Specialisation: Discrimination

Harassment and Discrimination in Business

Every individual is entitled to a work environment that is devoid of any form of discrimination and harassment. There are many forms of such conduct in the workplace, such as racial, religious, age, pregnancy, LGBTQ+ discrimination, and sexual harassment. The paper contains a deep analysis of harassment and distribution in the business. Also, there is information on the legal prevention of harassment and distribution that is resolved through various laws. The discussion incorporates the future measures the federal government will take to curb the issue, and it finalizes with the impacts those remedies will have on the social and ethical obligations of the business. Hence, this is a contextual analysis of the issues involved when the company has a conduct of harassment and discrimination.

The Concept of Harassment and Discrimination in Business

In the workplace, discrimination occurs when one person or a group of people are treated differently because of who they are or what they look like. Protected qualities include race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and country of origin. Discrimination in the workplace can take various shapes. Discrimination against job applicants, favoritism amongst coworkers, and treating employees differently than employers are all forms of bias (Roscigno, 2019). No matter the intent, showing bias toward another person is always wrong. That is why we call it discrimination when someone is treated badly because of their identity or what others assume to be.

When someone is forced to put up with offensive behavior to keep their job, or when the behavior is so severe or pervasive that a reasonable observer would perceive the workplace as hostile, intimidating, or abusive, that is considered harassment. A wide range of unwanted sexual attention or advances are included in the term sexual harassment, including requests for dates or sexual activities, remarks about someone’s looks, conversations, jokes, or remarks with a suggestive undertone, as well as different verbal or physical types of harassment (Kita, 2023). Harassment perpetrators can adopt multiple personas, including those of the victim’s manager or another departmental superior, a coworker inside the same company, or an outsider with connections to the business, like a customer or client. It is possible for the use of many identities to be utilized to harass someone who is the target of such behavior. A hostile atmosphere arises due to the intentional and persistent activities of individuals responsible for wrongdoing. In the workplace, harassment, and discrimination can take many different forms and frequently target members of the aforementioned demographic groups. Particular legal measures at the federal level protect several of these groups. Workplace discrimination and harassment include:

Workplace Age

Employers cannot discriminate based on age in hiring, promotion, or any other official corporate documentation due to laws that forbid discrimination. The most recent data indicates that people under 50 comprise roughly one-third of the U.S. population. The main regulatory body in charge of monitoring employment practices in the U.S., the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), released a significant special report in 2018 outlining the widespread practice of age discrimination against older adults in the American labor market (Kita, 2023). The study reveals that age discrimination remains a significant and expensive issue for workers, their families, and the economy overall, despite the fact that Congress outlawed it fifty years ago.

The pervasiveness of dominant cultural norms in contemporary American society is one factor that helps to sustain ageism. Expenditures of $53 billion in 2019 on goods and services meant to slow down the aging process are indicative of the cultural emphasis placed on the younger generation in the present day (Kita, 2023). New technologies have emerged since the formative years of people in authoritative positions, facilitating the growth of prejudices in the hiring process. One example of this prejudice is the widespread but incorrect belief that younger workers have technical skills. Furthermore, it is worth emphasizing that older individuals with more significant competence positions may unwittingly perpetuate these biases.

A survey of 17 well-known tech businesses’ employers in 2016 by Statista results showed that, in contrast to the 42-year-old national average, the median age of workers within these firms was 32 (Kita, 2023). Bias exists throughout the federal administration as well. With around 4.2 million employees, including postal workers and uniformed military personnel, the federal government is the largest employer in the country. The policy creates discrimination because various worker categories are assigned different retirement ages. For example, according to current norms and laws, federal law enforcement officials are anticipated to retire at 56, and air traffic controllers will generally retire at 57 (Kita, 2023). The main contention is that there comes a specific period in an individual’s existence when their physical and cognitive abilities begin to deteriorate. There are several instances in which the level of precision described above needs to be sufficiently supported by scientific data. This discovery implies that, rather than being governed by stringent, enforced legislation, the enforcement of age limitations in particular circumstances is mainly controlled by subjective assessment.

Race

No applicant or employee must be subjected to discrimination based on their race or any other racial characteristic, such as skin tone, hair type, or facial features. The practice of mistreating people according to the color of their skin is known as colorism. In situations where someone is harassed because of their skin color or ethnic heritage, legal action is taken. A wide range of discriminatory behaviors are considered forms of harassment, such as using racial slurs, making disparaging remarks about someone’s race or skin tone, and displaying symbols that are objectionable to certain racial groups (Cooks-Campbell, 2021). When harassment begins to create an uneasy or hostile work atmosphere, it crosses the line into criminal activity. It is crucial to remember that humor, remarks, or rare, mildly serious incidents are not prohibited under the legal framework. Retaliatory acts, including demotion or termination, against a victim in the workplace are illegal.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a combination of discrimination and harassment. The way that people traditionally view sexual harassment at work has changed, especially when it comes to situations where male coworkers harass female coworkers. Both men and women can mistreat people and abuse their positions of authority at work. Although it can take many different forms, there are two main types of sexual harassment in the workplace. One instance of sexual harassment is quid pro quo. The purpose of this kind of communication is to let an employee know that engaging in sexual activity is a prerequisite for training, advancement, or other benefits (Roscigno, 2019). When colleagues act in a sexually suggestive manner, it is considered a second form of sexual harassment. Making disparaging comments about others or casting disapproving glances at them are a couple of poor manners. These movements consist of both overt and covert components.

