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Ah, yes. Discrimination

by:Rachel

Discrimination is ugly. There is no way around it. Racial discrimination is reviling, though most of us tend to do it in some way or another even if it’s just ridicule in our minds. I’ve done it. Often, I have a hard time understanding people who are different than me and in Italy I found myself laughing behind my hand on more than one occasion about things that they believed that I “knew” were not true. Having not grown up in the inner-city, I have found inner-city ineraction and communication, on more than one occasion, baffling to say the least. Sometimes, I’m just confused, other times I discriminate against the way they do things in my mind. But, if everyone was just like me how uninteresting this world would be. Every culture has its flaws and it’s wrong for us to put any on a pedestal. Every culture has intense wonder and beauty and it’s wrong for us to overlook these as well.
Like I said before, I’ve been discriminated against. A gas station employee or manager looked on me with scorn when I was travelling with my hippy friends coming back from a Rainbow Gathering (gathering of hippies, travellers, and free thinkers). And did it ever make me angry! I wanted to report her, sue her, lash out at her with my great intellect about how disgusting she was being. Thankfully, I swallowed my injured pride and smiled as we left calling out “God bless you” and asking God to help me mean it.
More recently, I’ve been discriminated against for being poor. That smarts as well. In fact, I’ve been turned out of the U.S. of A. for being poor and we just found out that the decision made was unjust. They (it’s always “they”, isn’t it) based their decision on the grounds that we were a threat to become a public charge. The reasons they stated were 1) That we had applied for a fee waiver for our application (we couldn’t afford the cost as we were both in college and there just happened to be a fee waiver we could apply for) and 2) Aria was born on medical assistance. I didn’t feel so bad about the first reason as I felt that it was a complete lack of communication and understanding on their part as well as the fact that no where was it stated that we couldn’t apply for it. But I felt guilty for the second reason. I felt like the fact that I got pregnant and had Aria had ruined our case. Not that I regretted the birth of Aria in any way. I’d choose her over permanent residency any day. But I felt guilty about it because of what I felt people’s opinions of us would be. However, as of yesterday, we found out that there was no reason for them to deny us for either of those reasons. You can only be considered to be a threat to become a public charge if you are receiving cash benefits such as welfare. They actually encourage medical assistance if you need it. Their decision was unjust against us. John was angry, but I must admit, I simply felt relief. I hadn’t done anything wrong or abused the system. The woman who met with us and made the decision about our case was unjust to us. That’s okay though. It is not my place to make her answer for her actions and she will have to face them one day. I am free from bitterness over it. Holding it against her or anyone else would only be hurting me. I know it won’t be the last time I am discriminated against. God is our vindication.

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