ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why NDO's (non-discriminatory ordinances) Aren't Necessarily Good for Society

Updated on August 22, 2014

Firstly and importantly, I want to establish that I in no way support discrimination. Nor do I morally disagree with individuals who are fighting for anti-discriminatory policies in their communities. However, despite that, I do question their methodology. I do not believe pushing for legislation is worth the price for the little good it would do our nation in terms of moving towards a more tolerable America.


A little bit about my background-- where I'm coming from

I've grown up in a town where the demographics are represented in the following way: 1% black, 5% native american, and 94% white.

It's essentially a perfect environment for racism to fester since someone who is supposedly 'different' can seem even more out of place than in other parts of the nation where minorities are represented in significantly larger numbers. And indeed, I have personally witnessed individuals insulted and treated unfairly because of their heritage--One of them being a very close friend of mine.

In my high school, we had maybe two or three black students out of the astounding 2200 kids crammed into the building each and every day. And where better to witness racism and intolerance than in an environment where raging hormones produce undirected teen angst and where harsh judgement flourishes? My friend always joined us for lunch, and is wasn't uncommon to witness glares from others in his direction, nor was it rare to see various forms of supremacist graffiti in and around that area. So naturally, it was something that came up in conversation between us.

"You guys are my best friends, but I'm not going to lie, I feel safer around other black people."

That stuck with me for quite some time. It's one thing to look at the situation in terms of acceptance and comfort, but a whole new ballpark as soon as safety becomes an issue. Since then, my friend has experienced difficulty finding a job-- and his father has experienced the hateful act of having his car (a fairly nice Chrysler) trashed by some punks.

That's as close a racism gets to me. Additionally, I've noticed how uncomfortable people can be around the Native American population as well. People just don't like 'different'.


The Meat of the Situation- What Has This Taught Me?

Over the years, I've figured out a key attribute to discrimination. It may seem very obvious, but it's a principle that many people, for some reason or another, are refusing to acknowledge. That is, some people have an inherent hatred for others and express it, not just because the can, but because they believe deep down that they are morally justified in doing so. I guess that to specific people in my hometown, the idea of supremacy is very real.

This is where I point something out to my friends, family, and neighbors who fight so valiantly for universal rights and non-discriminatory policy. As good as it sounds, a piece of paper declaring that racism isn't acceptable is in all likelihood going to do nothing. It's not going to dissolve the inherent hatred brewing deep within some of the people around us. If anything, I believe it could even deepen the real issue.

Heres an analogy: Remember back to the toddler years? When a kid was excluded, they'd go running to the nearest adult and demand some sort of inclusion in the activity that the other kids were doing? Doing this never actually made the other kids like the poor previously excluded soul; it only satisfied the kid for a short while, because it never took too long before they were back to refusing his presence in the group. It did NOTHING to quell the childish hatred.

Of course, in many circumstances, that excluded individual does become accepted over time. But it always requires maturing on both sides, and it takes a degree of acclimation. People cannot have the belief that it is moral to discriminate.

So, Those NDO's. Maybe Not So Promising?

So in my opinion, running to an adult (or going to the government) isn't going to solve the underlying issue. Additionally, I've seen some other negative aspects of pouring resources into such a cause. For one thing, in my hometown, when an NDO was proposed, it clogged our legislative agency. Of course it's a big deal. It's something that sounds like such a moral thing to do that everybody and their mothers (excluding the racists and...uh... maybe their mothers) can publicly speak for. This had a blow-up effect. The legislature and it's political players became obligated to spend a massive amount of their time addressing the issue and it didn't help that we were unfortunate enough to have a split opinion on the issue.

The bill wouldn't have been very problematic and I wouldn't be spreading my opinion about this issue if the bill took a few days to draft and a short period of time to pass. But instead it took months. So many other projects, including mandates for fair wages and funding for public schools were put on the back burner-- arguably things that could do much more good than the NDO.

On top of all that, our NDO was voted down in the end, and the political table was basically overturned. There are now more debates than before and it looks like yet another substantial period of time will be spent addressing the non-issue. If I had my way, they'd either just pass it or strike it down for good.


The Bottom Line

Most likely, the best route is supporting a universal understanding of what I've suggested above. Don't push for this kind of legislation.

An additional supporting note: I was discussing this issue with another one of my close friends a few weeks back and he brought up the fact that during the civil war, the emancipation proclamation was established and in the last century, the civil rights movement occurred. This is what many people refer to at the suggestion of an NDO. Fair enough, there are similarities. After all, they both support minority rights. But there are also key differences. Most importantly, there has to be a cultural change before the legislation can cement it in. It isn't the legislation that creates the cultural change. This is a common misconception. People portray past events as having eliminated racism, but I would argue that no such effect was garnered.

The heart of the issue is that people also associate those prior movements with the trend that rights for minorities have improved over the last few centuries. This is a logical disconnect between correlation and causation. There was a cultural change and legislation was drafted to illustrate, not establish, the change.

The legalization of marijuana did not initiate its use; its use initiated its legalization.

So what's the right move? What can we expect?

My own hypothesis is that the desired changes will occur naturally. It is evident that with every new generation, America is becoming more tolerant to certain groups (specifically the black, asian and LGBT population). We seem to still need work with Mexicans and Native Americans, but that too will occur in time-- I am sure.

In the mean time, legislation will be made. That's okay. But it shouldn't be created to initiate change. The dissolving population of race-specific discriminators will continue to diminish over time. The anti-Japanese citizens who lived through World Ward II will go away, and the anti-Mexican citizens will too as the Mexican population integrates itself. That's a fact.

So too is the fact that new forms of racism will come about. In the last few decades, we have witness the birth of an intense anti-Muslim sentiment, despite the fact that the Muslim religion is very similar to modern day Christianity. This too will eventually pass.

So don't erupt in frustration when legislation fails to pass in an attempt to eradicate racism. It only means that the cultural change hasn't matured YET. Rest assured, it will. The very action of suggesting legislation supports this. It means things are getting better already. It will take time, just as the group of kids who excluded newcomers and others who were 'different' grew and became more tolerable. You cannot force it. But above all else, don't clog the legislative system and disable it from doing the other muchly needed services it was designed to do. Our town's mayor as well as his city council now spend the bulk of their time addressing this issue, and it's slowing progress substantially. Let's change our philosophy, learn from history, and promote change on a personal level. If you see someone being treated unfairly due to their race, sexual orientation, or just being 'different' in some way, call the culprit out or show the victim some compassion. That's what is going to drive change.

Have your own opinion on this matter? Please, I would truly be glad to hear it! Comment below!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • LeslieAdrienne profile image

      Leslie A. Shields 

      4 years ago from Georgia

      Racism is a function of the heart, and though we try, we can never regulate the heart... God can, but man cannot. You make very good points and have written this Hub very well... God Bless you


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)