Thursday, May 18, 2006

Discrimination or Individualism?

Is Discrimination always a four-letter word? Whenever we make a choice, we are discriminating. When a teacher gives us a letter grade they are discriminating. If we get an “A” and someone else gets a “B” there is discrimination involved. And so it should be.

We cannot be a nation of freedom loving people if our goal is “equality” in every sense of the word. As individuals we are striving to NOT be like everyone else. There are those in the world who want “equality for all” at the expense of individualism. We should strive for “equal opportunity for all” and not try to “force” equality, by punishing individualism.

The striking down of the “exit-exam” in our high schools is going to water down the significance of getting a high school diploma. If they hand them out to everyone, then they are of no significance. We might as well admit that everyone will get one whether they can read and write or not. I know, let's just give everyone a College Degree, maybe even give everyone a P.H.D., then there would be no discrimination. No need to work for it, after all, we wouldn't want to discriminate!

Those who complain that the test was discriminatory are correct. But, they are wrong to say it as if "discrimination" is always wrong. It is meant to encourage everyone to meet a standard. If you cannot meet the standard, then you keep trying until you can. You seek help with special instruction until you can perform.

These kids that are given a free pass are only being hurt by the act of not helping them see the need to perform in a society that rewards excellence and abhors failure. This is the way it was meant to be because in order to help others we need those who can provide for others to be rewarded for their efforts.

We need to allow people to express their opposition to things that they see are detrimental to society without fear of repercussions. For example, if someone says that stealing is wrong, we currently allow for that point of view without fear of being fired, but if we say that “sodomy” is wrong, we are labeled a “homophobe” or bigot and often get fired for expressing our opinion about certian behavior even when it is aimed at the behavior and not at an individual. Only by allowing peaceful dissent on all forms of questionable behavior without making it a personal attack, “hate the sin, not the sinner”, will we be able to help keep society from sinking to the lowest common denominator of behavior.

If we say that the exit-exam should continue to be used, we should not be labeled as being people who like to "discriminate" as if it is always some "four-letter" word.


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