Why can’t we move past racial discrimination?

Racial discrimination unfortunately still happens in the United States even though there have been laws passed to combat it. Refusing to hire someone based on their race, for instance, is illegal. So is firing someone or paying them less or refusing to give them the same treatment as other workers of a different race. Equality is expected and legally demanded.

So why does it still happen? Why can we not move beyond this?

The issue, psychologists say, is that people tend to adopt the culture that is around them. Even as children, they learn to fit in. They become that culture. If the culture suffers from negative race relations, they learn them instinctively.

People often say that those who hold racial biases must have been taught that bias by their parents or picked it up in their living environments. However, psychologists disagree. They claim that bias can develop during the natural process of people forming social groups. Both children and the adults they eventually become do this naturally unless their parents or others actively teach them not to do so.

This isn’t to place all the blame on parents. They may simply not have realized how the child was growing up and what views they were forming. But it shows how deep-rooted many of these issues are in even the modern culture today. That’s why it can be so hard to shake these biases in the workplace despite the  anti-discrimination laws that are in place.

But that doesn’t mean that anyone has to accept this type of treatment. If you are victimized by racial discrimination on the job, understanding your options can be empowering.

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