and what you stand for. So stand with me on the right side and let’s get rid of these prejudice efforts towards other religions, by educating the new generation about the Discriminations and the effects it has on other individuals.

-Ofon-Imeh Udo-Umoh

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