Despite the world becoming more civilized, discrimination has not disappeared. Whether it is based on wealth, gender, age, race, this fiend squeezes into the daily lives of billions of people.
The recent events related to racial discrimination have shown, however, that more people are becoming vigilant. Bystanders, those who had not experienced this before because of their favorable circumstances, suddenly understood their privileges.
But what are the basic things you could do when you are faced with such a vile act of discrimination? The issue is not as simple as it is systemic and rooted in decades-long traditions and culture. But there are a few basic things you can do.
File a lawsuit — multiple lawsuits if need be
Filing a case against the abuser is the most recommended action. There are already several laws that should protect people against discrimination. However, they would be useless if the victims did not access them.
In the case of workplace discrimination, two of the most common types of lawsuits are employment discrimination and wrongful terminations. Know ahead, however, that before you can file a discrimination lawsuit against your employer, you need to file a Charge of Discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This government agency is in charge of enforcing laws that ensure equal opportunity at the workplace.
Discrimination cases, however, do not end at the workplace. The more dangerous cases involve a denial of medical services. Although health professionals have a sworn oath to treat all patients equally, cases of discrimination still, unfortunately, happen in hospitals and medical treatments. Cases resulting from medical malpractice or neglect are often subtle and sensitive. It is best to consult a lawyer expert in wrongful-death cases. This lawsuit could be filed on top of criminal charges.
Unfortunately, in most countries, lawsuits take a lot of time and money. And not everyone has these resources. Yet, there are still some actions you can do if you are among these hard-pressed victims.
Expose the discrimination
Discrimination is like a worse version of bullying. And just like in bullying, when a person is being discriminated against and is not doing anything about it, it could create impunity and worsen the situation. Calling out the offense could be difficult even for the victim, for fear that it would worsen. This is especially true in cases where the victim does not have enough influence or doesn’t have any kind of leverage in the community. But the silence of the victims will only empower further the abusers. Thus, even if it is difficult, speak out when you feel that you are being discriminated against.
When confronted with this situation, first, assess if it is not a dangerous situation. By dangerous, it means the attacker might get violent. Being courageous in front of an excitable attacker is not recommended. In this case, call for a person in authority. Groups have started to collect numbers of agencies that could help you in case you are not comfortable calling for police.
If the situation is mild, calmly call out the abuser and tell him or her what is wrong with his or her action. Fighting back with curses and slurs will only mean you are stopping down to the abuser’s level. You wish to show not only the abuser but also the people around you how the attack was wrong. Try to get the identity of the person harassing you and report to relevant authorities.
Get involved in educational campaigns against discrimination
Report your experience to organizations that are working against discrimination. Bringing your case to such organizations helps in the bigger movement of eliminating this problem.
It may feel difficult when you are going against this on your own. Victims of discrimination sometimes feel depressed, frustrated that they couldn’t do anything about it. Seeing that there are other people like you willing to do something about it can get you out of a depressive mood. If you feel strongly about this issue, volunteer for an organization.
Sometimes it’s easy to just wallow in misery and vent your frustrations on social media. Accounts have in fact, been created to name and shame the abusers. But identifying the abusers should not be the end. This is like retaliation bullying. What is needed is for greater awareness and understanding in society. The fear of what is strange and foreign could sometimes be what triggers discrimination. Fight against this.
Discrimination is not a light issue. It has not only brought millions to mental breakdowns but also caused violence. It will not go away by itself, but can only be eliminated if victims will actively do something about it.