Discrimination is common and often easy to spot. What’s more difficult is determining why it exists. Even if two people have different religions, different cultures or different skin color, why would those differences pit them against one another? Why would one person feel superior to the other or attempt to hold them back?
While there are many potential issues to consider, one suggestion is that the whole issue often stems from a lack of understanding. One person does not understand another person’s religion, making it feel foreign and confusing. One person doesn’t understand someone else’s culture, so they feel on edge when around that person. They may not even identify the reasons themselves, but they just know how it makes them feel.
Buying into negative stereotypes is a common human behavior
Potentially, this theory about a lack of understanding could show why people buy into negative stereotypes. They are seeking to put some framework around how this situation makes them feel. The stereotype does that, even if it’s inaccurate, so it draws them in.
For instance, it’s clearly absurd to think that someone’s ability to learn and work hard would be based on the color of their skin. That has nothing to do with their intelligence or work ethic. However, if a boss or coworker lacks an understanding of that person’s culture and background, which is different than their own, they may naturally just feel that their way is “right” and the other person’s way is “wrong”, thus making them feel superior.
Have you been discriminated against in the workplace?
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about someone else’s lack of understanding or biases. If you have been discriminated against, just make sure you know what legal options you have. Workplace discrimination is never acceptable, whether it’s over the color of your skin, the way you wear your natural hair, your religion, your gender or something else.