Religious

It is known as religious discrimination, when people are treated differently at work because of their religious beliefs or affiliation. The great world religions—Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Judaism, and Christianity—contain a multitude of sects, each distinguished by distinctive cultural legacies. This article discusses a few less well-known religious movements and doctrines, such as Scientology, Rastafarianism, and paganism. Employees are legally protected from workplace harassment and discrimination regardless of their religious affiliations. Acts of violence directed towards a person because of their religious affiliation are illegal. Physical and verbal abuse are both considered forms of abuse. Belief is a broad concept that includes philosophical convictions like humanism, atheism, spiritualism, agnosticism, and religious beliefs (Roscigno, 2019). Therefore, it might be claimed that treating employees differently based only on their religious membership constitutes discrimination. It is forbidden to incite hatred or violence toward any particular religious community. The widespread spread of objectionable content that displays racism or religious impropriety serves as an example.

Negative effects on an employee’s mental, physical, and emotional well-being, as well as legal repercussions, can result from religious discrimination in the workplace. Furthermore, such discriminatory actions may significantly affect safety in the workplace, independent of people’s philosophical or religious convictions. Employees who face religious discrimination experience feelings of melancholy, low self-esteem, and challenges building and sustaining relationships with others. Workers may experience unpleasant emotions like guilt and humiliation if they believe they are not meeting their employer’s religious commitments. It is also typical for sexism, racism, and religious bigotry to coexist in the workplace, making it a hostile and perhaps dangerous environment to work for everyone involved. Such incidents typically lead to workplace violence, low morale, and high employee turnover. Workplace discrimination based on religion can take many forms. Things like hiring and firing policies, wage gaps, career roadblocks, unequal distribution of benefits, workplace social events, and group activities are all examples.

Disability

Discrimination based on a person’s disability occurs when they are given less favorable treatment than someone who does not have a disability in the same or a similar circumstance. People with impairments must get the same employment opportunities as people without disabilities. Disabled people frequently face multiple forms of institutionalized discrimination. This group is disproportionately affected by unemployment, bias in the workplace due to false assumptions about their abilities, and systematic exclusion from the labor market. Additionally, they are exposed to incidents of bias during the recruitment process. A study in France found that only 2% of people who mentioned they had a disability on their resume were called in for an interview (Williams, 2021). In reducing the likelihood of adverse outcomes, businesses may use the services of temporary staffing firms to find suitable employment opportunities for people with disabilities. There are various work environments where people with impairments may experience bias from coworkers. It is possible to pin the blame for this pattern on either individual choice or professional relationships. The observed behavior could be a series of isolated incidents or the beginning of a larger pattern. This behavior is not exclusive to the office; it can occur during off-site meetings or even when working from home.

Despite the existence of five significant federal regulations aimed at safeguarding the rights of the 61 million disabled adults in the United States against job discrimination, a considerable number of individuals with disabilities encounter difficulties in securing employment, despite their earnest aspirations to do so (Williams, 2021). Nevertheless, many of these individuals continue to face obstacles in achieving the American Dream due to a prevalent social stigma inside professional organizations. Disabled individuals in the United States encounter several manifestations of discrimination within the realm of employment, including inequitable recruitment procedures, instances of harassment, inadequate provision of necessary accommodations, utilization of improper interview methods, and an overall atmosphere of intolerance. Nevertheless, numerous enterprises continue to express apprehension regarding the potential impact of employing individuals with disabilities on their operational processes. The occurrence of this event serves to strengthen an individual’s existing preconceptions of a job candidate who possesses a disability.

Pregnancy

Women were frequently fired from their jobs due to their pregnancy status before protective legislation was passed. Pregnancy discrimination differs from other forms of discriminatory practices in that it is typified by employers who fire an employee as soon as they learn they are pregnant (Silver-Greenberg, 2018). This usually happens on the day that the employer finds out that the worker is pregnant. This specific practice was widely utilized and considered to be compliant with the law. Many employers have a bias against hiring pregnant women, pressuring them to quit on their initiative and depriving them of benefits like health insurance and disability coverage that their non-pregnant coworkers enjoy. Both personal prejudices and institutional policies are the root of these discriminatory practices. Accurately determining the extent of pregnancy discrimination on a national scale is significantly hampered by the lack of comprehensive data regarding the professional interactions of pregnant individuals. Pregnant women are becoming more and more emotionally invested in their careers, making it especially important to understand their experiences at work.

The growing number of expectant mothers entering the workforce highlights the everyday challenges of juggling work and parenting obligations. Results from a survey conducted by Childbirth Connection, a group committed to improving the standard of maternity care, showed that a sizable percentage of working women required accommodations at work while they were pregnant. Mostly, these are small-scale changes, with a considerable percentage of women requiring a change that entails taking more frequent breaks, especially to use the restroom.

