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Trevyn asked in Social SciencePsychology · 1 decade ago

Would (do) YOU ever discriminate based on race, gender, ethnicity, or general appearance?

Not much to my suprise, my earlier questions "Is it ever justifiable to discriminate" and "can we ever ignore stereotypes" receiced mainly two different sorts of answers. Most people said you can never discriminate, but then most also said it is not possible not to... a little bit of a contradiction, but thats what you can expect when the media pushes the message of multiculturalism- people will want to embrace the ideas of equality and diversity.

I will say this once again before I get hate mail, I am not racist, sexist, or otherwise a biggot. This is just an interesting topic to me and I want to see people's views.

I'll give you a few scenarios where one might discriminate, and you can reply by saying if you would or not, if its right or wrong:


You go to a fast food restuarant. Two counters are equally close to you, equally ready to take your order. One employee is hispanic and was speaking Spanish as you walked in the door. The other is a caucasian teenage girl. You don't speak Spanish. Which counter do you chose?

You run a small business with only a handful of employees in an ethnically diverse part of a large city. So faar, all of your employees are middle aged white males. You get two apllicants to work at your business- one is just like the other employees, one is an African American woman, both equally qualified for the job. You can't find a good reason to chose one over the other, their abilities are nearly identical. Which one would you hire if you had to pick one?

Update 2:

Here is a more serious example:

You are the head of a bomb squad in an urban area. You hear news from a correspondant that a bombing on the building you're in is expected to occur within five minutes. You only have enough men to cover one of the three entrances to the building. You can see that a Middle Eastern man approaches from one side with a bag, an elderly woman with a bag from another, and a group of male hispanic teenagers with a box are headed to the third entrance. Which one would you try to stop? Would you discriminate against these people when posed with such a threat?

18 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Never! being of mixed race (black and hispanic and so are my children) i never judge anyone. the one think i look at is character, morals, how they conduct themselves and how they treat others.

    p.s. i teach my children the same, treat everyone with respect. even those that discriminate, because they don't know that what they are doing is wrong.

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  • 1 decade ago

    We are all guilty of using sterotypes, it's been shown that we always use them when meeting people for the first time. It's a handy device in many senses - it tells us how to act and what to expect.

    Stereotypes are not fixed and can change, although it depends whether the individual has more flexible perceptions.

    We all have stereotypes but it doesn't mean we will discriminate. We tend to group with similar people because, in reality, we have more in common with them. If religion is important in your life it;s likely you aren't going to have many alternative-religion friends because they'll hold contradictory views. But then, is this discrimination? I'd say not.

    Discrimination occurs due to race, colour, age, gender . . . on that basis alone. But to not get to know someone or create a friendship based on the fact cultural values are totally different is not discrimination.

    I spose what I'm saying is it depends on the individual motivation. If I were to choose the caucasion girl over the hispanic (not that I think I would in this case) it would be for ease of communication, not because I don't like hispanics.

    But yes, for multiculturalsim to succeed everyone needs to stop being phobic about discrimination. If you genuinely aren't sexist, racist etc but you would rather speak to someone who has a better grasp of enligsh, that's acceptable.

    For example, I have a indian-carrbean friend who worked with an afro caribean nurse. This nurse was generally unpleasant and not very good at her job. Howeer, no one could criticise her and if they did she'd jump on the race-hate band wagon. It was only when my friend (from similar racial background) said something that her attitude changed (actually I think she quit but still, you see my point). . .

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  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Hi Guys

    I have some kind of prblem with it, cause currently for 3 years been livving in the UK, am Polish and feel that have been judgeed by my backround natinality only. And tha is the problem for me to be honest. I belive in Reincarnation maybe here is the key to some of his questions. If we die and born again so the next time we may born as differant pesron living in the west or in the east. And for example, if I lived somewhere in the Western World like USA UK and so on, and the next time I was born into Russia but my subconscious is attracted to the West for example USA and am missing subconsciously to go or live in that country, it may here arise a quite big problem..You go there thry to lead a normal life but suddenlty you some people around you that are against you just becuase of your nationality!! Take this sort of scenario what would you do or how would feel about that if it was true?

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  • 1 decade ago

    Fact is, discrimination is what the human brain is all about, for most of us anyway. We are designed to discern patterns and that REQUIRES discrimination as a base-line intelligence. Add to this early childhood experience including the inputs of people you trust and pretty soon you have prejudice, meaning here a tendency to evaluate on patterns rather than actual experience. In a social venue, prejudice also, as well all know, shows up in institutions and behaviors which are influenced by those patterns. Badda-bing: folks get stuck in the back of the bus (until Rosa came along, God rest her soul).

    And therefore -listen to me- therefore NO ONE - I said NO ONE- is without prejudice, because we grew up in it, whether present as outrageous bigamy, subtle influence or, in fact, utter denial of it. Am I "prejudiced?" Of COURSE I am, how can I NOT be? So are you, Slick. And so was MLK and so is Don Imus and Al Sharpton and Billy Graham, that crazy white-trash preacher.

