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In human social affairs, discrimination is treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person based on the group, class, or category to which the person is perceived to belong. These include age, colour, convictions for which a pardon has been granted or a record suspended, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender identity, 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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The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a 1903 Russian book that describes a Jewish and Masonic plot to achieve world domination. It is one of the best known and discussed examples of literary forgery. Elements of the text appear to be plagiarized from an 1864 pamphlet, The Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, by French satirist Maurice Joly.

The Protocols is widely considered to be the beginning of contemporary conspiracy theory literature, and takes the form of an instruction manual to a new member of the "elders," describing how they will run the world through control of the media and finance, and replace the traditional social order with one based on mass manipulation.

The book has been widely cited by antisemitic groups, many of whom assert the book's authenticity. The novel remains popular among anti-Zionists in the Middle East. A Mexican version published in 2005 suggested that while the book itself may be fake, a Jewish conspiracy exists nonetheless.


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Newspaper headlines of Japanese Relocation - NARA - 195535.jpg

San Francisco Examiner headlines announce the upcoming "ouster" of "Japs" from California in 1942. The newspaper refers to the program of Japanese American internment undertaken by the United States during World War II.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan in 1941, the U.S. government led by President Franklin Roosevelt, under the authority granted by the Alien Enemies Act of 1798, issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing the United States military to evacuate all persons of Japanese descent from the West Coast of the United States (specifically an area known as Military Area No. 1). Those Japanese so removed from this area were relocated to internment camps.

To a smaller extent, Italian Americans and German Americans were also interned during World War II. Likewise, in Canada, the War Measures Act was used to authorize a program of Japanese Canadian internment.

The Executive Order authorizing these internments in the U.S. would not be officially rescinded until 1976, although all actual internment ended in 1945.

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