Corrie holds master's in elementary education, taught elementary ESL in the public schools for 5 years, and recently was teaching EFL abroad.
We're All Equal
Unfortunately, discrimination is something that's still happening every single day. Discrimination is when a person or group of people is treated unfairly compared to others. Most commonly, discrimination happens because of one's sex, religion, nationality, ethnicity, race, or another personal characteristic. We're going to talk more about these forms of discrimination and what you can do to help.
Types of Discrimination
One of the most common forms of discrimination is when people are treated differently or unfairly because of their race; this is called racism. A person's race is a classification based mainly on what you look like, like skin color (white or black, for example). Racism occurs everywhere: in schools, jobs, the grocery store, at restaurants, and so on. Sometimes people don't even know they're being racist because they don't know any better. But, when you really think about it, is there any logical reason that one person should get better treatment because they have a certain color skin?
Another of the more common types of discrimination is sexism. Sexism is when people are discriminated against because of their gender. It's more common to see females being discriminated against, but it can happen to males, too. This can come in the form of the clothes females are expected to wear, the types of activities a female should enjoy (such as when a female wants to build a robot instead of sewing a shirt), or the same for males (males are often expected to like building robots instead of sewing or cooking). Why should you be expected to do a certain activity just because you are male or female?
Religious discrimination has been an issue all over the world for some time (WWII happened partly because Hitler didn't like Jewish people) but is currently a major issue in America. Religious discrimination is exactly that—treating someone differently or badly because of their religion. In America, we have recently seen some aggressive forms of religious discrimination, such as vandalizing Jewish synagogues and burning Islamic mosques. Should someone be afraid to practice their religion?
Some other forms of discrimination include ableism (discrimination against people with physical and mental disabilities), discrimination against one's political views, and sizeism (discriminating against someone because they are too big or too small, too tall or too short).
What Can You Do?
Treating a person differently or badly for any of the above-mentioned reasons is just not something that should still be happening, so what can you do about it? Well, you are the only person you can change, so that's where it starts. Here are a few suggestions:
- Try every day not to discriminate against anyone by not speaking negatively of other people.
- If you see a friend at school being discriminated against or bullied, help them, or tell an adult who can help them.
- Pick friends who don't discriminate against other people either. This is important because if your friends discriminate or bully, it is more likely that you will, too, even if it's unintentional.
Discrimination is treating people differently or badly. It can come in the form of racism, sexism, religious discrimination, ableism, sizeism, and just about any other personal characteristic. However, as mentioned previously, there are things you can do every day to fight against discrimination, so get out there and change the world by changing yourself!
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