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Power and Communication Essay

Language discrimination has been prevalent in society for thousands of years. This has been something that happens in every civilization and will not stop now. Language discrimination is unfair treatment of an individual by the way that they compose themselves in a verbal matter. What I mean by this is to treat someone unjust because of factors such as accents, vocabulary size, or just that they speak a different language. This happens a lot to tourists who don’t know how to speak proper English in the United States. I have lived in the United States my whole life and I have witnessed multiple accounts of this.

There are multiple situations in which language discrimination occurs. Situations include work, school, vacation spots, and in the general public. The workplace is supposed to be free of any type of discrimination but it is not. People are discriminated against if they speak different or even remotely act differently than what we experience inside the walls of our community. School kids are picked on by other kids if they are a different nationality, this being because they speak different languages and are trying to learn the English language. Tourists on vacation trying to enjoy their stay are constantly pressed with the fact that next to nobody around them knows their native language providing a barrier of communication. The general public tends to look down on a person if they have a speech impediment or an accent even if they are still natives of the United States. They are made to look like tourists in a nation of their own.

Some examples of language discrimination I have observed come mainly within my own community. I have witnessed people from work picking on other individuals because they are a different nationality such as Hispanic. Some Hispanics are American-Hispanic being born in the United States. They are typically not discriminated against like the full blood Hispanics are. This is because they have not grown up in such a culture before and are trying to adapt. The same thing would happen to me if I was traveling to a different country. I would be looked at as an outsider as soon as I open my mouth.

There are many identity labels that contribute to discrimination. Labels such as “Working class” or “Black” are just a few of them. These are a form of discrimination in themself. Labels are a way to identify someone in the wrong way. They may be “working class” but may not want to be considered as that. They may want to be known as “rich” or “powerful”. Or may find it an insult because they have to work to make a living. “Black” is also a common term used to identify some African-Americans. This is discrimination because one individual is not better than the next. This may be degrading to anyone who is classified under any sort of label.

I do not believe that discrimination in communication is ethical because I feel as if it is a nonverbal or verbal form of abuse. It can be degrading at times and can cause a person to be uncomfortable in their own community. Regardless if I agree with discrimination or not, it will still continue to happen even long after I’m gone.


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