Have you ever discriminated against someone without getting to know anything about them?

It has been said that most people make decisions about others within the first 15 seconds of meeting them. Based on this information, have your ever discriminated against someone in the past without getting to kow anything about them or their personality?

This is not just limited to racial discrimination but it can be about: gender discrimination, discrimination based on weight/size, discrimination because of a person's bad teeth/smile, social-economic (financial and class) discrimination based on someone you've met who was homeless or dressed different than you, discrimination because of tattoos, body piercings, radically dyed hair color, and any other type of discrimination that you committed.

I am interested in your experiences with discrimination against another individual and the reasons behind your decision making.

We all discriminate against people so often that we don't even realize it, so I'm interested in having an honest discussion about it. Please be kind!


I think Bill N is the perfect example of this discrimination I am inquiring about. By his example, a person who dresses like a "thug" should be avoided at all costs and the professionally dressed individuals such as police, firemen, and others should be embraced because we know they are legitimate. However, there have been several cases recently where individuals posing as law enforcement and others have been arrested for rape, stealing, and other corrupt acts. Also, there are countless instances where a person with money will dress down and ask ordinary passers by for help only to be refused. Then later they have revealed that they were testing the reaction of those individuals and if they would have responded kindly, they would have rewarded them with money.

Therefore, I am not implying that we need to ignore our "red flag feelings" but the bible also speaks of being kind to every stranger as they may be a hidden messenger of god. Therefore looks can't be an excuse!

11 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Of course. I think we all do this. We all make discernments or judgments and up to a point this is alright to do. Elevating ourselves better than others merely because of race, gender, economics is plain wrong.

    An example? Let's say that I saw a woman selling herself I discern that she is a prostitute. This doesn't change my view that she has needs, feelings and emotions or that she is a person with potential and value. But, discernment tells me that I should not offer her a few dollars. I might get something I don't want and a policeman might think I was buying sex. What a goofy example, but I do want to show that it is good to have discernment.

    We all make judgments that may or may not be valid. Therefore, identifying what drives those biases or judgments might be the first step towards treating others better than we would have if we had not discovered those things within ourselves.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't tink discrimination or racism, in many cases, has ever known or shown any kind of reason/reasoning. In many cases the reasoning is not based on reality or things like empathy. People are just acting out on their primitive feelings which every body has. There are other factors (like self-esteem) that make some people able to bring these feelings under control these than others I think.

    Source(s): An example can be found on: http://atheism.about.com/od/einsteingodreligion/tp...
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Of course I have (so has everyone else). And it is not such a bad thing, either.....A little honest discrimination can be a really good thing. As a culture we are taught to ignore our instincts when a red flag goes up in our mind and that is sad....If someone is giving you a bad vibe, trust that feeling.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, I have discriminated.....all the ways you described...

    Yes, usually I am judged by assumptions about me rather than the facts. No one wants to get to know the facts about me or my family......Sometimes that can be a good thing though. I don't always have time to be confronted by dumb questions from people with no concept or knowledge of recessive genes, genetics or science......Or just people who have never known the types of things I have survived because of IT industry crash or that for me, those hardships are temporary not permanent.

    Discrimination will never go away.......It sucks and it's awful but it will never change...

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm weird about discrimination. I'm very open minded, but occassionally I'll just someone based on how they're acting in public, not on how they're dressed or what they look like.

    For example, yesterday I saw this guy. He was really cute, but he was flirting with just about every girl he saw and I dunno, somehting in my head just went "Manwhore!"

    I think most people, when they see someone with baggy pants and their hat tipped to the side they automatically judge the type of person they are. I'm African American, and I'm definately not saying all black people are ignorant, but we definately need to start dressing like we have some sense so that people will at least judge us on how we carry ourselves in public and not just judge us how we look or how we dress.

  • 1 decade ago

    is it wrong to judge by how people dress, and their body language? no, it's not

    a perfect example is the 'thug' persona and dress. a 'thug' is someone who by definition is likely to harm others without cause.

    if somone likes the thug style, and adopts the mannerisms and dress, is it wrong for others to be aprehensive about any harm they might cause others?

    clothes are costume, firemen, police, clegy, doctors, business people wear what they wear for a REASON, to tell others what to expect from them.

    if someone is poor, but dresses as respectfully as they can, then no, they should not be judged.

    But if someone likes the 'ciminal look', then....

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes I have discriminated against someone based on merely the way they look which truly is not fair.

  • 1 decade ago

    I only discriminate once I know their sign. Now that's bad! It's a bad habit but it kind of works in the long run.

  • i actually have no idea.....um

    well i guess it would be human to judge a person by the way they looked

    we are like that, we care about looks and of course naturally we are going to judge others by their looks to make ourselves feel better

    humans are selfish like that :)

  • 1 decade ago

    I've done it, like they say 'first impression counts"

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