Intolerance and Discrimination in America





Intolerance and Discrimination in America

Focus on the issues surrounding intolerance and prejudice in American society is based on a comparison between the article, A Rose for Charlie, and the articles that I read. The first article, “Across the Aisle” provides certain similarities between the events witnessed in A Rose for Charlie. Essentially, the publication expands on the increased intolerance between persons that occupy the Indian community context. The respective article provides several illustrations that depict increased intolerance within people that actually occupy the same social setting due to the implications of various cross-cultural problems. One particular similarity between the respective article and A Rose for Charlie involves the denial of equal protection privileges under the law. Because of the cultural influences that underlie the societies presented in both articles, the aggrieved parties in the settings mentioned above encounter discrimination in terms of equal protection within the law. Generally, equal protection under the law refers to the application of legislation on a fair basis across all persons irrespective of their disparities. For example, the respective principle may be breached if a state restricts a person from exercising a fundamental right because of his or her sexuality or race. In “Across the Aisle”, the lack of equal protection within the law is exhibited by the denial of basic marriage rights between a Sikh woman and a Hindu man because of their different religious predispositions (Chidambaram 60). The same violation is replicated in A Rose for Charlie whereby the aggrieved party, Charlie, undergoes a series of discriminative practices because of his sexual predisposition as a gay person. Since his sexual inclinations did not align towards the shared perceptions that were exemplified at the time regarding homosexuality, Charlie was denied basic rights such as his right to security, freedom, and the right to life (Carnes 113).

Another similarity between the article, A Rose for Charlie, and the article used for comparison involves the overbearing influence of ethnocentrism on the evidence of discrimination. In both articles, the characters in focus undergo significant intolerance and prejudice because of the disparities they possess which do not incline towards the perceived cultural norms. In “Across the Aisle”, one of the characters, a Hindu flower vendor died in a town proximate to Mangalore. Apparently, the death of the man was based on the notion of the religious difference he possessed in contrast to the persons who occupied the town. In other words, the Muslims, who were inhabitants of the town, murdered the said individual because of his Hindu predispositions (Chidambaram 61). The respective occurrence is an illustration of the extent to which ethnocentrism influences intolerant activities such as bias crimes within the community. In fact, it is notable that ethnocentrism tends to be particularly strong in religious, moral, and political settings. As such, it is much simpler to allow culturally restricted perspectives eclipse objectivity and impartiality. The influence of ethnocentrism is also evidenced in A Rose for Charlie. As a representative of the homosexual demographic, Charlie was subjected to significant bias crimes because of his sexual orientation as a gay man. The intolerance directed to him by his peers was a reflection of the hate crimes that the homosexual community underwent even prior to America’s independence. In fact, in American colonies, homosexuals were punishable by death at the time (Carnes 113). The presence of ethnocentrism is shown by the installation of homosexuality as a crime before its attainment of sovereignty. The fact that the culture of the British colonizers was used as a platform to dictate the behaviors of Americans within colonies shows the extent to which the American society has become inclined towards the discrimination of homosexuals as illustrated by Charlie’s experience prior to his death.

The last similarity evident in Shaffer’s “Cross-Cultural Discrimination” and A Rose for Charlie involves the presence of bias and prejudice as identified by the experiences of the aggrieved characters within the aforementioned resources. The evidence of partiality is shown by the discriminative practices imposed on the parties due to their disinclinations from the cultures in both contexts. Agreeably, culture is represented as an attained collection of shared views concerning norms, beliefs, and values that affect the behavior or attitude of a significant faction of individuals. In this respect, it is possible to assert the occurrence of discrimination as directly connected to the culture of the settings in question. In the article, “Cross-Cultural Discrimination”, one can note the presence of discrimination because of religious differences. Accordingly, persons applying for a particular job are discriminated in respect to their religious beliefs (Shaffer 78). Since culture involves a respective set of shared perceptions concerning aspects such as beliefs and convictions, it is evident that the discrimination based on religion comprises part of the overall community, which shares certain similar views and beliefs. Presence of bias in relation to the effect of culture is also present in A Rose for Charlie. The American culture has long established relations between a man and a woman as agreeable and permitted. As such, the predisposition towards homosexuality, which involves male-to-male and female-to-female relations, deviates from what the general culture dictates. This illustrates the reason behind the prejudice that Charlie underwent prior to his death (Charlie 115).

Works Cited

Carnes, Jim. Us and Them? A History of Intolerance in America. Oxford University Press, USA, 1996. Print.

Chidambaram, P. “Across the Aisle: The Rise and Rise of Intolerance.” The Indian Express (2011): 60-62. Print.

Shaffer, M. “Cross-cultural Discrimination.” Science Direct (2016): 78. Print.

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