Jalen T. Ohio

Discrimination in the United States

My article is about discrimination in the United States and how it could be solved.

Dear Future POTUS,

I would like to ask you how you are going to address a very important issue in our nation. This problem is discrimination. People say that this is not a real issue anymore but I feel like that is completely wrong, and I have many reasons why I say this.

When I say discrimination, most often people picture a white man looking down on a black man as if they are not equal and being racist. While this does happen, (not as often as it used to) that is not always the case. The exact definition of discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex (Merriam-Webster). The main groups of people being discriminated against are women, minorities, and people that are LGBT. As a whole, these groups are looked down upon, but why? We all live in the same nation, and we are all created equal, so why is  there discrimination?

Some people may say that discrimination is no longer an issue, but the opposite is true. For example, women earn eighty cents for every dollar a man earns working the same job (IWPR.org). If it is the same job, they should get the same pay. That is one example of how women are discriminated against.

Minorities are also discriminated against. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, every race except Asians have a higher unemployment rate than whites. While this is great for the Asian community, the reason they have the lowest unemployment rate is because they have more Asian-owned businesses than any race besides white people. Even for Asian people, it is hard to get jobs, not as hard as minorities but still harder than it should be, when it should all be equal. For people who are Black or Hispanic, it is less likely for them to get a job than it is for a white person who has a felony (DailyKos.com).

The thing about discrimination is that it is not just about statistics. If you see a black person walk down the street in the dark with their hood up, you’re more likely to think they are up to no good. If you see a Mexican person that has a heavy Spanish accent and has poor English skills, you’re more likely to think that person is an illegal immigrant. If you see an Asian person doing homework, you’re more likely to think that they are a nerd or incredibly smart. That last one is not a bad stereotype but it still is one that exists. Even if people are just joking, it’s still not right and we should do all that we can to erase all of the stereotypes and just be equal. Another race/religious group that is often discriminated against is Middle Eastern and Muslim people. Too often, it seems that when people see a person with a head wrap, they automatically say they have a bomb or they are going to shoot up the place. How can we just assume that when most of the problems we have are right here at home (by this I mean most of the bad things that happen are caused by Americans not Middle Eastern and Muslim people). Until we can completely erase the social injustices, we will never be a fully united country.

The last group that is largely discriminated against is the LGBT community. They are discriminated every day of their lives. They feel uncomfortable going into the restroom of their preference because they are often looked at funny and get told derogatory comments and it just is not right. It is also in many states legal for businesses to discriminate and not hire gay, lesbian or trans-gender workers. With problems like these, how can we say we have the best country we possibly can have? I’m not sure we can, but I do feel like there are many ways to solve these problems.

The opposition may say that discrimination no longer exists. To that I say, you're wrong. How can discrimination not exist if men and women do not get equal pay for working the exact same job? How can say discrimination does not exist if you are not white you have to do more to be on the same level as said white person in the job market? How can we say discrimination does not exist if people are not being treated equally just because of their sexual preference? I have three ways that these problems could be solved.

One way to solve part of the problem is equal wages for men and women, and equal chances for applicants to earn new jobs regardless of race or sexual preference. I completely understand that businesses want people representing their business values but just because you’re a minority or gay, that doesn’t mean you carry yourself different than a Caucasian person who is straight (although if they do conduct their self differently it is definitely okay not to hire them).

Another way is to have better education in the inner cities. We have beautiful big name destinations in the U.S but in these cities, such as Chicago, and L.A they have great attractions and things to see if you visit but the schools in the inner cities are terrible. By making the schools better, everyone would have the same education thus, making everyone closer to being equal and having equal opportunities. This would be an easy fix because these cities make a lot of money so some, not even a lot of it but some of that money could go into those schools and it would go a very long way.

The third and final way that I have that could help end discrimination is to make discrimination illegal for businesses. I say this because in many states it is legal to discriminate against gays and not allow them to work at certain establishments. Only twenty-three of our fifty states has nondiscrimination laws. If every state had discrimination against gays, this would be on a much smaller scale. I hope you can respect and see where I am coming from and maybe initiate some change.

Respectfully yours,