I recently enjoyed watching a dated (90’s), but fully applicable, video on testing the social acceptance of our communities. It was based on two equally great men, only major difference being skin color. John and Glen set out to experience prejudice and discrimination in a new surrounding thinking that they would not share any differences. I have seen much of the behavior displayed on the video first hand and even had similar things happen to me before. The individual’s demeanor changes instantly depending on who surrounds them. Based on preconceived notions, Glen, the black gentleman, gets treated worse than John in almost every situation.
Millions of ethnically diverse people are judged by stereotypes that are based on ascribed differences. How can societal beliefs be so hateful that the police stare you down as they drive by, and passing drivers yell “Little far south” if you’re in the wrong part of town? The everyday grinding carries an emotional price with those who face prejudice and discrimination. It is wrong that the certain races in our country pay more than a $150 million dollar markup (annually) on expenditures, just because of their skin color.
Life threatening scenarios occur daily that fall to discriminatory levels and, in a way, encourages the underemployment of entire racial groups. Searching for a job is incomparable between these races due to the higher regard many employers have towards Caucasians. Our countries economic prosperity is cut short because of the loss of opportunities that some parts of society struggle to accept.
The fact that we, humans, predetermine each others successes in life, predicated on immutable characteristics, is a classical thought process. I believe that as generations transition power, racial acceptance and diversity will become the predominant basis of our culture. The social justice movement kick-started acceptance, but it is my hope that the future leaders will truly extend these amiable beliefs.