Isms – Setting the Record Straight – More on Discrimination – Religion and Politics

It’s an interesting reality. The more folks are able to complain they’re being “discriminated against” on some basis or other, the less it’s typically actually occurring.

You see, if you can come out and openly state—even quietly, much less shouting it from the rooftops—that you’re being discriminated against on some basis without any harm coming to you, the less you likely truly have the right to make the claim.

This doesn’t mean that if you can come out and say you’re being discriminated against on some basis, it’s not actually happening, just that a more or less direct indicator of one’s freedom, is his or her ability to speak openly about his or her condition.

This is an important realization, for there are places in the world where talking about the fact that you’re being acted or spoken against, is tantamount to being asked to be sentenced to death. In fact, if you happen to be a Christian in Pakistan, you can go to jail, or be handed a death sentence on the basis of unfounded accusations surrounding your actions, based on you belief in Christianity. Yes, I can cite examples.

It can be argued that, being a Christian is a choice one makes, and I agree that this is true. Nonetheless, the argument to this effect does not mean you should suffer as a result—most particularly if there are no laws saying you may not be that thing.

That being said, I think it necessary to “draw a hard line in the sand.” As I’ve said, Christians and Muslims choose to be what they are. It can be argued that, since there is a cultural group, born of a certain family from which they originate, that “familially Jewish” folks do not have such a choice. People who practice Judaism however, cannot make such a statement in my view—at least, not on the basis of such practice, or the belief that underlies it.

If your family is from Africa, and you possess a set of attributes that makes that fact obvious, it’s true that you had and have no control over that fact.

The point I’m making, is that discrimination on the basis of how someone looks (without making some sort or sorts of modifications to make themselves look more or less “normal” to the place and societal norms where they find themselves) can be one form of discrimination, and that if discrimination occurs on the basis of their appearance, it must be seen to be generally wrong.

Here’s where the problems come though. If a person bears certain physical hallmarks, it’s possible to discriminate against them without consideration of those physical traits.

I need to “take a break” here, to discuss an idea that is seen as radical—though it shouldn’t be—by many people in the modern day. The idea, simply put, is that discrimination is not only not always bad, but often necessary. One discriminates for or against what he or she wears, eats, where he or she works on a literal minute-by-minute basis. We literally discriminate for or against how our “free time” will be spent.

Simply stated, discrimination is a needed, reasonable thing in many instances.

Having made this disclaimer, let’s dive back in to the discussion in progress.

It was recently discovered through polling, that a significant percentage of a group who generally held to the ideas of a certain political ideology, had decided that any discrimination of people in a particular political office who belonged to “racial minorities,” must be racially motivated.

This—quite aside from being a dangerous road to travel—is an absolute killer of reasonable dissent. If one can make the argument that anybody who chooses to accept or not accept what someone else says or does (to discriminate on the basis of ideology or belief for or against that person) is immediately grounds for leveling a charge of racism against the person in question, all potential for disagreement has been quashed.

That means that the person accusing the other of racism, if successful in getting people to accept their accusation, can make it impossible for others to ever disagree with them, race aside (and those who know me, know well that I don’t even accept the concept of race, even though I know evil things have been done in its name).

Boiling this down then, it’s pretty much never reasonable to discriminate against another, based on physical attributes they possess except when you know the person in question will be unable to do certain things (a person who is completely blind probably ought not be allowed to drive on public roadways in current circumstances—that may change in future, but it is a reasonable thing as things now are).

With regard to discrimination on the basis of cultural (but not physicality related to culture), norms or behavioral patterns, such can and must be considered appropriate.

The takeaway is, it’s not only okay to both disagree with and to discriminate in the realm of certain things physical and in almost all things like ideas, it’s necessary to do so.

Having cleared the air in that regard, allow me to take a moment to discuss the idea of “reasonable response.”

If you disagree with, and choose to discriminate against a given idea (for example, that cutting off the hands of thieves is reasonable), the next question is, “How do you respond?”

If a person holds that an idea I consider to be unreasonable, is a reasonable one, but doesn’t act on that idea, confining or getting into physical altercations with that person is probably not called for. Discussing the idea with them and explaining why you disagree may be a good thing to do. Talking with others to explain why you don’t support the idea and trying to get them to align with what you believe might also be acceptable.

If a person chooses to act based on something against which you discriminate or disagree. Reasonable response may be countermeasures to their actions. On the other hand, if the actions are more or less harmless, it may be reasonable to do nothing more than discuss things with them—and that’s if you feel the need to do anything at all.

The point here is, everything a person thinks and the actions that flow from those thoughts, whether you choose to discriminate against them or not does not require cataclysmic action, or even severe action, or for that matter, any action or statement at all. It’s okay in many instances to disagree, to discriminate for your own part, and leave others alone. In those instances where that’s not the case, great care must be taken to discern what reasonable response looks like.

Okay, I have reached the end of my time and “word count” in discussing this. As such, if I find I’ve more to say, I’ll have to create another post to cover it.

As usual, may your time be good and, thanks for reading.

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