Discrimination is a general term used to refer to treating one group of people differently from another on such grounds as their race (racism), sex (sexism), religion (religious discrimination), ethnic background, disability, sexual orientation, preference, or behavior, or political views. Use of the term implies that the factors on which the discrimination is based are or should be considered irrelevant. Generally, the aggrieved group is considered by the discriminator as inferior to others.
Many governments have attempted to control discrimination through civil rights legislation, while in other regimes discrimination has been formalized and government-supported. Examples of the latter include apartheid in South Africa, institutionalized racial segregation in the USA from the Civil War through the 1960's, the "Jewish problem" in Nazi Germany, or re-education camps in some communist countries.