Our View: Where we're going, not where we're from
With our changing world our mindsets have evolved to fit the times.
Here in 2014 we see what is perhaps the greatest time of equality for all people.
No longer are people allowed to be judged based on factors such as race, gender or disability.
Even sexual orientation is a concept that is taking vast strides in being more accepted and resistance is usually done so in a non-violent way.
However, even though we do not discriminate based on who a person is, the concept of geographic discrimination is still alive and well.
“Oh, you’re from California, you must think you’re so cool.”
“Wyoming? Did you come here on your horse?”
“You graduated high school in Pine Bluff? How many times have you mugged someone?”
Comments such as these, though in various forms, have seeped their way into our daily conversations.
When someone introduces himself or herself, they are still subject to judgment. The form of judgment can be as small as a weird look, or as big as missing ajob opportunity.
Poverty stricken areas seem to be at the forefront of the conversation. Someone from a low-income neighborhood can be quickly lumped in with thoughts of crime and poor work ethic.
However, without getting to know the person first, the judgment, however slight, is vastly unwarrented.
We know perfectly well race should not be a factor in judging the quality of a person.
People who do are known as racists, and ostracized by peers, who feel they have a mindset that is stuck in the past.
Gender equality is also something that is widely accepted. Sexism in the professional world can result in lawsuits and even though we recognize genders as different, demeaning comments are considered rude and uncalled for, even in jest.
So why do we feel it is ok to discriminate against people based on where they live?
Just like race or gender nobody gets to choose where he or she is born.
Most people are also at the mercy of their parents or guardians when it comes to where they graduate from high school.
Moreover, where a person is from quickly becomes part of their identity as they grow up.
After moving to a new place memories of their hometown serve as a way to find out more about a person.
Jokes about where someone is from, no matter how lighthearted, can strike a very personal note in someone who sees first-hand the effects of poverty where they live.
Something as unique as geographical history should be enjoyed by all, not seen as something negative.
In the same way race, gender, disability, age or any other uncontrollable factors about a person are not supposed to hinder their ability for success, it is time for geographic discrimination to go by the wayside and be left in the past.
“Our View” is written by the editorial staff. The opinions are not necessarily reflective of the student body, faculty or administration of ASU.
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