Reverse Discrimination Essay

4021 words - 16 pages

Reverse Discrimination By: Jennifer Doull REVERSE DISCRIMINATION: THE REPRECUSSIONS OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION Discrimination in employment has been an issue that has plagued our society throughout history. At the turn of this century it was acceptable to advertise job openings and specifically state that people of a certain race, color, religion, gender, or national origin "need not apply". A lot has changed over the last 100 years. The proverbial "pendulum" has swung in the direction of federal protection of certain people, but the problem now is that it has swung too far. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act states that it is unlawful for an employer "to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin"¦" 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(a)(1). This law was enacted in an effort to set right the wrongs of the past and instill equity in the workplace; yet a new set of wrongs and social injustices have been created. This newly created set of wrongs and injustices are referred to as reverse discrimination. Reverse discrimination is discrimination against a majority class, and is ever increasing in public-sector employment. Social Equity and Affirmative Action Affirmative action was instituted to redress the social inequities of past discrimination in employment against what became known as a "˜protected class' (women and minorities). The goals of affirmative action plans are to increase the representation of historically disadvantaged people in the workplace equal to their representation in the corresponding community and relevant labor market. This formula is how affirmative action became coined as the "˜quota system'. The financial burden associated with discrimination lawsuits forced employers to implement remedial plans (affirmative action plans), out of fear of noncompliance of TitleVII that ultimately have had the same adverse effects on social equity, yet in a different context. In Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education, (476 U.S. 293)(1981) the Supreme Court took into account the harmful effects suffered by whites from government policies designed to serve the permissible purpose of redressing the continuing effects of past racial discrimination are constitutionally significant inequities that can be justified only by "compelling" state interests. (Chang 1) This case dealt with layoff procedures in a public school system during the height of affirmative action. An important aspect of this case was that there had been prior racial discrimination lawsuits litigated in 1976 and again in 1979, Jackson Education Assn. v. Board of Education (Jackson I and Jackson II, respectively). The Board of Education relied upon these cases as proof of past misconduct and racial discrimination in order to validate their current remedial attempts....

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