Fear is everywhere, our TV, magazines, newspapers, radio, billboards, streets, schools. Everywhere. We are driven to vote largely out of fear, we avoid places because of fear, we protest almost always out of fear and people DISCRIMINATE out of fear.
Now I believe fear can be an important indicator that something is not right, that something needs to be changed, or that something is a threat to our and those we loves wellbeing. Can you spot which thing I have mentioned above that does not fit into that character? Well done it’s the one in bold, underlined capitals. Peoples fear leads to discrimination, not necessarily fear in the sense of being scared but a fear of the unknown. To draw an animal world equivalent if something appears confusing to a bear or a wolf it could easily be perceived as a threat, why? Because they don’t know what it is. This, more often than not is the problem with people. People are uneducated, or improperly educated about people of different: races, religions, sexualities and genders.
In the recent EU election in the UK one of the main issues raised was immigration. A point that I don’t believe had any international professionals backing as to its negative impact. In actual fact most surveys found it to be having a positive impact. This fear though that foreigners are stealing our jobs and clogging up our public services drives people to spite. I remember the last time I went to the hospital it was one of those “foreigners” that was treating me and for some reason I don’t think he was stealing a job from Barry our 52 year old alcoholic benefits reliant without a qualification to his name. In my experience I have seen immigrants taking on highly skilled jobs where there is demand or jobs which British people are unwilling to take on, despite the fact they have been out of work for 20 years and yet have somehow still managed to raise a family and reside in a comfy 3 bedroom house, but that is a matter for another day.
Another unjust reason that people distrust and discriminate against immigrants is religion. Religion has arguably been the stem of more conflicts in this world than anything else. It seems everyone has a view, a deeply held belief they want to share with the world and some want to force their beliefs upon others. People are scared of things like Islamic fundamentalists and as such some transfer that fear or distrust onto all Muslims. When I speak about uneducated this is what I mean. By better educating people about this and about immigrants then there would be less fear and thus less discrimination. I am not saying fear is the sole reason for discrimination but in my view it is definitely the primary one.
If you have read my previous article Trans Education then you may have an idea of what is coming next on my list. Gender identity is a huge issue at the moment. Unlike the LGB community who have, in the UK at least, managed to gain some semblance of equality and lack of discrimination- don’t get me wrong there is still homophobia which needs to be tackled, but I feel that it is the T+ stuck on the end that has the real way to go in the UK. People that are Transexual, transgender, non-binary, gender fluid etc need support and a comfortable environment to come out and in doing so they require continual support and understanding, with their demographic having a high suicide risk. Why is it then that people seek to discriminate and publicly insult these people? It is a combination of, like I said at the start, a lack of education or a poor education, for example it is still acceptable for the main stream media to debate whether non-binary or gender fluid are actual genders. They are actually some of my favourite, as people that identify with them make their gender fit their personality not their personality fit their gender, it is the 21st century, why should we be bound by age old societal constructs? But that is just my opinion and slightly besides the point.
To summarise the point is: learn your stuff and if you’re educated and still scared of something then do something about it…. Or run.