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Essay on Privilege, Power, And Difference Discrimination

When looking at color, ethnicity, wealth, etc. discrimination seems to be the underlying problem evolved from oppression, privilege, and prejudice views. Discrimination is extremely common in the world majority of the time people discriminate against others without noticing they are doing it in the first place. In the book Privilege, Power, and Difference discrimination is looked at as treating people unequally simply because they belong to a particular social category or a way of thinking or feeling towards a person (Johnson, 54).

Over the years people have been judged on how they look, act, or speak nd many stereotypes have developed based on gender, race, or looks. People grow up with these false accusations in their mind and tend to stick with these ideas for the majority of their life. “You’d think we could treat one another with decency and respect and appreciate if not support the best we have in us” (Johnson, 5). In a perfect world this is how everyone would act and treat one another, however, this is not the case. One example of discrimination that I learned more about was the discrimination of women.

Earlier in the year I went to a sex trafficking awareness event where an acting company put on a kit to enlighten people on the growing problem. Young girls are taken every day away from their families and forced into a life that no one should be forced to live. The men that are behind this disturbing operation, sex trafficking, take young girls and women against their will and force them into a life no one would wish for. The sad part is that some females are not even taken, but instead sold into trafficking by their parents.

The article Trafficking in Women states, “Traffickers primarily target women because they are disproportionately affected by poverty and discrimination, factors that impede their access to employment ducational opportunities and other resources” (Advocated of Human Rights). These young girls are looked at as source of pleasure and used as sex objects, by middle-aged/old men, which degrades and humiliates them. In the skit that was performed they actors talked about girls having pimps that basically “owned” them. These men mistreat these young girls and women by verbally and physically mistreating them just because they can.

Women should not be seen as lesser than males or more vulnerable, instead women should be viewed equal and respected. Not only females, but males as well, hould grow up knowing that a woman’s body should be valued. The world should also not view women as easily susceptible or less capable of receiving a good job, education, or lifestyle. Being sexually prejudice towards others is a form of discrimination that occurs fairly often in society today. In an article by Mark Brown, lan McKellen posed the question, “Why has no openly gay man ever won the best actor Oscar? Much like racial issues, McKellen talked about how homophobia is a large issue among the academy voters. There are many men that win Oscars for playing the role of a gay man, but they are straight in real life. Yet, men that play straight roles in movies and shows, but are gay in real life, do not receive awards. The question of whether or not this is a coincident is asked quite often. People should not discriminate against sexuality just because they view it as wrong or not the norm. Voters should pick the best actor based on acting skills not off of who that person is attracted to.

McKellen was the first openly gay man to win the Oscar and makes a comment that states, if you are trying to have a career, as a black of Hispanic actor in a state, like California, where white people are now the minority, and ou are being judged by an Academy where the vast majority are white, male, middle-aged and old, perhaps that is the wrong yardstick”. People are allowed to have their own opinions, however, does the makeup of the major award bodies say something about today’s society and how these groups view others.

Discrimination does not only affect people emotionally, but it can also affect people’s careers which is not fair. This problem has been resolved in some areas over the years, but there are still many that do not see a problem with these discriminative-like views. One major difference between iscrimination a decade ago and now is that the topic is more openly talked about and is being educated to students throughout their classes and daily lives. Years ago people were not as aware of the problem of discrimination in society and how it affects these groups being discriminated against.

Now that people are more educated they are able to recognize these situations and stay more critically conscious throughout their daily lives, as well as being able to educate others who do not yet recognize the major effect discrimination has on others. I have also become more aware of the fact that some people ver think some situations and automatically take comments in a negative way playing the victim role. The topic of discrimination, mainly towards minorities has become a big part of politics lately. There are many people that are using political campaigns for places to voice their opinions on this topic.

Majority of the time creating the idea that there is a substantial amount of discrimination towards colored people and, in a sense, creating more of a separation in equality than actually fixing any real problems. One organization that this VUSM class has talked about multiple times is the Black Lives Matter group. This group may have good intentions; however, they often give off the impression that everything has to be about African Americans instead of incorporating all races into the main goal.

This may lead to the question of “why isn’t there a white lives matter group or Asian lives matter group? Even though the solution for the problem of discrimination has come a long way over the years in a positive way, there seems to be a possibility it is almost going from a positive direction back into a negative direction creating an even larger gap or more discriminatory views between races. Discrimination has gone throughout history for a while, however it is constantly changing. At one point throughout history white people seemed to be the discriminatory group against other races, religions, and cultures. The first real problem started with slavery and discrimination against African Americans.

