The Justification of Reverse Discrimination in Hiring

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In “The Justification of Reverse Discrimination in Hiring,” Tom Beauchamp displays statistics of underrepresented races and genders in institutions. The inequality is due to the underlying persistent racism originating decades ago. It has been pervasively executed despite federal laws for equality. The expectation for a level-playing field is not a reality, as statistically show with underrepresented African Americans (1. Beauchamp, CC2011, p 0228). Beauchamp points out that at first sight, reverse discrimination appears immoral, because it crafts a prejudice for one race over another. However, he asserts that this inference is not applicable in the real world where ubiquitous prejudice still exists as indicated by statistics. Because we currently do not have an equal playing field, humans are morally obligated to do whatever it takes to achieve it if they aspire for an ideal equal society (2. Beauchamp, CC2011, p 0226). In order to be liberated from discriminatory practices, society must practice reverse discrimination, as it is morally justified for the greater good in the end. Once the equal playing field is reached with the addition of minorities through preferential treatment, reverse discrimination becomes unnecessary.

James Rachels bases his moral reasoning for reverse discrimination on what people deserve. Although he is conscious that reverse discrimination appears unfair to those directly affected, he proposes that fairness is dependent on desert. What an individual deserves lies on the effort and willpower for achievement (3. Rachels, CC2011, p 0201). Therefore, it is morally acceptable to execute preferential treatment towards a deserving individual if he or she put in more effort. Rachels’ moral reasoning for sup...

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...nforce the negative stereotype that minorities who got in, had an unfair racial advantage. Therefore reverse discrimination has even worse consequences that rise from the glorified end result Rachels suggests with role models.

Additionally, I would contend that effort is too subjective to quantify when both parties have distinct unearned disadvantages. Caucasians face different kinds of hurdles such as psychological pressure to succeed and increased competition at better schools, making it more difficult to get good grades. Rachels’ argument is not universal to all situations. This makes reverse discrimination morally wrong when it generalizes Caucasians from disadvantaged backgrounds, to intrinsically possess advantages. Justice is still not met if the policy cannot extend to all circumstances, making even the moderate form of reverse discrimination unfair.
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