LGBTQ+

According to a poll conducted by CAP in 2022, individuals who identify as LGBTQI+ encounter enduring instances of discrimination in several domains, encompassing, but not restricted to, romantic partnerships, occupational opportunities, residential accommodations, healthcare provisions, and public venues (Gruberg et al., 2020). In summary, the results of this study indicate that individuals who self-identify as LGBTQ encounter instances of discrimination and prejudice in their daily experiences. Moreover, they encounter challenges in acquiring access to fundamental healthcare services. Several adverse consequences are associated with bias, which can significantly impact an individual’s health, well-being, and financial status. A considerable number of individuals belonging to the LGBTQ community have expressed their experiences of modifying their conduct as a means to mitigate instances of prejudice, consequently minimizing the potential emotional repercussions associated with such encounters. Younger generations exhibit higher degrees of bias and encounter more significant challenges stemming from this bias than older generations (Mallory & Sears, 2020). Individuals who self-identify as transgender, belong to racial or ethnic minority groups or possess disabilities are at a heightened risk of experiencing discriminatory practices.

When queried about the locations where they have observed instances of prejudice, a plurality of LGBTQ respondents (51%) indicated that they had encountered such incidents in public spaces, encompassing establishments such as retail stores, modes of public transit, and public restrooms. Furthermore, it was found that 36% of the participants reported experiencing instances of prejudice within their workplace (Gruberg et al., 2020). Similarly, 21% of respondents indicated encountering prejudice within an educational setting, while 20% reported experiencing prejudice within their immediate residential area. Additionally, 15% of participants reported encountering prejudice during interactions with law enforcement, and 4% reported experiencing prejudice in other unspecified locations.

Sex And Gender

Gender equality in the workplace has been the focus of much discussion and analysis for years in various settings. This subject has been discussed and examined in various settings, from courtrooms to business. Many legislative frameworks and rules have been put in place to protect workers from discriminatory practices; nonetheless, despite these efforts, sexism and other forms of discrimination still affect women in the workforce (Mayhew, 2021). The U.S. Supreme Court’s district court rulings and opinions cover various issues concerning claims of discriminatory employment practices that target women and other legally protected groups in the workplace.

Historically, women have been predominantly allocated to supportive positions in the workforce, such as administrative assistants, clerk typists, and secretaries. These occupations’ primary emphasis lies in providing office and administrative support. Companies involved in discriminatory employment practices put out several justifications for their behavior. Certain companies held the erroneous belief that women were deficient in the requisite abilities and qualifications needed to excel in non-traditional, higher-remunerative roles. The glass ceiling concept refers to a prevalent phenomenon observed in several organizational contexts when male individuals in positions of authority or with the capacity to support women in their progression toward management or supervisory roles deliberately impede their success in such domains (Mayhew, 2021). The glass ceiling metaphor is employed to underscore the existence of a tangible obstacle that inhibits women’s progress, namely, inside the hierarchical structure of professional institutions. Numerous obstacles impede women from ascending to the upper echelons of the hierarchical structure. The concerns arise from commercial strategies that perpetuate the notion of gender-based discrimination and male dominance in positions of leadership.

Another example of gender-based discrimination that women encounter is unequal compensation. Employers have historically used the argument that women are inherently more vulnerable and have less aptitude for succeeding in business or corporate contexts to justify the continuation of gender-based wage discrepancies. It is essential that every individual working for the company has a safe and harassment-free environment. Every worker must be held accountable for maintaining high professionalism at all times. Harassment at work not only creates a hostile environment that hinders employees’ ability to work together, but it also has the potential to result in costly legal actions. Managers and staff in the human resources department are accountable for establishing a harassment-free work environment. Establishing a comprehensive program that stresses prevention through the adoption of rigorous training on harassment is essential to achieving effective workplace management and mitigating incidents of harassment. A precise and thorough definition of sexual harassment is necessary for the anti-harassment policy to be implemented efficiently. When a term is ambiguous or subject to several interpretations, it might be helpful to employ case studies and illustrative examples to clarify its intended semantic connotation.

Legal Remedies Already in Place

Numerous government statutes explicitly prohibit job discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides explicit legal protection for certain features, including race, color, sex (including instances of sexual harassment), national origin (which encompasses characteristics such as language associated with national origin), religion, and pregnancy (England, 2021). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) established provisions that aim to prohibit workplace harassment based on an individual’s disability or the disability of their affiliated person. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) safeguards individuals in the workforce from discriminatory treatment based on their age, namely those who are 40 years old or older (England, 2021). The legislative measure known as the Anti-Discrimination Act of 1975 was enacted to eradicate racial discrimination. Acts of racial hostility refer to public actions that are deliberately carried out to cause offense, degradation, or humiliation towards an individual or a collective based on their race, color, nationality, or ethnic background.

Rules prohibiting discriminatory conduct based on a person’s citizenship or national origin are found in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). Also, the United States Code’s Section 1981 forbids the practice of drafting and enforcing contracts that behave discriminatorily against individuals based on their race or national origin. This legislation is commonly referred to as the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (England, 2021). Numerous readings have revealed that this legislation covers various employment-related subjects.

Harassment of coworkers is punishable under the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984 with harsh consequences. The restriction under consideration pertains to a broad spectrum of individuals found in the workplace, including employers, employees, and those categorized as participants in the workplace, including partners, commission agents, and contract workers. Unwelcome sexual advances, comments, and nonverbal cues that are intended to offend, degrade, or threaten the target are all considered forms of sexual harassment.

In the U.S., the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guarantees that no worker experiences discriminatory treatment in the workplace. Most firms that employ fifteen or more people must follow the regulations set forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (Müller et al., 2022). It focuses on those who have experienced unfair treatment because of legally protected characteristics while they are either current or potential employees. Recruitment, advancement, leave of absence, pay, and termination are covered.

