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Introduction

In human social behavior, discrimination is treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction towards, a person based on the group, class, or category to which the person is perceived to belong. These include age, colour, criminal record, height, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender identity, generation, genetic characteristics, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Discrimination consists of treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, "in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated". It involves the group's initial reaction or interaction going on to influence the individual's actual behavior towards the group leader or the group, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on illogical or irrational decision making.

Discriminatory traditions, policies, ideas, practices and laws exist in many countries and institutions in every part of the world, including in territories where discrimination is generally looked down upon. In some places, controversial attempts such as quotas have been used to benefit those who are believed to be current or past victims of discrimination—but they have sometimes been called reverse discrimination.

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Ketuanan Melayu (Jawi script: كتوانن ملايو; literally "Malay dominance") is a political concept emphasising Malay preeminence in present-day Malaysia. The Malays of Malaysia claimed a special position and special rights owing to their long domicile and the fact that the present Malaysian state itself evolved from a Malay polity. The oldest political institution in Malaysia is the system of Malay rulers of the nine Malay states. British colonial government transformed the system and turned it first into a system of indirect rule, then in 1948, using this culturally based institution, they incorporated the Malay monarchy into the blueprints for the independent Federation of Malaya.

The term Tanah Melayu in its name which literally means "Malay homeland", assumes proprietorship of the Malay states. In this way Britain strengthened Malay ethno-nationalism, Malay ethnicity and culture and Malay sovereignty in the new nation-state. Though other cultures would continue to flourish, the identity of the emerging political community was to be shaped by the "historic" political culture of its dominant Malay ethnic group. The Chinese and Indian immigrants who form a significant minority in Malaysia, are considered beholden to the Malays for granting them citizenship in return for special privileges as set out in Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia. This quid pro quo arrangement is usually referred to as the Malaysian social contract. The concept of ketuanan Melayu is usually cited by politicians, particularly those from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).



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1943 Colored Waiting Room Sign.jpg

A sign points the way to a "Colored Waiting Room", outside a Greyhound bus station in Rome, Georgia, United States, in 1943. The sign refers to a room where blacks were allowed to wait for the bus; "colored" was the common euphemism for African Americans at the time, especially in the Southern United States, though the term is now considered offensive.

The provision of separate facilities for white people and black people was the result of a series of state laws, collectively nicknamed Jim Crow laws, making racial segregation the rule of law in many Southern states beginning in 1876. While these laws decreed that such provisions were to be "separate but equal", in practice facilities provided for whites were assuredly of better quality and maintenance than those for blacks. Various Jim Crow laws remained in effect until they were made illegal throughout the U.S. by the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

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