    And that leaves the question of consciously chosen BEHAVIOR; that is, what do I do about it? Well, you're not going to make it go away, so you have your basic management issue here. In the case of fingering the bad guys, if you know that the suspect is, in fact white and bald, goes around without a shirt and has a picture of his mommy eating a snake etched on his tummy, then when you see a black dude wearing a tux with a gun pointed at you, you know he's not your guy. You discriminated on all factors; first the very general, then down to the details. Should you expect the investigator to "lean" one way or another based on ingrained patterns of racial prejudice? Of course you should, and she will! However, if she's doing her job and has an IQ of room temperature or above, she'll consciously reject patterns that are not relevant to the search.

    Am I uneasy with a black guy in grubby clothes, speaking in street-talk and carrying an attitude coming into my place of business? Yup. Put him in a suit, give him a smile and a brief case, and the positive associations of those things will balance it out. For that matter, some grubby, stinkin' white guy who addresses me as "bud" won't give me real secure feelings, either.

    I'm so impressed with myself that I've forgotten the original stupid liberal question so I'll just stop now. You Commie.

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  • 1 decade ago

    1. To the one on my left. If the restaurant wants to direct the flow of traffic properly, the condiment/drink/napkin station will be to the right of the counter as I leave the counter with my food. Left to right is more natural.

    2. Like Bjork--which ever one can bring something different to the table--a different perspective. Sex and race does not matter.

    3. Elderly woman being a terrorist is highly unlikely. It doesn't take a group of teens to plant a bomb, I'd go with the single man, mid-eastern or not.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Honest answers:

    1) I'd glance at both of them and step up to the first one to look at me, reasoning that the first to look at me is the one who's willing to fill my order fastest. If they look up simultaneously, then it's a 50/50 tossup. I don't care what color my fast-food jockey is!

    2) I'd hire the African-American woman. Having different points of view is important to a healthy organization. (I'm also assuming that the white men I've hired are decent people. First rule of successful business: never hire your first idiot.)

    3) I'd stop the lone male, irrespective of race, on the assumption that most bombers are lone males. But that's dodging the question. If it were a white man, a hispanic man and a middle-eastern man, I'd stop the middle-eastern man. Fact is that most (but not all, I know) recent terrorist deaths in my country (the U.S.) have been caused by middle eastern men, and if I'm responsible for saving lives here, I've got to go with odds supported by the observed data. No time for politcal correctness here.

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  • Shae C
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I don't make it a point to voluntarily discriminate on any basis.

    I'd have my order taken by the hispanic employee.

    I'd hire the employee who applied first.

    I'd cover the entrance of the elderly woman. The middle eastern man is bringing me curry and the hispanic teenagers are bringing me a menudo cd.

    I know I just discriminated, but it's unavoidable.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think one generally has a preference to preserve the integrity of what your parents race is and the ideas they have become very predominat in you super ego state

    Thus you are directly or indirectly affected to preserve this integrity with people you meet and the experiences you have influence you leeway

    If you ave negative experiences with every ethnic group you encounter you might become anxious around them and this anxiety could manifest itself in to discrimination

    Its indivual and takes a concerted effort to treat indiuals as they are

    labelling is a convenient way to group people and in reading many of the questions and answrs here I have come to realise that people naturally do that in an effort to link up to like mided people people that consolidate their theories

    I therefore have tosay consciously i try not to

    subconsciously there might be other factors at play

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  • 1 decade ago

    i guess its what you grow up around. For instance if you grow up with an asian family next door who are polite, well brought up and have good manners then you are going to beleive that they represent the vast majority of the asians. However if you are living next door to some eastern europeans who are very shady characters your view of them are not going to be as shining as that of the asian family. I have discriminated based on race and ethnicity many times, this was due to experiences as a child and how i was brought up. If someone is harboured from all ethnic problems in the world then they are not going to be inclined to discriminate. Hopefully that answered ur question a lil bit.

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  • Amanda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Many times. I regularly get followed in stores by shop people who have time to monitor my movements but dont have time to wait on me. I like to mess with those people. When I was young, my friends and I were not allowed to swim in the municipal pool, nor could we go to the local amusement park. Only because we were Black children. My neighborhood has had only one new grocery store open up in thirty years, and it doesnt have a nice salad bar and deli like most stores today. There is no gas station within five miles of my house, I live in an urban area in a city with over a million people in the metro area, this is not a small town. When I was in elementary school, I went to a majority white private Catholic girls school in the suburbs, we rode the school bus to school, all the Black girls rode the same bus since we lived in the same part of this still mostly segregated city....after school was over, my friends and I had to wait until one of the buses that carried the white children home returned to take us home, they had a bus for all the kids except the Black kids, we had to wait..I was too young to really understand what was happening but I cant believe our parents stood for that, but then all our parents lived through segregation and they had a different attitude. This is just a sample.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I back spaced and lost what I wrote. First the bible teaches us we are all the same, and why we were born. We were born to love our God Thur Jesus Christ, whom died for our sins and mistakes. The best est step of faith, and then you go upon your day. Second is the Declaration of Independence, which if any one read it was written for mankind -- We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are CREATED EQUAL, that they are ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE Rights, That among these are


    And change your email to avoid people that can not Honor that.

    Also it is very difficult to make a point over a computer, to many time things read are so dumb... Unless you know the person...

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