Posted: November 29th, 2013
Plight of Hispanic-Americans in the United States
Minority groups exist in all societies in the world and they are characterized by members with insignificant power amidst the members of the dominant groups (Shepard, 2009). They are marginalized because the members have less control over their lives and often suffer in silence in the societies. Therefore, members in a minority group are not privileged to experience the variety of opportunities that would improve their standards of living and put them in the same level as those in the dominant groups. Factors that distinguish minority groups and majority groups are race, culture, physical impairment, religion, gender, politics, class, religion and education. Members have no choice but to be in the group because they are brought together by the commonality that is unrecognized by the dominant groups and thus, they have a sense of solidarity.
The Hispanic-American population is one of the minority groups in the United States. Language barriers and immigration issues have put the population at the front of marginalization in America. In such a country that is bound by democracy, equality is a mandatory element without which the justification of democracy is vague or futile. Hispanic-Americans still suffer from discrimination in work places. It is obvious than in a society where capitalism is abundant, business owners are at liberty to choose who they deem right to be in their workforce. However, if a Hispanic-American is equally qualified as a Native American, it is only fair to employ both under the same conditions because it is the value of the output that counts and not the value of the worker’s presence. Hence, the Hispanic-Americans deserve equal treatment with respect to the job specifications.
The government went a notch higher in stipulating laws that uphold equality and abate segregation. Such an effort in the wide spectrum of a society is highly commendable but unfortunately, the measure is not well implemented down the radar because studies show that minority groups such as the Hispanic-American face assimilation challenges in the workplaces. Research shows that in 2009, almost three out of ten Hispanic-American employees face discrimination in the workplaces (Gibson, 2009). Most survive on a low payroll and do not enjoy job promotions in either executive or management positions. These people are similar to the majority in that their needs include providing for their families, education and self-sustenance. Employment is their means of survival and they are obliged to succumb to worse bad working conditions because they need those meager incomes to survive. According to Gibson (2009), there should be more Civil Rights lawyers to ensure that the Hispanic population is given equal treatment in the country.
According to a report on situation testing conducted in the United States to determine the criteria of recruiting employees, an advert for a receptionist position in an optometrist’s office was featured in a local newspaper (Bendick, 2007). A tester with a Latina name, Juanita and partial accent was put on hold when she telephoned the next day for the application. Unfortunately, she got negative feedback when the office told her that the company was not taking any other application. This scenario may prove the sidelining of the Hispanic-Americans because of language barrier. If a person from the dominant groups puts herself in the same situation, the outcome will be frustration. For example, if Juanita in the above scenario needed income to pay the increased rent or to pay for her child’s fee while the child is almost dropping out of school, chances are that her family will be homeless and the child will not have a solid background of education in the future. If this is the case, how many children will be freelance for lack of education? The predicament has long-term problems, which will affect the country’s economy in the future as a whole. Education is the backbones of the country’s economy since its current and future labor market highly depend on it.
Employment discrimination in the United States triggers discrimination of Hispanics in other parallel aspects of life such as purchasing products of quality and housing or access of health care services and learning institutions. According to Marger, (2011), this can be detrimental to the population because they will be psychologically affected by the form of rejection in the society. It is enough to picture the emotional stress and frustration that a Hispanic-American worker experiences in the workplace or a potential employee faces when unjustly rejected during a recruitment activity. Added areas of discrimination will have serious psychological implications on the Hispanic individual. The fact that they are Hispanic-Americans clearly outlines their citizenship and as citizens, they are entitled to the justice proclaimed in the United States constitution. Ignoring their rights by treating them unequally is contrary to the law.
Just as the majority in the United States are cautious and vigilante in matters which affect them because they feel deprived of their rights, so should the voice of Hispanic-American population be heard. The government has put in place anti-discrimination measures and campaigns but the turnover can only start with the individual. Employers should organize for forums in the workplaces to foster diversity and inclusion and communicate equality through recruitment and promotion procedures. Concurrently, Hispanic-Americans should be aware of their rights and be relentlessly in pushing forward policies that uphold the ethics on their employment. It is understandable when employers do not recruit Hispanic people who have poor education background but the problem arises when employer has pre-conceived ideas about other Hispanic-Americans with admirable resumes. Such pre-conceived ideas make the employers to grade Hispanics lowly and if at all they are employed, they are offered risky jobs that can cause physical injuries.
Social psychological research shows that stereotypic notions can become a barrier in the change of attitude by the majority towards the minority. Therefore, the Native American employers’ stereotypic notion about the underperformance of the Hispanics can lead them towards subtle discrimination. This happens unconsciously and in most occurrences, such employers can argue that discrimination was not their intention. The immigration status of the Hispanic workers might have caused the unequal treatment because most of the Native Americans were against the status and this inconveniences the working potential of the Hispanic-Americans (Marger, 2011). Many people have different perspectives on the reasons behind the Hispanic situation but the most important point is equality in the United States. Ethical codes must be addressed to document responsibility. This will reflect the anti-discrimination efforts that the government vibrantly focuses on.
The major impediment in the employment of Hispanics is poor English skills. English is the official language in the United States and it is logical for Native American employers to scrutinize how fluently it is spoken by the Hispanic job seekers. It is also mandatory for communication activities with clients and colleagues. However, the expertise of the Hispanic job seeker in other major areas in the workplace should be put into consideration. Every day, we are braced with innovation from different aspects and thus, employers can adopt innovative methods to ensure the Hispanics knowledge of English materializes. This is not to say that the period of the company’s activities will be derailed but concurrent programs if managed properly can increase the output so there will be nothing to lose. Race-based discrimination in the workplace should be avoided because it creates an imbalanced social system and it is a threat to the country’s economic status. When all workers are equally valued, they combine efforts in the organization to increase productivity and they appreciate each other. This improves the environmental working conditions.
Bendick, Marc. “Situation Testing for Employment Discrimination in the United States of America.” Horizons strategiques 3.5 (2007): 17-39. Web. 6 July 2012.
Gibson, Sebastian. “Discrimination against Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican Americans and the need for more Civil Rights Lawyers in California.” Global Legal Resources 28 February 2009. Web. 6 July 2012.
Marger, Martin. Race and Ethnic Relations: American and Global Perspectives. Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Shepard, Jon. Sociology. Cengage Learning, 2009. Print
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