In 1978, Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which prohibits, for firms with 15 or more employees, discrimination against women based on pregnancy, delivery, abortion, or related health problems (England, 2021). It is crucial to provide pregnant staff with the same benefits, accommodations, and general care as regular employees. Pregnant workers, like their non-pregnant counterparts, have unique capabilities and restrictions in certain areas of their careers, thus, this policy should apply to them as well.

Legal Actions That May Be Coming in The Future

Quality Online training

The upcoming phase is for the federal government to roll out an online training program to teach workers about their legal protections on the job. Even when it comes to adhering to anti-discrimination and anti-harassment legislation, training is helpful. If an organization is serious about creating a welcoming environment free of bias-based harassment and discrimination, it must invest heavily in its training programs. We place a premium on spreading information about and supporting constructive workplace practices and attitudes to achieve this objective.

Eliminate hiring biases

More federal regulations need to be implemented to prevent discrimination at work. An organization’s employment policy must be thoroughly reviewed to end discriminatory behaviors truly. One approach is known as blind recruitment, which calls for removing any mention of the names of applicants and other personally identifiable information from resumes. Hiring a group instead of a single person is also a smart move.

Establishing Policies and Programs

There is a likelihood that forthcoming legislation would mandate the implementation of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and training programs for enterprises of all sizes. The concept of anti-harassment conduct refers to the measures used to ensure the absence of antagonism, intimidation, or any form of harassment within the workplace. It is mandatory for employers to furnish their employees with an anti-harassment policy that is implemented from the outset, consistently reinforced, and regularly revised. It is imperative for the firm to uphold existing training programs and actively promote employee engagement in reporting policy infringement.

Ensuring the safeguarding of individuals who have experienced harassment and other forms of inappropriate conduct inside the workplace is of paramount importance due to its significant ramifications for the victims’ engagement, efficiency, and psychological well-being. The necessity of implementing an anti-harassment policy is evident. It is crucial to assign the right degree of gravity to issues. In the presence of established protocols and regulations, an individual has the opportunity to formally lodge a complaint regarding an unfavorable situation encountered in the workplace. This enables individuals to ascertain the definition of harassment as outlined by the Human Resources department and determine its relevance to their own situation.

Effects of The Remedies on The Business Ethical and Social Responsibility

Effect on Mental and Economic Well-being

Staff members demonstrate many manifestations of prevalent mental disorders, including but not limited to depression and anxiety, encompassing both psychological and physiological indicators. Additionally, they exhibit no discernible health implications linked to instances of harassment and bias. The detrimental effects of discrimination and harassment on the well-being of employees are well-documented. Consequently, addressing these issues enhances the well-being and productivity of employees. According to staff members, they experience a heightened sense of emotional maturity and personal autonomy. Consequently, there has been a decline in the participation of individuals in high-risk behaviors such as substance misuse, smoking tobacco, inadequate physical exercise, and bad dietary practices.

Low Turnover

Discrimination in the workplace is a causal factor contributing to high turnover rates. Employees who see themselves as victims of discrimination are more inclined to voluntarily resign from their current position and seek alternative employment opportunities, hence increasing the rate of employee turnover. The mitigation of staff turnover can assist firms in addressing many operational difficulties, including increased expenses associated with recruitment, decreased productivity, and the erosion of institutional knowledge. Therefore, the comprehensive resolution of discrimination and harassment concerns yields advantages for the overall functioning and success of the organization. Nevertheless, the implementation of rules aimed at reducing the probability of workplace discrimination fosters a heightened sense of motivation among employees, so encouraging them to exert greater effort in their work.

Employee Retention

Employers who have a track record of putting a stop to sexual harassment and discrimination are more likely to retain their staff over time. Anger towards diversity, equity, and inclusion; rudeness as perceived by employees; abusive managers; intense competition where coworkers were perceived to be purposefully undermining each other; and intense competition were all signs of a toxic work environment (Liu, 2022). Even when other potential motivators for leaving a job are taken into account, toxic workplaces have been associated with higher rates of employee turnover. Employees who enjoy their workplace and feel valued by their management, on the other hand, are less likely to actively look for new jobs. But the other way around is also true.

In conclusion, discrimination against job applicants, favoritism amongst coworkers, and treating employees differently than employers are all forms of bias. When someone is forced to put up with offensive behavior in order to keep their job, or when the behavior is so severe or pervasive that a reasonable observer would perceive the workplace as hostile, intimidating, or abusive, that is considered harassment. In the workplace, harassment and discrimination can take many different forms and frequently target members of the aforementioned demographic groups such as age, religious, sex and gender, race, and LGBTQ+, among others. Harassment is illegal when it is directed at a person because of a protected attribute or status. Some future legal strategies include establishing online training programs, eliminating hiring bias, or establishing policies and programs to fight against harassment and bias, among other.

