Supporting Equality: Why We Do It

Discriminating against a disability is never the right option. It’s a pain for any person to deal with. Plus, if you want to take care of discriminating situations well, you’ve got to deal with them carefully.

The definition of discrimination is simple enough. It’s defined as “treating or considering a person or people differently because of the group, class, or category to which they are perceived to belong”.

People have treated me unfairly because of my epilepsy in the past. I took no legal action against it, but I wish I had. Although I believe that what comes around goes around from a spiritual perspective, not everybody believes that. So, if somebody chucks you out of employment because you’re disabled, what should you do? You should issue a claim form within three months and break down their doors to give them your message.

Right now, I feel like it’s my time to confirm that I’m fully in support of equality. I know that disabled people aren’t the only people to be wrongfully discriminated against. It doesn’t matter what people are wrongfully rebelling against. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s a real bitch to deal with for any person, and there’s no reason you should have to deal with it either.

After gathering over 250 followers on Twitter, I made the following statement in my previous short post:

“I am happy to help end discrimination against any person, regardless of their age, gender, race (colour, nationality, national origin or ethnicity), religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability, gender reassignment, stage of being single, in a relationship, partnership, marriage, pregnancy, maternity or parental responsibility.”

However, after completing this ongoing article that took me a long time, I know that I can’t physically deal with everything myself! It’d be dangerously stressful. But I can honestly say that I’ll back up equality with the feelings that I have and the words that I speak.

Black and White Toddlers

Right now, I can’t assume I’m going to be trusted by all. I’m a white heterosexual man with a reasonably well controlled invisible disability. I have potentially dangerous seizures, but only around once every two weeks. But still, I do hope that I can gain more trust from a wider range of people in society as time continues.

I Made One Mistake: Racism

There is one mistake I made about equality. At one time, I thought the lives of black people in the UK were a little easier than it is. But then I discussed this issue with a black woman I’ve previously got to know more. After a chat, she made me well aware that racism is still a major problem for black people in society.

I hadn’t thought much about it, but I thought that white people accept black people a lot more now. But they don’t. They just keep their mouths shut more than they used to.

The problem with this is that the white majority do still hold power. They may choose to not employ people due to their ethnicity. So many people were in support of Brexit, and I think immigration was a key reason for people voting that way. A lot of older people voted leave thinking it would work to the advantage of younger people. I voted remain.

I really enjoyed watching US sitcom Scrubs – obviously, because I thought it was funny. But the strong friendship between JD and Turk was one that I didn’t think twice about. Straight away, I just accepted it – a white guy and black guy that were best buds. It has also been said that actors Zach Braff and Donald Faison are best friends in real life too.

If we worked well together then I’d be happy to start that sort of friendship with a man or woman of any ethnicity.

Of course, I knew things weren’t perfect in this country or any other one either. I know there are regional areas in Greater Manchester where black and Asian people of various ethnic groups more often live. More often than not, they live in urban areas that aren’t well acclaimed. But I guess I thought quite a few of them just needed more time to trust and socialise with white people.

They do need this, but a lot of the time they still need and deserve more money too.

I’d be happy for any person of any race to live next door to me. Lloyds Banking Group are pretty keen on switching a light on for equality, and I temporarily worked there for two and a half years. There are quite a lot of black and Asian people working in the offices. As time continued, I got along with the people I met there well.

Not all white football fans were happy about the inclusion of players from other ethnic backgrounds in England’s 2018 World Cup team

In the UK, it’s a national fact that black men are nine times more likely to be stopped by the police than white men are. I couldn’t help but feel somewhat unproud of my ethnicity when I was made aware of this. Seeming like the only solution, hopefully this problem will just die out as time continues. Unfortunately though, I imagine it might take some time.

I can honestly say that any form of racism makes no sense to me whatsoever. There’s obviously a lot of disregard made towards whether people are being treated badly because of their colour, nationality, national origin or ethnicity, and I hate it.

If I can ever offer my support and help deal with it, I will. But from a social perspective, we often keep our distances pretty far apart. It’s hard for me to approach people who aren’t white and quickly convince them that I believe racism makes no sense. So, right now, I guess I can only wish them all the best.

Everybody Makes Mistakes: Homophobia

Although termed as homophobia, negativity exploited towards the LGBTQ community can be more specifically addressed to individuals. Homophobia is negativity aimed at those who are gay, lesbophobia towards lesbians, biphobia towards bisexual individuals and transphobia towards transsexuals and transgender people.

