By Anna Chanthaphavong
Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age or sex. Everyday discrimination is getting less respect from someone, getting bad service from restaurants or stores, people threatening or harassing you, people telling racist jokes and making fun of you, people acting as if they’re better than you.
People who get discriminated against, but are often overlooked are Deaf people. According to Lydia L. Callis, a writer for the Huffpost Impact, discrimination against Deaf people is called Audism, which is the belief that those with the ability to hear are superior or “normal.” People often see Deaf people as disabled so they treat them with disrespect such as refusing to give them service because they think they don’t understand them or not giving them jobs because they believe they aren’t capable to do it. In our ASL classes, students learn that some hearing people also refer to Deaf people as “deaf and dumb” because some don’t understand what hearing people say and they think they don’t know as much since they’re deaf. They also mock them for inability to hear and would often not want to hang out with them.
“Discrimination that happens to them [Deaf people] impacts them emotionally and financially since they often don’t get jobs ,” said Tori Richmann, ASL teacher of all three levels.
The people who are discriminated the most though are people of color, according to Aaron Blake, writer for the Washington Post. Media always plays a huge role in discrimination against people of color. On social media that’s where all the jokes and stereotypes are used the most which spread more. The usual stereotypes of black people is that they’re all thugs, they talk ghetto and are usually the killers. Asians are usually seen as super smart with funny accents, bad teeth and are bad drivers. Mexican stereotypes include talking ghetto, wearing ponchos, having ridiculous mustaches, being illegal, always speaking Spanish and having their families work in landscaping, according to Lee Standberry, writer for Top Tenz.
“Discrimination in the media influences others to believe one side of the story,” said Senior Manuel Leon Guillen
According to Tanya Gharemani , movies and t.v shows also discriminate because some directors/producers would rather choose a white person to play a character of color than an actual person of color, thus creating, black face, yellow face and brown face; and those characters usually follow the racist stereotypes.
“Little kids see it [movies and t.v shows] and think that it’s real life,’ said Kymberly Atkins.
The action of people of color not getting hired has lead to big events like the Oscars to discriminate against others. According to the Huffington Post, only 6.4 percent of actors of color are nominated for an Oscar. For the Best Actor award, four latino men have been nominated and only one has won, 13 black male actors have been nominated but only four have won and only one man with asian descendant has been nominated twice and won one. Only one black woman has won for best actress out of the ten nomination.
“Media plays a role in shifting opinions of others,” said Guillen
Not being winning or being nominated for an award isn’t even the biggest issue women face. According to the United Nations Human Rights, Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours and produce half of the world’s food, yet they earn only 10 percent of the world’s income and own less than 1 percent of the world’s property. A women can do the same job as a man and the same hours yet get payed lower. Also 1 in 4 women have claimed that were harassed from their male coworkers according to PCI. Women also get discriminated against for their looks and body: if a women has a couple of pounds on her she’s ugly, if she’s too skinny she tries to hard, if she wears to much makeup she’s fake and if she doesn’t wear makeup she’s a slob.
“We [women] get discriminated against because people are so used to seeing women being submissive, they don’t like the fact that that we’re standing up for ourselves and fighting for equality,” said Senior Vivian Martinez.
For the LGBTQ+, they may have gotten gay marriage legalized and laws preventing discrimination against them made, but they still face discrimination from others at work, in school and in public. At school, LGBTQ+ students have to deal with the word ‘gay’ having a negative connotation, hearing names being called out, being physically harmed and be cyberbullied, which is why they don’t feel safe at school, according to Zack Ford, writer of for Think Progress. In workplaces, it isn’t much different, except this impacts their life more. According to Catalyst and American Aggression, most people who are gay are often ignored or overlooked when it comes to searching for jobs because of their sexualities, thus resulting to them hiding their sexualities. Also about 21% have had negative evaluation written or have been looked over for a promotion and 7-41% have been physically or verbally abused. In addition to that, in 29/50 states a person can be fired for being in the LGBTQ+ community.
“[To stop discrimination], we just need to see people as people,” said Atkins.
GSA creates safe place for students
By Kassidy Martin
For the LGBTQ+ community it can be difficult to feel safe and comfortable in society because many people often discriminate against them, call them names and try to hurt them. The Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) is trying to eliminate discrimination in this school by bringing awareness to the discrimination that happens so students, no matter what their sexuality, gender and race can feel safe at this school.
“Sometimes the offender doesn’t even realize they are treating a person differently than others until it is pointed out to them,” said GSA Advisor Patricia Stepanek.
According to a survey done by EHS Journalism, 53 percent of students said that discrimination is a problem at EHS. Forty-six percent of those who said that discrimination was a problem were gay, lesbian, or not sure, and 30% were straight.
At school, LGBTQ+ students have to deal with the word ‘gay’ having a negative connotation, hearing names being called out, being physically harmed and be cyberbullied, which is why they don’t feel safe at school, according to Zack Ford, writer of for Think Progress.
Junior Jack Holzer, a transgender person has been discriminated before for being who he is. People would call him names for being transgender, but he chooses not to do anything about because it doesn’t impact him as much.
“It doesn’t matter what you think about my gender. You can’t change who I am and who I want to be,” said Holzer.
GSA strives to make LGBTQ+ people feel proud of who they are and make them feel safe at school. At their meetings, they discuss the different sexualities and gender identities so LGBTQ+ can understand themselves and inform others about the different people in society. The more people understand about the LGBTQ+ community, discrimination will happen less because they know of the struggle they go through everyday. GSA also hosts ‘The Day of Silence’, where whoever signs up have to remain silent all day so they could understand and experience what some LGBTQ+ people feel having to be silent about who they are.
“In GSA we talk a lot about how to improve the overall cultural climate for the LGBTQ community and that obviously includes eliminating discrimination against people of differing sexual orientations and gender identities,” said Stepanek.
BSU takes steps to stop discrimination
By Kassidy Martin
EHS has a club called BSU (Bettering Student Unity) to help bring awareness to creating social equality for all ethnicities, especially African Americans who are the most socially unequal according to inquiries Sharon Jank and Lindsay Owens.
“People didn’t know about black culture besides what they see on tv or what their parents say,” said BSU Adviser Kymberly Atkins.
The club strives to bring awareness to all the different cultures because there isn’t much represented in the media. According to Tanya Gharemani , movies and t.v shows discriminate because some directors/producers would rather choose a white person to play a character of color than an actual person of color, thus creating, black face, yellow face and brown face; and those characters usually follow the racist stereotypes.
“Little kids see it [movies and t.v shows] and think that it’s real life,’ said Atkins.
Besides bringing awareness to the different cultures, BSU also celebrates them. Anyone no matter what race, gender, sex, or etc. can join. They want to change the views of those who separate themselves from certain ethnicities, genders. People who are aware of the different cultures will understand and accept others better which will help stop discrimination.
According to Atkins BSU changed their name because “it no longer was about black people uniting, it became about students bettering unity among themselves. It became about all races, sex, religions coming together to understand each other’s differences and accepting them. We changed our name so people not in our club could understand we aren’t just about black people, we are about all students.”