References

Cooks-Campbell, A. (2021, October 6). Discrimination in the workplace: A complete overview. The Most Comprehensive Coaching Platform | BetterUp. https://www.betterup.com/blog/discrimination-in-workplace

England, D. C. (2021). The essential guide to handling workplace harassment & discrimination. Nolo. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=7UNIEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=discrimination+and+harassment+legal+protection+in+the

+workplace+in+USA.+pdf&ots=2WZF47_nW-&sig=LoMv0AgFT7F_5KpoWy9MmhL92Bg

Gruberg, S., Mahowald, L., & Halpin, J. (2020). The State of the LGBTQ Community in 2020. CAP Survey Data on LGBTQI+ Experiences. https://www.americanprogress.org/article/state-lgbtq-community-2020/

Kita, J. (2023). Age discrimination still thrives in America. AARP. https://www.aarp.org/work/age-discrimination/still-thrives-in-america/

Liu, J. (2022). This is the biggest reason people quit—and it’s 10 times more important than pay. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/14/the-biggest-reason-people-quit-is-10-times-more-important-than-pay.html

Mallory, C., & Sears, B. (2020). LGBT discrimination, subnational public policy, and law in the United States. https://escholarship.org/content/qt18z267dd/qt18z267dd.pdf

Mayhew, R. (2021). Ethical discrimination in the workplace. Small Business – Chron.com. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/ethical-discrimination-workplace-14708.html

Müller, J., Striebing, C., & Schraudner, M. (2022). Diversity and Discrimination in Research Organizations: Theoretical Starting Points. In Diversity and Discrimination in Research Organizations (pp. 3-30). Emerald Publishing Limited. https://library.oapen.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.12657/59802/1/9781801179560.pdf#page=32

Roscigno, V. J. (2019). Discrimination, sexual harassment, and the impact of workplace power. Socius5, 2378023119853894. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2378023119853894

Silver-Greenberg, J. (2018, June 15). Pregnancy discrimination is rampant inside America’s biggest companies (Published 2018). The New York Times – Breaking News, U.S. News, World News and Videos. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/15/business/pregnancy-discrimination.html

Williams, A. F. (2021). How Businesses Can Help End Discrimination For Employees With Disabilities. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/01/21/how-businesses-can-help-end-discrimination-for-employees-with-disabilities/?sh=4cb8707f4417

Intersectionality in the Face of White Feminism

African women, and black women in general, are subjected to intersectional treatment that denies them opportunities and leads to unfriendly policies that continue to discriminate against black women. Intersectionality is when multiple forms of inequality work together to discriminate against people. Intersectionality among black women is still embedded even in the face of white feminism that purports to champion the rights of women as a group. Ideally, intersectionality in the context of black women is when racism and other forms of social inequalities work together to oppress African women or black women in general. White feminism remains irresponsive concerning the subject of intersectionality because white women historically dominate it. This essay argues that intersectionality against black women remains deeply embedded even in the presence of white feminism and gives examples of how intersectionality works to discriminate against black women.

The concerns about rights and substantive equality for black women have not been taken into keen consideration and remain a vital issue in Black studies. Regarding social and economic policies, white feminism argues that incremental and delayed realization of social and economic rights is unacceptable. Recently, feminists have fought for women’s rights in employment and leadership to help women rise into leadership positions. In the United States, where employment is usually conducted on egalitarian precepts, black women are lagging, not only in higher positions of leadership but also concerning salaries and benefits. Hitherto, black studies have recognized the failure of white feminists to advocate for the rights of black women (Hoskin, 2022). For white feminists, it seems that the concept of African women is complicated, constantly shifting, or even contradictory. Feminists lack the stamina to engage in conversations that uplift African women owing to their white privilege history.

When white women are exposed to unemployment or lack post-natal and prenatal care, Marxist feminists consider it a conflict between the male-dominated society and vulnerable women. However, when African women are exposed to climate change by European companies that run mines in Africa, feminists do not seem to respond. In the United States and Europe, black communities have created black feminism to fight against intersectionality. However, in Africa, women have come up with African Womanist, which includes women and the entire family of black women’s families (Molehe et al., 2020). This way, intersectionality has taught black women that it could be used as a prism for understanding multiple things that conventional ways of thinking cannot merely understand. Unlike the United States and Europe, black feminism works to eradicate both gender-based discrimination and racial prejudice. Still, the main difference between black women in other cultures and black African women is that the culture of African women is more of a priority before social issues.

African Womanist is anchored in culture and is focused on their experiences, needs, and desires. Among African women, intersectionality is not examined in the realms of prejudicial history, as black feminists consider it. African women recognize that their colonial history does not play a significant role in the stabilization of racism. However, it can be a starting point regarding the removal of insulation that protects white women from racism. In white feminism, intersectionality is considered male-orchestrated. In other words, women cannot get jobs because men have taken control of the labor market. African women believe that men have a role in their struggles. Constantly blaming men for intersectionality does not work because men have also been culturally deluded in Africa for years on end. For example, machismo has made African men irresponsible over the years, as most of them have only viewed women as sexual objects and servants (Molehe et al., 2020). Therefore, African Womanism removes the mask of racial and gender discrimination that feminists have espoused and recognizes that outcomes must be evaluated to construct how they come about.

For African women, intersectionality is usually propagated when men are overly blamed for social atrocities that they have done because they have a lack of awareness. Furthermore, African women argue that feminists scapegoat men to preclude women from seeing the main issue, which is racism. This reality is a phenomenon that was observed by Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the word intersectionality. Crenshaw observed how a black woman was treated in court when she litigated about being denied a job opening because of being black. Crenshaw argued that the black woman could not get justice because the jurors were white males who were biased about blacks and women in general. Therefore, feminism, or specifically Western feminism, usually downplays the impact of racism on gender issues and purports to want to eradicate sexism and classism (Thomas, 2020). Accordingly, black studies have observed that there is no way that classism and sexism can be eradicated before racism.

