Discrimination, with its negative connotations, seems like a loaded topic. The first ideas that come to mind are prejudices against different races, or genders. But what does discriminate really mean? Webster’s Dictionary defines it simply as, “to differentiate or to make a distinction”. Not only is it not limited to the topics listed above, but the word “prejudice” is not mentioned anywhere in that definition! The word prejudice is defined as, “prejudgment or an opinion founded on bias”. So is it unacceptable to discriminate without a prejudice mindset?
There are about five obviously different skin colors in the world, a red-like color, a brown-like color, a black-like color, a white-like color, and a yellow-like color. When a person first walks into a room, he or she will know what color the other individuals in that room are. Just knowing is discriminating, or differentiating between the different colors of the skin. Is that prejudice? No. It is not an opinion founded on bias, it is just a fact.
Just because people notice the color of the skin, does that mean they are free to notice other differences too? Sometimes there are noticeable differences in culture, maybe religion, and often even lifestyles. If the differences are there, then yes, it is okay to notice them! If certain characteristics are placed on individuals simply because their skin is a certain color, that is prejudice! It is important to remember that no two individuals, regardless of whether they are the same race or not, are the same. Placing one race higher or lower than another is prejudice, acknowledging that there may be a difference is discriminating.
Another mayor issue that brings up discrimination quite a bit is the different genders. Yes, there are a few rare forms, but most people are either male or female. I really do not need to state that there are many physical differences between the two. The most obvious is the sex organs and the hormones that usually make the male body and the female body appear quit different. That alone is enough to easily differentiate between the two. Once you get past the looks, you run into a lot of controversy over the different roles of the male and female. For the most part those are simply matters of opinion and readers may discriminate between those of a similar mindset as myself or those of an entirely different mindset; that does not mean either is wrong.
A common argument is whether women should be allowed to serve in the armed forces or not. There are a few ideas to consider concerning that; men are usually physically stronger and the levels of testosterone in the average male body causes them to be more aggressive. It is still a matter of opinion but that is the basis of many arguments. Many people get defensive when they are treated as though they are inadequate in certain areas because of gender. That is understandable, but never forget that there are always areas where men excel and areas where women do, too! Discriminating between the two simply means that they are different, not that one is ever better than the other!
There are generally statistics that point out some differences between people who have brown skin, red skin, yellow skin, black skin, or white skin. For example, statistics show that sixty-five percent of players in the National Football League are black. What does that mean? Black people are generally better athletes. Are they always? No. So which skin color is better? They are all equal. Sometimes they are different, and that is why people discriminate. Certain skin colors sometimes excel in particular areas. Let me repeat for emphasis, there are sometimes differences between people with brown skin, yellow skin, black skin, white skin, or red skin but that never makes them unequal!
There is no point in saying there is no difference between male and female, because there are proven differences. Men have certain characteristics and women have certain characteristics. Therefore, it is not prejudice to distinguish between them.
Discriminating and being prejudice are two entirely different concepts that are sometimes interchanged incorrectly. Discriminating is realizing that not everyone is the same. Being prejudice is feeling that those differences make some individuals better while setting others in lower positions. So is there really any need for the negative connotations associated with discrimination?