29 Apr When Is It OK to Discriminate?



JUAN SAYS: We saw our timelines burst with opinions regarding the bus company who didn’t allow the Igorot healer on board its bus just because he was wearing a g-string, a native costume of Igorots. “How cruel,” many of us have thought. It is with these kinds of discrimination that we are all up in arms against one target that we tend to forget that we too discriminate all the time.


How do you feel when you walk past Café Havana with those foreigners with those women “na umangat sa kahirapan” in tow? How do you feel when you choose hotels in Subic or Clark with fear that you may walk in on dark skinned Pinays with those foreigners on their arms? How do you feel walking past Quezon Ave., Makati Ave., and Burgos? Isn’t that discrimination too?

The country clubs, Manila House’s rules and regulations, Valkyrie at one point when it disallowed the transgenders to enter the club, these are forms of discrimination on a different level. And while all of us were up in arms on social media with the Valkyrie incident, we sure don’t mind when discrimination occurs in our favorite country clubs and well, clubs turn their noses away from those who are “not allowed” to enter just because.

Our accusations/judgments of the wrong things that other people do infact, mirror our own in more ways than one. Sure we all discriminate, even the bible does. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” the bible verse in 2 Corinthians 6:14 begins, “For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” It is to say the least, a form of discrimination, being privileged or entitled. If we are so bent on destroying discrimination, but religion is as discriminating as we can get, when then is it okay to discriminate? When then is it ok to associate ourselves with people who are unlike us? Where do we draw the line?

You get what you tolerate.

A generalization against a certain class, gender, race is discrimination at its worst. To disallow people the basic comforts of life just because of who they are is something that we all must fight against. This is true with what happened with the man in a g-string. To us, it is all about respecting one’s culture and beliefs. And just because he is wearing his traditional Igorot costume does that mean that any bus company or any person for that matter should disallow them from using the basic comfort of riding a bus from one point to the next.

When we discriminate against homosexuals, HIV+ patients for work, when we brand them as deviants of society thereby disallowing them to make a living for themselves just because of who they are is discrimination at its worse.

These forms of discrimination must be fought. These forms of discrimination do not in any way uplift the society and promote a healthy environment for work.

But discrimination against our personal boundaries is a different story. We believe that this is where it all boils down to – personal space. We are allowed to discriminate people – to choose our associations based on our morals and the boundaries that we have set upon ourselves. We can in fact, let people in but keep them at a distance. We choose our associations. We choose the people that we let inside our inner circles. We choose people whom we are identified with. We choose to surround people who lift us higher, who adds value to us. We choose our people, our tribe. And with this process of choosing, we believe that discrimination is not only okay, but somehow it is right.

Discrimination amongst who we let inside our personal spaces is a necessity to keep ourselves sane. We just can’t, for the love of ourselves, let every person in. We let those whom we are compatible with – our moral compass, our principles, our work ethic, and the like. We let them in because there is mutual growth for us and these people. We let them in because they make our lives happier, better and peaceful. We do not allow those who do not share the basic principles that we stand for, inside our inner circle. Walang taong gusto ng magulong buhay kaya ayaw nating papasukin ang mga taong magdadala ng gulo sa buhay natin. This too is a form of discrimination and we believe that this is good.

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