Global Q&A: ‘Have you ever felt discriminated against?’

March 21, 2012 Updated: September 29, 2015

Religious, political, and gender discrimination were among the forms of discrimination cited when Epoch Times reporters from Dubai to Colombia asked locals:

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Miriam Habib, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (The Epoch Times)

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Miriam Habib, 20, Student

We were on our way to Walmart in America; we were shopping for clothes. There were two ladies across from us and they were talking about us loudly and in English. About how we are different, and how we are Muslims, and just talking about us! So my Mum turned around and she said, “Well, we know how to speak English,” and they were shocked! And they walked away giving us nasty looks!

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Dan Anderonescu, Bucharest, Romania (The Epoch Times)

Bucharest, Romania

Dan Anderonescu, 84, Retired Historian

I have always fully felt the discrimination [because I was a political detainee]. Ten years after release, they didn’t give me a job according to my qualification. I was arrested after I graduated to be a history teacher. But there was no way to be accepted in education after I got out, especially because history was considered a political subject. I worked as an unskilled worker between 1964 and 1973. Later, in 1975, I was accepted to work at a history periodical.
Note: Dan Andronescu was arrested in 1952 and served 10 years for his anti-communist opinions.

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Peter Nielson, Puerto Montt, Chile (The Epoch Times)

Puerto Montt, Chile

Peter Nielson, 68, Journalist

I have been discriminated against because I wasn’t part of a political party. I didn’t have a job because I didn’t belong to this group—this happened in a previous government. If you weren’t part of this party, you couldn’t get a job. If you were a member of the party, yes, you could get a job.
Note: From 1973-1990, Chile was a military dictatorship under Gen. Augusto Pinochet[i]

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Maggan Davidsson, Aneby, Sweden (The Epoch Times)

Aneby, Sweden

Maggan Davidsson, 54, Horticulturalist

Absolutely. I was bullied at my former workplace. I worked as a church usher and it was a male-dominated workplace. For me, it is in the church and the mental health system that are the worst workplaces in terms of discrimination, but it should be the opposite. They sweep the problems under the carpet. I received no support from anyone there; it was very tough for me, for about four years successively. It took a very long time before I recovered afterward.


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Shammus East, Montville, Australia (The Epoch Times)

Montville, Australia

Shammus East, 16, Student

Me and my mate, we skate a lot; we don’t do anything wrong, but we get pulled over by the police all the time. And get stereotyped—like we’re going to go around and vandalize stuff. We’re good kids; we get good marks and everything like that.


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Dania Antonella Bocanegra Martínez, Ibague, Colombia (The Epoch Times)

Ibague, Colombia

Dania Antonella Bocanegra Martínez, International Business Student

I think that in some moment of one’s life one can feel discriminated against by the masses, but also it is in accordance with your personality—to want to feel discriminated or not. It depends on each being to feel discriminated or not. It doesn’t matter what society thinks about you—if you are good or bad, you just learn to live with them and try to understand their thoughts, and not discriminate against them as they do you. … What you sow in your life you will gather at a later time.

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José Velis, Lima, Peru (The Epoch Times)

Lima, Peru

José Velis, 24, College Student

I have never felt discriminated against. I think it’s a great social problem, both for those who discriminate and to the discrimination; people with low self-esteem can be affected. To feel sure of oneself and accept one’s condition is better. Where I saw a lot of discrimination was at my school. We must understand that we are all human beings, and, therefore, we should treat each other equally.


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Marinalva Alves, São Paulo, Brazil (The Epoch Times)

São Paulo, Brazil

Marinalva Alves, 48

Yes, I felt discriminated once. … The boss of my company moved me to another sector for his own personal reasons. I felt very humiliated and discriminated against, because I had no problems with my colleagues, and I was doing my job well without creating friction with anyone. But, in the end, he transferred me because of a personal reason—he didn’t like me. It was not at all professional.


[i]Look for the Global Q&A column every week. Epoch Times correspondents interview people around the world to learn about their lives and perspectives on local and global realities. Next week’s global question: “Do you think it’s unethical to cheat on your taxes?”