African women have experienced colonialism, while black women in other cultures have experienced slavery. However, the lessons learned during slavery and colonialism are different. Even then, black studies have affirmed that black people cannot rely on those who have a legacy of injustice against them to champion their rights. Black people in different places have to devise unique avenues where they fight intersectionality among black women because of cultural and even policy differences. Racism is not as deeply embedded in Africa as it is in Europe or the United States. Nevertheless, black studies have also revealed that black people have to help women eradicate racial slurs and vocabulary that inhibit women from advancing (DiAngelo, 2018). In Africa, black women who manage to break the glass ceiling are called determined, while black women who manage to rise to positions of power in the United States and Europe are called strong.

Intersectionality among black women is also propagated when black people consider themselves inferior or challenging to socialize. However, white feminism cannot address socialization or inferiority for black women. Therefore, black women must find ways to eradicate racial slurs that they use among themselves. For instance, determined is used to associate Africans with the fight against colonialism, while strong is used to depict the fight against slavery. In many ways, white feminists also benefit from black inferiority because it makes white women rise and maintain dominance over the hierarchy that has existed in their communities (DiAngelo, 2018). By using terms such as determined and strong, white feminists romanticize the terrible experiences of black women rather than discuss the negative impacts of oppression. This way, white feminism can help propagate intersectionality by making black women ignore the realities that they are facing because enduring cannot be confused with transformation.

Moreover, intersectionality also prevails because black people have been fixated on racism, classism, and sexism only. This way, when black women do not rise to offices of power, they are said to be afraid of scrutiny. Similarly, black women who rise to positions of power are also portrayed as celebrities and are deified instead of being recognized for who they are. This analysis means that black feminists and African Womanists still decide to pick up some things from white feminists to advance in their quest for emancipation (Molehe et al., 2020). Black studies have argued that white women are not good at analyzing racial politics, and black feminists risk falling behind if they are to copy what white feminists are doing. Specifically, black studies reveal that the discourse must be widened to uncover the areas where black women are oppressed and discriminated against. Black movements must champion the creation of favorable policies for black men, women, and children. After championing such policies, they would see the ripple effect of their struggle on other areas and social justice movements.

In summary, intersectionality among black women exists even in the face of white feminism because the struggles between black women and white women are unique and because white women would still want to maintain racist systems. Black studies reveal that black women must be wary of vocabulary that is meant to oppress them and should regard them as racial slurs. Intersectionality among black women exists in multiple levels of social hierarchies, and black women must widen their lenses to perceive racism and social discrimination. International laws have failed to protect black women against intersectionality and still allow atrocities like climate change to continue the legacy of injustice that has been leveled on black women. When women cannot see problems, they cannot fix them; therefore, recognizing that men cause their challenges is false. Hence, their efforts must not only be concerted but must also concentrate on protecting black men and children.

References

DiAngelo, R. (2018). White Fragility: Why it is so hard for white people to talk about racism. Beacon Press.

Hoskin, M. N. (2022). Is There a Place for Black Women in White Feminism? Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/maiahoskin/2022/03/27/is-there-a-place-for-black-women-in-white-feminism/?sh=3b498f3a7113

Molehe, R. C., Marumo, P. O., & Motswaledi, T. R. (2020). The Position of Womanism Versus Feminism in A Contemporary World: The African Philosophy Perspective. Sociology Compass. https://doi.org/10.1111/soc4.12025

Thomas, K. B. (2020). Intersectionality and Epistemic Erasure: A Caution to Decolonial Feminism. Hypatia35(3), 509-523.

Why Do People in the U.S. Always Have a Problem With Law Enforcement?

The relationship between law enforcement and citizens has been complex and fraught in the United States. The public’s trust in law enforcement has been damaged by a lengthy history of police violence, discrimination, and corruption, even though police personnel is tasked with protecting and serving their communities. Police have brought issues of police violence and discrimination to the very front of public talk following high-profile killings of unarmed individuals of color as of late, including those of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Daunte Wright. An unfavorable public opinion of law enforcement has been exacerbated by incidents involving police corruption and abuses of power. These problems have persisted for a long time, and in many cases, they may be traced back to structural racism and a lack of responsibility. The U.S. has a long history of police brutality, discrimination, and corruption, which has eroded public trust in law enforcement.

Police Brutality

Police brutality refers to using excessive or unnecessary force by law enforcement officers when dealing with civilians. According to Duchess’s book, unarmed citizens being shot by police, fatal chokeholds, beatings, and sexual assault by police are all examples of police brutality in the United States. For example, an unarmed individual, George Floyd, was stifled to death by a Minneapolis cop who stooped on his neck for over nine minutes (Duchess). This is one of the most notorious instances of police brutality as of late. Moreover, in another case protests occurred all around the country after videos surfaced of the shootings of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Police brutality is a systematic problem in the United States, as the available evidence shows. Black men are more likely to be killed by police than white men (McFarland et al. 585-600).

On the other hand, in “Black Lives Matter: Police Brutality in the Era of COVID-19,” Tyra Jean claims that structural racism among police departments is to blame for their violence (Tyra). She examines how police associations have battled against changes and how a culture of mystery among cops has kept many instances of bad behavior from being uncovered. The findings suggest that police brutality is widespread and disproportionately affects communities of color in the United States (Tyra). Systemic reforms targeting institutional racism within law enforcement and increased accountability for police officers who use excessive force are needed to solve this problem.

