The principal obstacle to establishing equality of all citizens in a country is people’s attitudes, which are represented by prejudice towards specific population groups and racism in the main governmental institutions. Nevertheless, this problem can be also analyzed on a personal level since the consequences of unfair treatment of this nature are revealed through its impact on the everyday life of the affected persons. These effects can be described as the impossibility of gaining access to essential goods and services compared to the majority of individuals in a region. In other words, the existence of prejudice and racism leads to the lack of resources for survival, social exclusion, unfavorable economic circumstances, and insecurity, which are accompanied by an uneven distribution of benefits in society.
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Social Exclusion and Mental Health
The distinctions on the grounds of personal characteristics, such as gender or race, result in the exclusion of people from societal affairs and thereby decrease their chances of maintaining mental health. In this way, their achievements are limited to individual endeavors, which are insufficient for active participation within groups and, consequently, determine one’s frustration in life. For example, according to the statistics, inhabitants of various neighborhoods are unwilling to live near representatives of a different race or those who are gay or lesbian without clarifying their stance (Taylor, 2019). In this situation, unjustified personal convictions lead to the psychological trauma of these categories of citizens and increase their vulnerability. As a result, they face multiple issues, such as low self-esteem or guilt, and these outcomes are critical for their happiness (Taylor, 2019).
What is more important, the beginning of economic hardships in the country only increases the negative perceptions toward these people (Taylor, 2019). From this perspective, the external circumstances boost the influence of the already established unfair views and worsen the living conditions for those belonging to minorities of any kind.
The Lack of Resources Ensuring Well-being
Another challenge in terms of ensuring equal life chances for everyone is connected to the uneven distribution of resources among them. This situation can be analyzed through the lens of healthcare, which is one of the fields directly linked to one’s experiences. Thus, according to the official data, there are significantly fewer hospitals in the areas where the representatives of minorities reside (The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2018).
In addition, the possibilities of traveling to other places where the required medical assistance is provided correlate with extra costs, which most people cannot afford (The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2018). In this case, prejudice and racism are less apparent and can be considered as such only after accepting the fact that the government tends to care less about those in a disadvantaged position. There is no other reason confirmed for explaining this difference in coverage of needs but the prejudiced attitudes of authorities towards discriminated individuals. Therefore, the lack of resources for survival can be seen as another aspect of the issue.
Unfavorable Economic Conditions
The above provision, which is the absence of goods and services for ensuring one’s well-being, is also explained by unfavorable economic conditions increasing the bias. For instance, it is stated that disparities in poverty rates positively correlate with the fact of belonging to population groups, which are discriminated against by the majority of citizens (The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2018).
Meanwhile, the roots of the problem seem to be fewer chances to find employment due to prejudice, whereas the specified gap in their income levels is the consequence of this challenge. From this point of view, racist sentiment among the public is underpinned by credible statistical data, which, makes people think that all individuals in this group are disadvantaged and treat them accordingly. This conviction is not based on reason but on mere generalization, which is unacceptable. Hence, it adversely affects individuals’ experiences in life and eliminates their opportunities for being perceived as full-fledged members of society.
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Uneven Access To Essential Services
The challenges of people who face racism or any other kinds of unfair treatment are complemented by uneven access to the existing services, and they are intertwined with the economic considerations described above. The overall tendency the increase minorities’ representation among students and employees is positive; however, the problem remains since people’s negative attitudes cannot be shifted simply by claiming a positive change (The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2018).
As a result, for example, the percentage of negative outcomes of healthcare interventions among discriminated persons is significantly higher (The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2018). From this standpoint, their opportunities for receiving high-quality medical assistance are limited by “social factors that uniquely impact their health outcomes” (The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2018, p. 1). This definition of the source of the issues clearly speaks of the dominant importance of the perceptions leading to racism and prejudice rather than objectivity in making judgments and adds to the harm to one’s life chances.
Unfair treatment of some citizens on the basis of particular personal characteristics is the cause of living in unsafe conditions. As per the report of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2018), “neighborhood violence and environmental factors” are the main reasons why insecurity is a challenge for discriminated individuals (p. 9). The attitudes towards minorities, which are shaped under the influence of economic disparities, also have an impact on their chances of finding good housing options (The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2018).
In turn, the provision of less favorable conditions by financial institutions implies the need for selecting poor communities (The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2018). These factors determine worse living standards for people who face racism and prejudice on a daily basis as they are spread to all aspects of societal life. They also serve as a source for continuously emerging struggles of the affected representatives of disadvantaged population groups, and these issues are related to all fields, including healthcare and education in the first place.
In conclusion, the existence of prejudice and racism in present-day society shapes people’s experiences in a negative way and reduces their life chances of well-being. First, this practice causes harm to their mental health, which derives from social exclusion. Second, it leads to the lack of sufficient resources for surviving under the specified circumstances and, more importantly, creates problems when one needs medical assistance. Third, the formation of opinions on the grounds of statistical data explains generalizations in this respect and adds to the negative image. Fourth, the uneven access to services contributes to the impossibility of gaining prosperity in the long run. Fifth, the mentioned struggles lead to difficulties in ensuring safety due to the lack of means for this goal. Thus, racist attitudes worsen the position of individuals in society in all areas.
Taylor, J. (2019) Racism, inequality, and health care for African Americans. Web.
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2018) Prejudice and discrimination: Barriers to social inclusion. Web.