Anti Discriminatory Practice
The Individual And Anti Discriminatory Practices
Anti discriminatory practices aren't those practices we can pass legislation to support and then just forget about it. For such practices to take hold, the general public, down to the level of each individual, must be sincerely supportive, and each individual needs to do his or her part to fight against discriminatory practices.
We have anti discriminatory legislation in place on the national level such as the sex discrimination act, the disability discrimination act, and the race relations act. Still, it is up to the every individual to abide by these rules and regulations. While flaunting anti discriminatory practice acts can bring about fines or other punishment, it is really the support of the individual that puts the real teeth into these acts.
A Matter Of Fairness And Respect - Discrimination is essentially treating others, who we regard as being different from us in some way, differently, and generally less favorably than we would treat those who are more like us. In one sense, discrimination could almost be looked at as something quite natural, as we are always a bit more comfortable in the presence of our own. But it is in the treatment of people unfairly that makes discrimination unnatural and wrong. That is to say, it is not a question of difference so much as it is a question of fairness and equality.
Our Small-Town Attitudes - Anti discrimination practice means treating everyone as equal in the sense that all have the same inalienable rights. Although our country was founded on the basis of equality of all citizens, from the start we had slavery to contend with, and up until the 20th century, and well into the 20th century, we thought of ourselves as a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant nation, which for the better part of two centuries, in terms of political and social power was mostly the case. It came as quite a shock to more than one white person wishing to marry a Black, Hispanic, or Asian person, to discover that the family of the minority race strongly disapproved of the proposed union. In small towns, discriminatory practices could be directed towards those of another religion, Protestants versus Catholics, or Lutherans against Baptists, or simply towards families living on the wrong side of the tracks.
Diversity Is To Be Valued - One does not have to travel far however to find countries or societies where discrimination is not only openly practiced, but sanctioned by those in power. To our credit, we have learned some of the fundamentals of anti discriminatory practice and applied them. We have learned something about the value of diversity, and learned to regard differences as a positive thing. We've learned how much more interesting life can be when we take a closer look at the cultures and lifestyles recent immigrants have brought with them..
It Is Getting Better - Even the young among us can look back a few years and note some of the changes that have taken place, and see where anti discriminatory practice has flourished as well as where it has failed to take hold. The older among us can certainly look back to when we were younger, to a time when discrimination against those of a different race, religion, gender, or those with disabilities, was much more widespread, if not rampant. We were envious of those who were much better off financially, yet looked down on those who were “different”, regardless of their financial status. Hopefully, anti discriminatory practice will continue to expand, and 20 years from now we'll look back in amazement at how discriminatory many of our practices actually were during the first years of the 21st century, though we thought we were doing quite well in that regard. We're doing better, but still have a ways to go.