If you think that discrimination is pretty much over with or being dealt with when it rears it dramatic, ugly head, think again. Here's a little story for you:
There was a knocking at the front door of my house, and when I stood from the bed, I couldn't find my glasses. The knocking continued. I looked in the bathroom, on the ledge between the bookcases, in the laundry room. Still. No luck. Still the knocking. I don't know why I didn't just go upstairs, but I think it was because I didn't recognize the knock. I went to all the locations again, and then stood at the foot of the bed in exasperation. I took one step and felt a crunch under my foot.
Which was, of course, the glasses. One lense had popped out, one stem was off and the other bent, and the frame surrounding the missing lense was twisted, too.
In this case, who was at the door doesn't really matter. It was my father bearing a gift, one that I accepted grudgingly because in my mind, had he not been knocking on the door my glasses wouldn't be broken.
I quickly announced that I had to leave, had to get to LensCrafters, because I couldn't go to New York the next day without glasses. He agreed. I thanked him. We parted, and I took the fuzzy drive to the mall.
The young woman in LensCrafters was helpful. She said my only choice was to put the lenses into the exact same Brooks Brothers frames and she thought they had them. After a fruitless search, she offered to call around to the other local stores to see if they might have the frames. So we stood on opposite sides of the phone station as she waited for the person at each successive store to put the phone down and go look.
While we were waiting, a young man came in and said to the other young female associate, "I understand that you are hiring. May I pick up an application?"
"Sure," she said and left to get one for him from the back.
I was mostly focused on waiting to hear if there were frames for me anywhere in this city, but I also watched her return and hand him an application, which he took, asked her a few questions I couldn't hear, and then said, "Thanks so much," and left.
Once he was gone, the woman waiting on me kept trying to make eye contact with the sales assistant who gave him the application. She had a big smile on her face. Then the male sales assistant came over to the register, too, and all three of them began talking about the applicant and laughing quietly.
The young man who had come in to apply was dressed relatively normally but had large piercings in his ears that protruded backwards as if he had golf tees sticking through his ears.
The woman who handed him the application told the others, "I put a squiggly line in ink on his application so we would know that it was him when we looked at them."
Clearly, he would not be getting the job.