Discrimination exists. It happens all the time even now in 2009. When I first started doing discrimination cases in the 1990’s, some folks would tell me they did not believe discrimination still existed. But, as I recall, it was mostly Anglo folks suggesting that.
A few years later in one of my Army Reserve courses taught by a Reserve officer, the teacher related a story from his own civilian job. In his civilian job, he also taught for a major university. On a trip to Indonesia, he was shocked to drive by a recent car wreck with an Indonesian colleague. In Indonesia, ethnic Chinese constitute a significant minority. My teacher remarked that perhaps they should stop and help. No, the Indonesian replied, it was just another dead Chinese, which was good, he said. That, my teacher, emphasized, was *discrimination.* His point was not that America lacks discrimination, but that in some countries, discrimination is far worse than it is here.
I noticed during my own time in Iraq that the Sunnis and Shia really do have issues. Some get along fine. But, sometimes, they simply cannot discuss the other without lapsing into some degree of prejudice.
One of the many things I appreciate about my time in the Army is that in the Army, we face discrimination head-on. I believe discrimination or prejudice is always with us to some degree. It is those wise ones who face it and address it. In my Army Reserve course, we discussed whether it existed and if so, to what extent. That conversation took place in many different venues throughout my career. The Army is not perfect, but I am proud to say that in the Army, a minority can get a pretty fair shake, as can a white person. We face it. We discuss it. Where in the civilian workforce do we ever discuss race and prejudice?