People born with these less common sexual feelings always have a challenge in life. But I honestly don’t believe they’ve done anything wrong.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I am a spiritual person, and people who follow religions are spiritual too. But I don’t follow any particular religion. Homophobia has been a key reason for me choosing to go a separate way. If God is sending us down on our own physical journey, then supporting all people he sends is the only theory that makes sense to me.

Homophobia Campaign

I thought about joining the Christian community when I gathered more faith in my mid-twenties. Christianity is the world’s most populous religious group with 2.4 billion supporters. I have a great set of family and friends who follow Christianity, and I love and respect them so much.

But sometimes Christians can express homophobia towards others. Don’t get me wrong; a lot of Christian’s choose to not think about it, and may not believe in it either. If they meet somebody from the LGBTQ community, they will treat them no differently to others.

But some Christians, in particular those who follow the Catholic branch, can certainly make their feelings known. Some Priests have confidently stated that they believe LGBT stands for “Let God Burn Them”. More recently updated to LGBTQ, they may now say it stands for “Let God Burn Them Quickly”.

Homophobic traits followed by families who fully support their religions law can lead to incredibly upsetting times. They may well have children who grow older and realise they are destined for the LGBTQ community. After that, they sometimes choose to leave their sons or daughters behind.

Of course, Christian people are not alone by believing that homosexuality is a sin. Although I know less about the religion, I do know the Islamic faith can lead to more dangerous events. In fact, there are 10 countries or jurisdictions that still impose the death penalty for homosexuality. These countries are all Islamic.

So why did these claims that homosexuality is a sin come to exist? The only logical reason that I can believe is simple enough: they made a mistake. Religious individuals are so often reluctant to agree with this, but some of them do agree. Every person on this planet makes mistakes in their life to learn more as time continues. The laws in the Bible were written by people on this planet too.

So, does God hate the LGBTQ community? I don’t think so.

I’ll Show My Respect: Religions and Beliefs

I know I just made some comments that focused on the negative impacts of religion upon others. But, when people join religions, it certainly doesn’t lead to pure ‘doom and gloom’. Whether you follow Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or another religion, it doesn’t matter. By following their religious law, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of what is taught leads to a healthy lifestyle.

Homophobia can be an issue for people to deal with when they choose to be religious. But most of the time plans to build a happy family with respect for humanity is exploited by those involved.

Bible and Painting

Atheism is somewhat more of a belief, or ‘irreligion’. I think it’s quite important to respect those who believe in this as well. The main thing to remember is that every person on this planet is unique. From a mental perspective, we all think and work in our own way. If anybody holds an opinion that is different to yours then more often than not the best thing to do is accept it.

Growing up, I never had a similar-aged brother or sister to argue with. Because of this, it wasn’t until later in life that I managed to get my head around other people’s opinions – if they were a lot different to my own. But looking back at that now, I just think “That was f**king daft, Joe.”

It’s perhaps understandable that people will be frustrated by the tiniest percentage of people who say they are religious, but plan to cause issues for humanity. Terrorists are the ones who are obviously getting the attention, but they do add up to very small numbers.

Donald Trump’s plans to stop Muslim’s from entering the USA wasn’t right. Islamic people so, so often don’t cause any problems whatsoever. Plus, if that plan did stick, then I reckon it would have led to more terrorist action, and not less.

Daisy vs Goliath: Sexism

When it comes down to men and women, men have always had the upper hand. And will we always hold it, even if we don’t choose to try and use it to our advantage? Well, we don’t deserve to. If we could find a way to give women power over men for a while then it’d only seem fair to me.

I’ve been reading a lot of random news stories about this for a while now. Women are so much more endangered than men. Today, I read an article talking about how women are most likely to be killed through homicide by an intimate partner. The situation in Russia right now also lets men get nothing more than a fine when they first abuse their wives. If that country wants to learn how to smile then they really need to clean their law system up.

However, eight out of ten cases of homicide are inflicted upon men – and that’s nice to know! As mentioned earlier, I believe that what comes around goes around. It only makes sense to me.

Women are also often found to be paid much less than men whilst in employment. When revealed, the BBC’s best paid star’s wages showed this was obviously still a problem. Celebrity men dominated the pay list, with at least ten men being paid more annually than the highest paid woman, Claudia Winkleman.

Mary Wollstonecraft Memorial
The history of feminism in Britain dates to the very beginnings of feminism, and Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the first feminists in the UK

Six of the men who were paid more were willing to take pay cuts when people found out about this. Jeremy Vine was earning the most out of these men, at £700-749,999 per year, and Jon Sopel the least, at £200-249,999. But what they all earn is a very decent income, and I’m sure they’ve all got high-sum savings accounts to back them up if needed. If I earned the amount of money that they do, I’d definitely be willing to take a pay cut as well.

