Intelligence and Prejudice

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An acceptable prejudice that society still holds?

We all know that we should accept everyone regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability right? Rights under section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms also address racial equality, sexual equality and gay rights.

Did you know that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy has also been classified under sex discrimination? And landmark decisions made in 1995, 1998, 1999, and 2000 led provincial courts to determine that laws against same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.

2006_06_08marriageIn 2003 (Halpern V. Canada (Attorney General), the court of Appeal for Ontario used section 15 to legalize same-sex marriage in Ontario. Nationwide legalization finally was reached on July 20th, 2005 – prior to that, only Alberta, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories fell short of legally recognizing same-sex marriages. All other provinces followed suit shortly after Ontario, where the decision to legally recognize the marriage that took place in Toronto, Ontario on January 14th, 2001 made Canada the first country in the world to have a same-sex marriage.

All persons have a right to equality, benefit and protection under the law. Since not all forms of discrimination can be listed, it is recognized as happening when the burden or denial of benefit harms an individual’s human dignity (Law V. Canada). That is, if the discrimination marginalizes, ignores or devalues an individual’s sense of self-respect and self-worth, then it is considered unconstitutional under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms (part of the Constitution Act 1982).

But what is it that makes it perfectly okay to discriminate on the basis of whether a person is “smart” or not? I understand that some jobs require more mental ability than others. However, there is an undue amount of privilege and abuse of power given to those deem as scholars or who hold titles such as: coach, teacher, doctor, officer, priest, or ? Did you know some of the latest findings suggest that teachers may be your child’s worse bully? Doctors and police officers top the list of spousal abusers? And, I know we’ve all heard plenty about the abuse of power and harm caused by some members of the clergy and even coaches of youth sports.

I don’t want to be an alarmist here, but.

NO ONE is above the law (whether you hold a PhD, gun or a cross)

1main IMG_191 LLC shutterstock_86840116What has become of our priorities – is it that money dictates our actions? For the sake of making money, are we exploiting people? Did you ever consider that a human life is more valuable than a profit? Yes, your life is more valuable than any money. And you know what? In society, we are turning a blind eye to how money is made. Often unethical and ill-treatment of humans is deemed acceptable in the name of turning a profit. Money in itself is not the problem; nor is making money; it is the LOVE of money that is the problem. And the extent to which society allows deplorable treatment and conditions in the name of obtaining more money. When money is more important than people and especially children (or those without a voice), there is a problem.

People with, well, big titles, tend to make more decisions in society and they also tend to make more money than the rest of us. Apparently too, is the unspoken belief that “If you hold the purse strings, you can do as you please.” It’s another “they” saying I dislike; the whole, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” But what if that hand (and mouth) is also abusing you (physically, mentally or emotionally)?

Yeah, indeed, what if? It absolutely does matter – the manner in which you obtained your apparent “worldly” success. You can’t take it with you, so why not make your money in a manner that benefits society and your children, rather that just be a “taker” in life. When did we all lose sight of the big picture? Wait, not all…for sure they are really decent and ethical employers in this world. But I am surprised at what people with impressive titles are able to get away with. Isn’t it odd that no one seems to be held accountable either? How is it that we can’t figure out who was to blame for the economic crisis that, thankfully, the U.S. is slowly recovering from.

I am often convinced that whenever you only think about yourself and exclude others, destructive things happen. Inclusion of everyone in your grand plan (whether it be a family, a business, a profession) is crucial to succeeding. Once segregation (in any form) starts to occur and people are left “out of the loop,” your house of cards will eventually crumble.

And if it is not for money.

is it a selfish need to overpower or control another human being?

Whenever I watch children playing, I love to see how they include everyone. It really doesn’t matter to them what the other kids look like, their gender, clothes or home they come from. They just want to share and play. It is beautiful to see. I just watch how they all gather around to play hide and seek. They are inclusive, things are more fun with everyone involved. They are equals, no one discusses title or religion. They are all children who have a common goal…to play, share and have fun together.

We even sometimes dress our children in school uniforms, which (kids even concede) gives everyone a sense of equality. No longer are the designer jeans so important. Maybe, we adults need to all be dressed up in a human being suit (like everyone is “in the future”, in those science fiction shows).

So when did we adults decide to become doctors, lawyers, employers, supervisors, politicians, religious leaders, coaches and lose sight of our membership in the human race? When did “what we do for a living” give us some license to “overpower” or “control” other fellow human beings?

I have witnessed this quite a bit in the healthcare field where “if doctor so-and-so” did/said something abusive or wanted something (that others wouldn’t dare ask for), it was silently accepted to be okay…since s/he was “smart” ergo “more deserving than the rest of us.”

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