The human right commission describes discrimination as is treating, or proposing to treat, someone unfavourably because of a personal characteristic protected by the law. This includes bullying someone because of a protected characteristic.
Although this is the official definition which can be a bit tricky to understand fully but simply we say that recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.
Taking one side of the picture we can say that Discrimination if used effectively can result in an opportunity for the minorities or under represented society to have a short cut to avoid the prolonged struggles to get them recognized by the society. On the other hand if not handled properly would result into a condition where the society again becomes unbalanced and majority actually feels discriminated against.
In USA at this moment exists a system for awarding the Government Contracts for Procurements based on the a points system. And you get additional points when you employ people from protected categories or minorities in general. This forces the notion in the private companies that they need to be more open minded in hiring personnel for their company and hence providing the opportunity for the minorities to integrate into the society and at the same time providing them with ability to earn their livelihood.
The threat of this discrimination is that private companies go over enthusiastic with this discrimination approach. This is widely seen when companies just to fill the quotas started hiring under-qualified personnel in their organization and the other employees feel discriminated against due to this action. To compensate for the increasing pressure from the public they forget the other older employees in the company and the newly hired employees are given compensation which in result creates a negative impact in the mind of the existing workers. A profound example was seen in the my own working life when I was an employee of Siemens in Pakistan and due to quotas decided by the Siemens Germany, the company hired more women in the workplace at higher salary and such benefits which were not given to the older employees (both men and women) in the company. This created a sense of discrimination to the older employees and hence a hatred was created in the employees for this quota system.
Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, it has to be handled with great care to ensure that you achieve the actual goal. It is very easy to get distracted from the original target and get carried away.