There are admittedly many more problems around the world that have resulted in sexist behaviour. But every man on the planet must have had access to a woman that has loved him within his life. How could they not remember this? Don’t they remember who brought them up as a child or married them later in life?

The fact is that women’s rights are as important as the rights of any man, and feminism does seem to be growing stronger as time continues. Right now, I’m very much willing to help support feminism, and only hope it grows much stronger still.

It Could Grow More Common: Ageism

Today, I also came across another article that talked about murder. But this time around, the murder seemed so appropriate, and the man who committed the crime wasn’t despised by anybody.

84-year-old man Lawrence Franks killed his wife, Patricia, who was 86 and suffered from dementia. But the reason for this was all pre-arranged. Patricia had made a request to her husband to end her life when needed. This was simply because she never wanted to enter a care home. After her condition worsened, Lawrence found Patricia not responding to him enough. He wouldn’t be able to care for her alone, and decided it was time to strike and smother her as she lay in bed.

After that, he rang 999 to confess and his niece to say he had put his wife “out of her misery”.

Although he can’t escape imprisonment, the Judge admitted that it was a “very sad case”. Franks had genuinely believed the “spur of the moment act” was “an act of mercy”. He is now subject to a suspended two-year imprisonment, and was also ordered to complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity course.

Patricia Franks knew quite a lot about care homes. She had previously worked for the NHS as a pharmacy assistant. Defendant Vanessa Thomson said Lawrence’s wife had found the experiences of elderly people in the care system were “not positive”. This claim has been backed up by many people.

One big negative stands out regarding ageism. If we’re going to be granted the option of living a long life, we’re eventually going to have to deal with it. People are put in to care homes because they can no longer receive adequate treatment at home. But so often they don’t get the respect they wish to maintain.

They don’t tend to mean bad, but care home staff have been heard referring to the elderly inside as the “Os and the Qs”. This refers to the residents with their mouths hanging open and those with their tongues out…

The problem for older people is that a lot of the time people simply grow more afraid of death and disabilities too. Examples of ageism occurring could be when an older person loses a job, is refused membership or the right to vote because of their age.

Younger and Older Individuals

As we grow older, everybody tends to work hard to maintain their standards of health for as long as we can do. Unless people sadly pass away earlier than expected, it’s a challenge that every person is due to take on. If they appear to be healthy enough to exploit reasonable actions and opinions, then older people shouldn’t be ignored. After learning more and more through life, older people can sometimes be wiser than others too.

One other point I want to make is that older people shouldn’t dismiss younger people either. It’s important that they listen to what they have to say too. Ageism predominantly occurs against older people, but I think blending respect for both young and old people is the best option available.

A Few Other Things Too

Looking back at my anti-discriminating actions list, there are a few other things that I won’t be discriminating against either. I would never choose to treat somebody negatively because of their relationship status, pregnancy or maternity. Although it perhaps more often occurs in employment, this sort of behaviour can occur in other places too.

Racist behaviour can occur anywhere. I just want to reiterate that I apologise for not immediately understanding how difficult the current situation is for black people in society. Asian people with Islamic beliefs are talked about much more often, and up until our discussion I always considered people of any ethnic background to be legitimate members of the UK.

In my defence, it’s difficult to spot this discrimination taking place when you’re a white person who isn’t racist. Thoughts are kept quiet between everybody, and the only stories you hear in the news about racist behaviour taking place talk about how racist chants against footballers are due to be dealt with.

With all the other different types of discrimination to think about, I just didn’t think too hard about racism. Things are clearly a lot worse in America and in other countries, but I understand now that they’re not too good here either.

In this article, I haven’t mentioned any examples of discrimination against disability. But I have been discriminated against, and think I have mentioned enough examples of negative behaviours towards disabilities in my blog posts before. But I’ll track back over previous posts. If I don’t think I’ve mentioned it enough, maybe it’s time to write another relevant article all about D-A-D.

One fact I believe is that discrimination is one term that we have to use much too often. If we’re ever going to live in equality, then it’s a word that we’ll never have to use again.

Apartheid: the Tyranny of Racism Made Law by United Nations Photo / grandmother and grandson by Renette Stowe / Enough is Enough by Marco Fieber / Newington Green Mary Wollstonecraft London 001 by David Holt / Croatia 2 -1 England by The Pinefox / Christianity by Jim, The Photographer
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