Possible solution to discrimination, USA

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kd3pc

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Good Afternoon to the group.

I am offering an idea, that may offer a simple solution to much, if not all, of the discrimination people feel in the USA.

Pick a date some months out, and have the president and/or congress create a one page statement, now bound by law. This statement would call for every word of demographic, status, race, religion, creed, color, sexual orientation, preference, etc to be removed, at once from every form, application - actually every piece of paper or electronic communication that the states or the Federal government uses. You will no longer be required to provide or use these demographic labels for any purpose.

From this time going forward, EVERY person in the US is now the same as every other person and will simply be called an American. You are free to associate any hyphenated, married, step, maiden, christian name, surname, title, history you want, but it is solely your deal.

What is the real or useful reason for requiring these demographics anyway. Sure, I know they are for statistics and such. But what have they really done for the citizenry? Sources for litigation? Perhaps, but has that helped?

And for sure, if this is not your cup of tea, what do you suggest we do? Another century of data collection for nothing?

Bests to ALL Americans!
 

drc65

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I think people would go back to using at least sexual orientation to state their personal preferences. I think a system like this does exist when submitting job applications in some parts of the world, (e.g. it is required that you do not submit your date of birth). However I might be wrong, just something someone once told me.
 

skipper

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I'm struggling to connect this to ending discrimination in practice. Can you explain?

For instance, minority groups have complaints about their dealings with police. If I'm a racist police officer, how is this new policy going to keep me from discriminating against a race I don't like? If I have eyes, I'm going to see someone's race no matter what they put on documents.

Unless you are suggesting this will start a cultural shift? If so, can you explain this a little more? I see Step A and End C, but I'm missing the middle part!
 

drc65

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I'm struggling to connect this to ending discrimination in practice. Can you explain?

For instance, minority groups have complaints about their dealings with police. If I'm a racist police officer, how is this new policy going to keep me from discriminating against a race I don't like? If I have eyes, I'm going to see someone's race no matter what they put on documents.

Unless you are suggesting this will start a cultural shift? If so, can you explain this a little more? I see Step A and End C, but I'm missing the middle part!
I think his idea was that a racist police officer would not discriminate against a race because the word race would cease to exist. Unless racism is genetic like some studies suggest the police officer would see only someone with darker skin, if there were no words to discuss race.
 

Peachdejour

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You can remove the label from paperwork, but all your do is remove the name from the practice. All it will do is give us a way to effectively cover up our prejudices because we no longer have a way to discuss them with each other openly and come to a place of understanding. It's like France saying it's a colorblind nation and removing all race and ethnic labels from official paperwork, but that means that medical records cannot track diseases effectively and it does not change the way people feel about each other. It does not change the root problem.
 

starshine

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I think his idea was that a racist police officer would not discriminate against a race because the word race would cease to exist. Unless racism is genetic like some studies suggest the police officer would see only someone with darker skin, if there were no words to discuss race.
That sounds a bit naive -- people have been known to discriminate people with differences, no matter of the actual specifics. For example: if someone looks like an Arab, they give them the same treatment as they would an Arab, even if it turns out it was a Spanish or Italian person... To make the words disappear would just mean people would find new terms for it. On the streets and schools and public places, if not in the paperwork.
 

drc65

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You can remove the label from paperwork, but all your do is remove the name from the practice. All it will do is give us a way to effectively cover up our prejudices because we no longer have a way to discuss them with each other openly and come to a place of understanding. It's like France saying it's a colorblind nation and removing all race and ethnic labels from official paperwork, but that means that medical records cannot track diseases effectively and it does not change the way people feel about each other. It does not change the root problem.
What is the root problem in your opinion? I think removing some labels would do the world some good. Labels create stereotypes and stereotypes create people who feel misunderstood, this creates a myriad of socioeconomic issues.
 

Peachdejour

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That sounds a bit naive -- people have been known to discriminate people with differences, no matter of the actual specifics. For example: if someone looks like an Arab, they give them the same treatment as they would an Arab, even if it turns out it was a Spanish or Italian person... To make the words disappear would just mean people would find new terms for it. On the streets and schools and public places, if not in the paperwork.
If we take away the current words we use to describe race, we would just find a new way to label and separate people unless we change the underlying cultural precedent that causes the words to mean what they do in the first place.

