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From Wikionary:

discrimination (plural discriminations)

1. a distinction; discernment, the act of discriminating, discerning, distinguishing, noting or perceiving differences between things.

It seems today that people throw this word around. If someone is denied something for any reason, they scream “This is discrimination!” The thing is that they probably have no idea what this word means. They just know it had a negative connotation (essentially it’s “bad”) and think that it is always illegal.

So what is discrimination? Discrimination is choosing one thing over another thing for any reason. Yes, at times it can be immoral and illegal. You can see all the anti-discrimination laws on Wikipedia. You’ll notice, at least under the US laws, that discriminating for things such as race, age, disabilities, and even genetic information is illegal. But if someone gets hired instead of you because, say, there college GPA is higher than your, that’s discrimination too. The Workplace chose one thing (the other guy) over another thing (you) for a reason (college GPA). There’s nothing wrong with that. If there was, well, then the company would have to hire nobody or everybody.

How far does “anti-discrimination” go? In Thetford, Norfolk, England during January 2010, an employer tried to post a job ad for “reliable and hard-working” people. The Job Center (where the advert was to be placed) said they couldn’t run the ad because it could be offensive to unreliable people. That’s right, they didn’t like that this employer was discriminating against unreliable people.

In essence, someone knowing what discrimination is and having common sense often comes hand-in-hand.

Until next time


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