Discrimination

Law enforcement discrimination in the United States has been an ongoing problem, especially for members of racial and ethnic minorities. Racial profiling, the surveillance and harassment of communities of color, and the unequal application of laws and policies are all historical examples of discrimination by law enforcement. In addition, there have been various ongoing occurrences of discrimination by policing, such as the killings of unarmed individuals of color and others of variety by cops. Members of minority groups are disproportionately targeted by police brutality and bias. For instance, the racial disparity in police stops, searches, and arrests persists even after adjusting for characteristics like crime rates and neighborhood demographics, as shown in research by Renauer (219-240).

In their article “Trauma and U.S. Minority Children and Youth,” Andres J. Pumariega and coauthors make the case that minority children and youth in the United States are disproportionately affected by police violence and discrimination, negatively affecting their mental health and well-being (Andres 285-295). They call attention to the fact that children from minority populations are exposed to trauma from police brutality, which can prompt long-term mental and actual medical conditions which reveals that bias towards minorities in law enforcement is a severe problem in the United States. More accountability for officers who engage in discriminatory behaviors is needed, and systemic reforms are required to combat institutional racism within law enforcement agencies. Systemic racism in society must also be confronted as part of this.

Corruption

In the United States, police corruption is a significant issue threatening the public’s faith in law enforcement. Bribery, stealing, abusing one’s position of authority, or resorting to extreme force for gain are all examples of corruption. Law enforcement corruption has extreme ramifications for society, including lessened public certainty for policing powerlessness to battle wrongdoing. A large body of evidence demonstrates the pervasiveness and results of police corruption in the United States. According to David Jancsics’s “Corruption as Resource Transfer: An Interdisciplinary Synthesis,” corruption is best understood as transferring resources from one party to another. Police corruption occurs when officers abuse their position of trust by demanding or accepting bribes or other forms of payment in exchange for favors or protection (Bryant‐Davis 852-871). Especially in low-income or minority neighborhoods, where corruption is more common and can exacerbate existing disparities; this can have a major influence on the community they serve. In the United States, police corruption is a major issue that damages public confidence in law enforcement and hinders its ability to do its job. Transparency and responsibility inside policing, as well as expanded oversight and guideline of police activity are important changes to take care of this issue. The fundamental causes of corruption, such as economic hardship, social disparity, and inadequate funding for law enforcement, must also be addressed.

Systemic Issues

Problems with police brutality, bias, and corruption contribute to a larger structural issue in the justice system. Minority communities are disproportionately affected by police brutality and face heightened risks of discrimination at the hands of the police. Corrupt police officers may make matters worse by abusing their positions of trust and authority to steal from their communities. Officials who utilize unreasonable power, victimize minorities, or are bad frequently slip through the cracks for their activities. This perpetuates and even encourages a culture of impunity inside law enforcement organizations. Ouellet research has revealed that police officers implicated in excessive use of force or other misbehavior routinely continue working without repercussions (Ouellet et al. 675-704). If other police officers see these actions tolerated, they may feel emboldened to follow suit. This unaccountability is exacerbated by the federal government’s failure to oversee and regulate law enforcement entities adequately.

Poverty, inequality, and systemic racism contribute to maintaining problems like police brutality, prejudice, and corruption. Particularly in currently minority populations, police staff might be more disposed to participate in troublemaking or utilize extreme power due to these elements. Addressing these systemic issues will require significant reforms within law enforcement institutions and broader societal changes. Some examples of this would be making law enforcement institutions more answerable to the public, instituting stricter regulations to curb corruption and wrongdoing, and working to alleviate root causes like poverty and inequality. It will also take an effort to eliminate bigotry and racism from the criminal justice system and society.

Counter-argument

While it is true that not all police officers are bad, it is essential to acknowledge that police brutality and discrimination are not isolated incidents perpetrated by a few unethical individuals. Occasions of police ruthlessness or discrimination are incidents that ought not to be utilized to portray policing. Notwithstanding, proof shows that these issues are endemic and influence individuals everywhere in the U.S. Police brutality against racial and ethnic minorities, according to the research of Bryant-Davis et al. (2017), has been linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Aside from ignoring the larger context of systemic racism and inequality in the United States, the concept that police violence and prejudice are isolated events is false. Poverty, inadequate healthcare and education, and prevalent discrimination have all been demonstrated to affect minority populations disproportionately. Especially in already marginalized and disenfranchised areas, these variables can create a setting in which police officers may be more prone to engage in misbehavior or use excessive force.

Not all police officers face the consequences for their wrongdoing or excessive use of force, which is something to keep in mind. This absence of obligation can add to the continuous idea of these issues and cause distrust among police and the individuals they are committed to safeguarding. Perceiving the endeavors of police officers to regard the law and protect their communities is fundamental, yet so is distinguishing the underlying issues within law enforcement that enable brutality and bias. Reforms and addressing the root causes of systemic racism and inequality are needed to solve these problems. A more fair and just police force in the United States is possible only via such concerted efforts.

