The Virtue of Discrimination Essay examples

The Virtue of Discrimination Essay examples

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The Virtue of Discrimination

Discrimination is a word that has taken on a negative connotation in today's society. Since the beginning of the equal rights movement, the perceived meaning of the word discrimination has shifted from that of a useful virtue to one of an insulting, derogatory word. Robert Keith Miller wrote an essay for Newsweek in the summer of 1980 that focuses on the discrepancies in the use of the word discrimination. “Discrimination Is a Virtue” points out the differences in the dictionary’s definition of the word discrimination and the perceived societal definition of the word. Miller explains the confusion of the word discrimination with the words discriminate against and worries that discrimination may be forever viewed as a fault rather than a virtue. He encourages his readers to not discriminate against individuals or groups, but to remember that there are still distinctions to be made (86). Robert Keith Miller presents a convincing argument for the necessity of discrimination by using a comparison and contrast argument to appeal to the readers emotions in his article “Discrimination Is a Virtue”.

Robert Keith Miller was a writer for Newsweek in 1980. As a writer for a nationally renowned magazine, he can be trusted as a professional journalist. Miller writes his article “Discrimination Is a Virtue” for the readers of Newsweek. The audience of the magazine are predominately educated professionals in society. They are the very people that he is attempting to remind of the true definition of discrimination. Millers audience is intelligent enough to be able to realize the differences in “discriminating against” and “discrimination” but may be unaware of the problem this confusion is causi...


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...then and personalize those points. His comparison of the dictionary’s definition of discrimination and society’s understanding of the word illustrate the contradiction at hand. The examples illustrate the need for discrimination in today’s society. He reminds us, even with the title of the paper, that discrimination once was and still should be an esteemed virtue. The use of discrimination in our decision making and policy’s is necessary for them to be as effective as possible. While this article was written over twenty years ago, its message is still relevant for today’s Newsweek readers. Discrimination is a virtue that each of us could use a little more of.


Work Cited


Gruber, Sibylle, ed. Constructing Others, Constructing Ourselves. Dubuque: Kendal Hunt Publishing Co, 2002.
Miller, Robert Keith. “Discrimination Is a Virtue.” Gruber 85-87.

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