The right to be seen as equal despite skin color was the main focus at that time in history. Over the years right to free religious views and customs became the next big issue and then, as time went on, discrimination shifted from color and customs towards gender differences. Johnson stated, “We hould not have the belief that things have always been the way we’ve known them to be” (128). Discrimination problems have constantly changed throughout history and, for some people, dealing with these issues has been more difficult than what others had to go through.

Today, even though there may be discrimination against different races, genders, or religions views the issues in which people dealt with in the past are not the same as they are now. “The only thing we can count on is change, then it’s hard to see why we should believe for a minute that any kind of social system is permanent” (Johnson, 129). As people become more educated on the problem of discrimination society began to adapt new views towards these social injustices. The only downside is that, due to human nature, people will always be looking for inequalities in society.

The reality is that there will most likely always be discrimination between races, genders, religions, etc one way or another and people need to find a way to cope with this imperfection of human nature. Due to discrimination towards races, religious views, genders, or those who are privileged throughout history organizations and leaders have stepped up to voice their pinions on the issue. Eventually, slavery became illegal, women gained more rights of equality, segregation became less of a problem, and people were not forced to change their customs or beliefs.

The world has grown substantially throughout history to view all people as equal due to the hard work, persistence, and sacrifices people had to make a better life for themselves. One of the points brought up through discussion in class was, “How might things be if slavery was dealt with differently years ago? ” Other countries dealt with slavery differently than how the U. S. id and today they do not have problems with discrimination and other social injustices like the U. S. does.

However, people need to keep in mind that this problem requires every person to take part in adapting to change. Johnson stated, “In order to shake off the paralyzing myth that we cannot, individually be effective, we have to alter how we see ourselves in relation to a long-term, complex process of change” (131). Social Diversity is difference in backgrounds, religious, political, beliefs, life experiences, heritage, and sexual differences. This is what helps make up who people are and hat separates them from others.

Being able to understand cultural or social diversity can be very valuable because this allows others to accept that there are people in the world that may not have the same views, looks, or customs and people need to be able to accept that. Oppression, privilege, prejudice, and discrimination are all around us and if a person can adapt to differences in other cultures or societies they may be more open to accepting change and become less judgmental. Reggae music and this lifestyle have been mixed into many different cultures and lifestyles.

There are people today that are not from this Jamaican background that adapt the Reggae look, dreadlocks, hippie clothes, and use of mind-altering substances. However, there are many people that follow this kind of lifestyle without knowing the meaning of how it all started and value it has to the Jamaican culture. Even though I do not listen to this type of music or dress in that kind of style I always just assumed that this was a care-free type of culture and I did not know that Reggae music evolved from the Rastafarian movement.

In my VUSM class we discussed how this movement began and how it as used to reclaim black pride. This is where the green, yellow and red colors came from as well as the dreadlocks and mindaltering substances. In 1968, reggae was created and had a specific type of rhythm referred to as riddim (Cataldi, Music and Politics, 14). One instance of how reggae is a cross-cultural experience tied in with social injustice is an experience discussed in class. There was a white woman who had dreadlocks in her hair and a black women came up to her and said, “Why do you have those in your hair you do not even know what they stand for.

This situation was discriminatory towards the white woman because she was being judge for becoming accustomed to a movement that began with a race of a different color. However, the white man did know the historical meaning behind dreadlocks. Today there are so many cultures that are mixed in throughout all over the world and people should have the right to grow accustom to what they find interesting or believe despite their skin color, beliefs, or gender. One of the servant leadership skills I used when talking about this topic was listening.

My view on this topic, before going further in-depth into the history on it, was very different than it is now. I was able to put aside my views and sit back and listen to how this was of lifestyle and music came about and what it means to those who were first apart of it. If I was ever in a situation that I stated before I would tell the colored woman that it is alright for her to voice her opinion but after doing so she should listen to what the women wearing the dreads has to say and her reasoning behind it. This way maybe she will not jump to conclusions the next time she sees someone interested in another culture.

The other skill I have developed is awareness. I feel that now I am more aware of these types of situations and how much people discriminate against others without even knowing they are at some points. Being able to recognize these situations will allow me to be able to say something to people and tell them that discrimination is a problem and encourage them to be more consciously aware of how they act towards other races, genders, and ethnicities. Although discrimination will most likely always be an issue, society has made great steps, as a whole, towards being more accepting and open to differences in sexuality.

When looking at the examples of sex trafficking and the cross-cultural experience with Reggae, discrimination was based off of physical appearances. Gender and race are targeted on a daily basis, as well as sexuality, and if society is going to make any more improvements people need to focus on not being so quick to judge others. Overall, I have learned about multiple different cultures and how many of them have been tied in with American cultures and traditions today. I have also learned to be more critically conscious of discrimination in my daily life and hope that I can teach others to be as well.

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