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Reverse Racism: A Continual Debate Essay

2397 words - 10 pages

Patricia Steffes worked at Pepsi Company for over twenty years. During one of her later years at the company, she was up for a promotion. Pepsi did not award her the job though. Instead they hired a man who happened to be an African-American. Steffes was outraged over this incident claiming that because of Pepsi’s ‘aggressive minority promotion program’ Pepsi hired a less-qualified minority candidate in order to comply with this program. Steffes wrote to the Equal Opportunities Commission as well as the senior executive at Pepsi to file a complaint over the discrimination against her. What Steffes failed to recognize was the reason Pepsi had this program in this first place. The whites, like Patricia Steffes, that are claiming they are now being discriminated against call it reverse racism. The notion of reverse racism has many different points of view and many different opinions from minorities and whites alike. However, because of many individuals’ inherent perceptions, minorities’ lack of true power, and individuals’ failure to comply with the law, to claim that reverse racism exists in the United States today is unfounded.
In 1865 Congress ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, which formally abolished slavery in the United States of America. This was a necessary step in order for the United States to move forward toward the age of progressivism. However, while the thirteenth amendment banned slavery it did not ban segregation and discrimination toward minority groups, specifically African-Americans. It was not until the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, which overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson ruling of separate but equal, that the government specifically addressed segregation. As a result of the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, the supreme court said that separate but equal violated the Equal Protection clause of the fourteenth amendment. Even after the government officially integrated all public facilities, de facto segregation remainded. Along with this de facto segregation came racist attitudes and discriminatory actions that were directed at many minority groups across the United States. Some whites felt it was their duty to remind minority groups that they were superior to the minorities and created societies such as the Klu Klux Klan (KKK). While groups like the KKK had a more violent approach, other whites simply silently protested by preventing the minorities from receiving jobs and from getting a higher education. The United States government was forced to put protective and precautionary programs in place in order to prevent employers, admissions clerks, and individual citizens from discriminating against minorities in all aspects of life, specifically in university admissions and in hiring practices. Affirmative action and bills such as the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968 are examples of the programs that were put into place in the United States to act as precautionary measures. The Civil Rights Act of 1964...

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