Equality vs Dismissal

July 02, 2015

In this day and age, equality of races, genders, etc. plays a huge part in society and it has become rare to find someone who doesn't advocate equality of one of these things. It has recently occurred to me however that people are confusing dismissal with equality.
A couple of weeks ago, I came across a social media post which talked about how there was only one black person in a recently released film and that they thought this was unfair. After reading this it made me realise that within these groups advocating equality, there are subgroups who are usually completely oblivious to the fact that subgroups in their main group exist. These subgroups are generally made up of two types of people: those advocating dismissal of discrimination and acknowledgement of differentiation, and those wanting to still acknowledge the differentiation but treat everyone the same. These are the most popular types of people who advocate equality.
So what to I mean by dismissal? Let's expand on what I just said and go into more depth of what I mean by dismissal. I consider myself a person who falls into the dismissal sub-category when advocating equality and this means that - for example - I believe that the fact that people are different colours from others shouldn't even be acknowledged. Instead of saying things like "there was only one black person in that movie, that's unfair", I try not to even acknowledge the fact that there were black or white people in that film. There were just people in that film. I'm dismissing the labels for people of different colours and I'm dismissing the overall fact that they're different colours and I think that this is how everyone should approach advocating equality.
The alternative to dismissal is of course - yep, you guessed it - equality. This is the most typical way people look at stamping out racism, etc. This is the one you are always seeing all over Tumblr and other social media sites. Instead of completely dismissing the fact that everyone is different from each other, they do acknowledge this fact but put it to use by saying things like "there was only one black person in that movie, that's unfair". They believe that everything should be balanced and there should be equal amounts of black and white people in everything for true 'equality'. This is however still, in a way, a form of discrimination because you're treating people of different races differently and talking about them as a separate body to other races. You may be doing it in a positive manner but you're still doing it.
As I said earlier, I am more of a dismissal person because I believe that everyone is the same. Everyone looks different physically but on the inside we're all the same on a basic level in that we all have the same organs, etc. and we all originate from the same place. Of course, there has been a dark history of racial prejudice and discrimination in the past but in my opinion we should just move on from this as one body and look at each other as all being the same as each other. In order to achieve true equality we just need to completely dismiss the fact that others are different physically and move on from this. Instead of labeling people as black, white, gay, straight, etc. We should just label them as people - just as we'd label ourselves.

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  1. Hello, I really like what you've said in this post, but I am inclined to disagree. There is a difference between dismissal, equality, and equity. It's a given fact that we don't start off with the same stuff. Socioeconomic status is one thing, but the other issue involves gender, race/ethnicity, and religion. Like it or not, white males in countries as the UK or the US have more privilege. They're paid statistically more than minorities and other genders, and often don't have to deal with prejudices that are held against minorities and genders. Statistically. Equality is one thing that people advocate for. Equality is basically giving everybody the same thing. So, let's say we have a rich man and a poor man. If we were to treat them equally, we'd give each of them a flat rate of $100/month to help them out with paying for housing/basic needs. The problem with going for equality is that, well, obviously the rich guy doesn't need any money because he already has a lot, but $100/month isn't gonna help the poor guy find an apartment and pay bills and buy groceries. Going for equity is like giving the rich guy $0/month, because he already makes enough money to live a comfortable life, and giving the poor guy $200/month. It uses the same amount of economic resources, but it just makes more sense.

    When it comes to fighting prejudice, I think that we need to go more for equity, especially when we consider how much more privilege some groups have over others. Yes, people are at the core people. But people are very dynamic in who we are and how we are shaped. I think that we should rejoice that we have different identities (as in gender, religion, race/ethnicity, etc). These identities shouldn't come to define how likely we are to be successful in a career, though. It's a problem today and in order to get rid of the problem, we need to bring it out into the light and strive for equity. It's as much a political problem as much as it is a social problem.

    1. Hi there, thanks for commenting. I guess you're right in what you're saying and maybe I should have opened up my post to consider more things like socioeconomic status, etc. This post was very orientated around racism but now that I think about it, the case is completely different with socioeconomic status, etc.
      Thanks for sharing your views though, I really enjoyed reading them!

    2. I was trying to say that racism and sexism contribute to social and economic aspects of a person's life. Maybe the people who think that movies without "enough diversity" are on one extreme end of the spectrum, but I think that ignoring the differences is also ignoring the fact that some people are privileged only due to their gender or race.