What is the root problem in your opinion? I think removing some labels would do the world some good. Labels create stereotypes and stereotypes create people who feel misunderstood, this creates a myriad of socioeconomic issues.
But what created those labels and stereotypes? What is prevented a new set of labels and stereotypes from emerging?
 

starshine

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If we take away the current words we use to describe race, we would just find a new way to label and separate people unless we change the underlying cultural precedent that causes the words to mean what they do in the first place.


But what created those labels and stereotypes? What is prevented a new set of labels and stereotypes from emerging?
In my opinion, if you could erase the hard history and prejudices we already have -- which might not be so easy, and people might sometimes turn on you for trying to get rid of discrimination, like they turn on feminists or gay parades for being too present -- the only thing that could help in making sure it does not reappear would be to create a fair society. In many places, hate and discrimination is ever so present because of social unfairness and the problems and tensions it brings in the community. If black and white live together but the white people have a lot of priviledge and money, the black folks are gonna be pissed. They might try to fight to take those priviledges away, to achieve equality. White people are gonna be pissed. Or the black people might not even go for that fight, but their bad conditions could lead them to being small time criminals, to hustle and go around the system that is so bad for them. And then the white people will discriminate them even more.

So people with priviledge have to realize they have it; work to make it a better, more equal place. And then keep it fair. And then that might be the beginning of a chance towards understanding and non-discrimination.
 

Peachdejour

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In my opinion, if you could erase the hard history and prejudices we already have -- which might not be so easy, and people might sometimes turn on you for trying to get rid of discrimination, like they turn on feminists or gay parades for being too present -- the only thing that could help in making sure it does not reappear would be to create a fair society. In many places, hate and discrimination is ever so present because of social unfairness and the problems and tensions it brings in the community. If black and white live together but the white people have a lot of priviledge and money, the black folks are gonna be pissed. They might try to fight to take those priviledges away, to achieve equality. White people are gonna be pissed. Or the black people might not even go for that fight, but their bad conditions could lead them to being small time criminals, to hustle and go around the system that is so bad for them. And then the white people will discriminate them even more.

So people with priviledge have to realize they have it; work to make it a better, more equal place. And then keep it fair. And then that might be the beginning of a chance towards understanding and non-discrimination.
However, you have to also fight the love of power and the evilness of greed. Teach the art of gratitude and the blessing of a job well done. Words won't change a world that hurts. Only actions change a tide.
 

xTinx

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Just a disclaimer before I offer my two cents on this matter: solutions can go so far as to reduce incidences of discrimination but they will never completely eradicate its existence. People will always differ in their ideals, perceptions and preferences. As long as differences exist, discrimination will always be there. Fostering a culture of tolerance and understanding (rather than outright judging and condemnation) will reduce discrimination figures. I leave the "how" to social agents - church, school, peers, the government and of course, the family.
 

starshine

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However, you have to also fight the love of power and the evilness of greed. Teach the art of gratitude and the blessing of a job well done. Words won't change a world that hurts. Only actions change a tide.
Well, yeah. That's why I said IF we managed to bring a more just society, where people could let go of their priviledge... Which is not likely.

Gratitude is good, it makes people happy. But we're a bit blind on a matter of subjects and often misplace gratitude and blame. This is the cause of prejudice, social discourses that might be biased. Many things start with words; but many people use words as smoke screens and strawmen. I have not much hope right now that we will achieve positivity any time soon.
 

003

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I can't tell the best solution nor could I pinpoint one, but I guess it discrimination could be eradicated or at least be alleviated if we decrease or not tolerate stereotyping by increasing cooperation with each other in a circumstance where no one is superior or inferior. Teamwork is the key because through it we're realise that we're better with the help of others.
 

krazyman

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Racism and Discrimination have been around since the beginning of time. It's like bullying - you can put all the fancy buzz words and policies to "prevent" them from happening in society - but the fact of the matter is they will always remain. We are all different and unique individuals - we have different upbringings, religious practices, social histories, family structures and to say that we will have a uniform way of thinking about each other is just impossible!

We have to "police" our behavior as best we can and TEACH our children to become more accepting of each other's beliefs - we've come a long way over the past 100 years when it comes to discrimination but there will always be animosity and distrust between people. It's human nature, we can't regulate it.
 

weepforsweep

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I would have a movement to call everybody just an American. There will be no African, Asian, Hispanic, or whatever else.
 
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