Calls for Reform

In recent years, activists, lawmakers, and public members have brought attention to the problem of police brutality, discrimination, and corruption in the United States, calling for reform in response (Baker 773-800). The recommendations here attempt to make policing more fair and just by addressing systemic problems inside law enforcement agencies. One recommendation is to reinforce checking and responsibility for police departments. This includes the foundation of public data sets to screen police unfortunate behavior and laying out autonomous audit bodies to investigate grievances of bad behavior. Another proposed solution is to address the issue of qualified immunity, which can make it difficult for individuals to sue law enforcement officers for civil rights violations. More accountability for police who use excessive force or engage in wrongdoing would result from changes to qualified immunity. The greater problem of systemic racism and inequality in the United States is the focus of several ideas. This involves funding mental health treatments, low-cost housing, and accessible educational opportunities for underserved populations. Advocates say that a more equitable society can be laid out by settling the fundamental issues that lead to inequality and disappointment. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that these reforms can have a positive impact on communities and law enforcement agencies. Independent review boards have also been found to improve police accountability and openness to the public. There is still a long way to go until the United States has a policing system that is equal for all, but the calls for reform are an essential step in the right direction. The world can move closer to a future in which the justice system treats everyone fairly and equally if everyone keeps pushing for reform and holding law enforcement authorities accountable.

Public Perception

Public perception of law enforcement in the United States is complex. While many people have a favorable impression of police and appreciate their efforts to keep communities safe, others view law enforcement skeptically. The media’s portrayal of law enforcement can either increase or diminish public confidence in the system, contributing to the disparity between the two extremes. Those who have had positive interactions with law enforcement are more likely to have a favorable impression of the police, whereas those who have had negative interactions may view all law enforcement skeptically. The new public spotlight on police mercilessness and predisposition has prompted a thorough assessment of the police force and its strategies and systems. Because of these investigations, explicit policing has modified its techniques to recover the public’s trust. Media portrayals, individual experiences, and national discussions on police violence and prejudice all shape public opinion about law enforcement in the United States.

Implications

The negative public perception of law enforcement has significant implications for society. In particular, communities with a history of discrimination and brutality at the hands of law enforcement will see their trust in law enforcement erode. People are less inclined to report crimes, talk to the police, or help with investigations if they do not trust them. The capacity of policing to explore violations and guarantee resistance from general society could undermine the public’s well-being. Furthermore, for underprivileged communities, having a wrong impression of law enforcement can harm their psychological health and well-being (Richards et al. 352-359). Long-term psychological damage, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, can result from the dread and anguish of police aggression and discrimination. The social compact between residents and the state might fall if there is a lack of trust and poor impressions about law enforcement. Individuals are less willing to comply with regulations and normal practices when they view policing as an involving force instead of public help. The result can be a breakdown in the social order, a rise in criminal activity, and a weakening of communal bonds.

For public security and social harmony, trust between police and communities must be restored. This requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the root causes of police brutality, discrimination, and corruption. It also necessitates the active participation of law enforcement in community outreach, concern listening, and reform initiatives. Changes like greater local area management can reestablish trust in police enforcement, utilizing body cameras, improved preparation in de-acceleration strategies, and stricter responsibility for official bad behavior. It is also essential for the media to play a responsible role in shaping public perceptions of law enforcement. Both accurate and impartial reporting can help debunk preconceptions about law enforcement and ensure officers are held accountable for their actions. The media can aid in restoring confidence between law enforcement and communities by advocating for openness and accountability.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the history of police brutality, discrimination, and corruption in the United States has contributed to a negative public perception of law enforcement. While not every police officer has evil intentions, it is undeniable that structural problems within law enforcement have harmed vulnerable populations. A few changes have been proposed to manage these issues, including more outstanding obligation and oversight, local area policing strategies, and taking out the basic reasons for wrongdoing. However, it is essential to recognize that effectively implementing these solutions will require time and effort. Restoring public confidence in law enforcement is critical to the long-term viability of reform initiatives. The ultimate objective should be establishing a police force that protects all citizens equally, regardless of their background or socioeconomic standing.

Works Cited

Baker, Carrie N. “Racialized rescue narratives in public discourses on youth prostitution and sex trafficking in the United States.” Politics & Gender 15.4 (2019): 773-800.

Bryant‐Davis, Thema, et al. “The trauma lens of police violence against racial and ethnic minorities.” Journal of Social Issues 73.4 (2017): 852-871.

Duchess Harris, J. D., and Tammy Gagne. Justice for George Floyd. ABDO, 2020.

Jean, Tyra. “Black lives matter police brutality in the era of COVID-19.” (2020).

McFarland, Michael J., et al. “Perceived unfair treatment by police, race, and telomere length: a Nashville community-based sample of black and white men.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 59.4 (2018): 585-600.

Ouellet, Marie, et al. “Network exposure and excessive use of force: Investigating the social transmission of police misconduct.” Criminology & Public Policy 18.3 (2019): 675-704.

Pumariega, Andres J., et al. “Trauma and U.S. minority children and youth.” Current Psychiatry Reports 24.4 (2022): 285-295.

Renauer, Brian C. “Neighborhood variation in police stops and searches: A test of consensus and conflict perspectives.” Police Quarterly 15.3 (2012): 219-240.

Richards, Nicole K., Eliana B. Suarez, and Jose F. Arocha. “Law enforcement officers’ barriers to seeking mental health services: a scoping review.” Journal of Police and criminal psychology 36.3 (2021): 351-359.