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Stacked discrimination

Double, triple the minority profile; double triple the discrimination

The fact that the discrimination against women, LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual), ethnic/ racial, religion, disabled people, age has kept and is keeping more than half of the world population under lifelong demeaning, undignified, unrepresented and less than equal situation, is very known to most.

What is not well known are the impacts and statistics around if a person belongs to more than one of these groups. The prohibited grounds of discrimination, for all purposes of the Human Rights Act are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted. Stacked discrimination for example is when one is discriminated for being an Asian, a gay and a Muslim man, or a woman, with an ethics background and also has a disability.

Through this article I would like to bring focus of my thoughtful friends on how severe the consequences are of these stacked discrimination.

Discrimination against any of the above listed prohibited grouds, causes painful, social, economic and political impacts for each of the minority groups. However, adding an another layer of racism to it, raises the stakes at yet higher alarming rate.

While the women of all colours have reported discrimination from men, but interesting enough many white women also have been reported to discriminate against women of other colours. In the western world, many white women also have had no problem accepting a preferred status for “power and presence” over women of colour offered by the white men ( let it be white men who are straight, LGBTQ, disabled or from different religion or region). If one would throw a third variable of disabilities, let it be mental or physical, in this mix then sadly the social, political and employment experiences of minority women with disabilities fall within all of these three discriminatory frameworks. These women of colour get the limited access to resources to grow and more oppression when they experience discrimination based on their gender, race, ethnicity, and disability. These issues (singularly or collectively) negatively affect their ability to attain and maintain “power or presence” through meaningful employment, social or political recognition and their contributions toward their own life, family and the community.

Interestingly enough same sub discrimination patters can be found in the LQBTQ group. LGBTQ community with members of racial, ethnic, and national minorities reported to have faced similar discrimination from other LGBT people from the dominating community. To solidify my point, please know that in a study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on LGBT Asian Americans and Pacific Islands Americans, 82% of the surveyed participants reported experiencing racism from white members of the LGBT community. Very alarming statistics indeed.

I find it sadly fascinating that while the minority groups themselves have experienced the negative impacts of the discrimination and not feeling fully accepted and understood by the dominating community, they yet are not wise enough to stick together and not to fall in the pit hole of the pseudo human supremacy against the other impacted groups.

Extreme right wing groups within the western culture has already been there and is well, alive and even thriving in many pockets. Such mindsets stand directly opposite to the Charter of Human Rights and Freedom of Canada. Let’s educate ourselves, our families and our local communities the values of oneness as a race and grow out of the fear arising from ignorance, incompetence and comfort of undeserving privilege.

Stay kind,

Meera Gill

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