Yesterday, we talked about stereotyping coming from ignorance. Today, I'd like to talk about people who discriminate out of fear. Fear often develops from the scarcity mentality. How frequently have you heard it said that the United States should close its borders! “We have enough immigrants and they are taking away all the jobs from good tax-paying American citizens.” These are the people who believe that since they got theirs, no one else should be allowed to have a part of the promised rewards. After all, there won’t be enough for everyone. There is a fear that something will be taken from them.
There is an even bigger fear that mostly comes from an unconscious place. When you are a member of the majority group and that group has been oppressing minority groups for whatever reason, there is always a fear that if the minority group(s) gain power, then they may do to the majority what was done to them. This is not a valid reason not to make right what had been wrong. It may be human nature to seek power but as a people, as human beings, we must find ways to create power with each other instead of craving power over each other. That is what diversity in the workplace is all about. All people coming together--bringing with them their unique talents, skills and abilities in an effort to create the best possible products and services for a diverse marketplace. Isn’t that a concept you can get behind? Let’s start today.
Do you have stories to refute or support that people often discriminate out of fear? I'd love to hear them.