Reverse Discrimination

Reverse Discrimination

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Historical references have documented that ancient Greeks and Romans knew nothing about race. There was in fact, a majority of white slaves over black slaves. Even during Moorish rule on the Iberian peninsula, slavery was an equal opportunity operation (Carew par. 3). Not until much later, did the first clear evidence of racism occur with the start of slave trade from Africa to Britain and America. Racism was then formed by the rich and powerful to justify inhumane treatment of black people. However, social justice has come a long way since then. Ironically, long after declaring all men equal, the United States has shown their efforts to improve opportunities to minorities by continuing the use of affirmative action, which is now not necessary in today's society. Affirmative action clearly leads to reverse discrimination, and the focus on those who have traditionally been thought of as minorities overlooks candidates who may be more suited for a position.
Affirmative action was initiated during President Lyndon Johnson's term as a government remedy to the effects of long-standing discrimination against minorities ("Affirmative Action" par. 4). The use of racial quotas and minority set-asides led to court challenges of affirmative action as a form of reverse discrimination. It became a kind of quota system and had created a new racism in America. The controversy over affirmative action seems to pose a choice between two alternatives that have become a part of major debate.
Racial minorities are no longer disadvantaged, considering most young people applying for jobs and colleges today were not even born when legal segregation ended. With this, Americans deserve equal opportunities with the idea that hard work and merit, not race or birthright, should determine who prospers and who does not. However, the fault in special admissions programs is that they will use skin color as a more important factor than academic and personal merit. Those who deserve advancement may not receive it, due to affirmative action and its counterpart, reverse discrimination.
Preferences on applications tend to reward the advantaged members of minorities while hurting disadvantaged members of the majority groups (Kaufman par. 4). These preferences have marked minorities as inferior since they may be seen to succeed not through merit but through gift. Some fear that this has encouraged racial and ethnic identities as a means to win social services, dividing rather than uniting the nation.

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There are some people in society that one could argue are the most popular figures in today's society. They all happen to be black: Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, and Michael Jordan. It would be tough to name four whites who are equal in respect to those. Although they all happen to be in the entertainment industry, it is a major part of our culture. Also, the fact that a black man can be elected as the President of the United States reinforces that there is enough opportunity and equality for great things like that to happen, so there is no need to create special advantages for minorities. Even a black supporter of President Obama states, "My son is 9 years old. Just because he is black, he can't think he's going to get special treatment. I don't want him to totally depend on something like that" (Kaufman). However, still in the work force many white men seem to be denied as an applicant based on their race. "They have to meet a quota, so they simply tell me that I am overqualified for the job" (Stoermer).
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 has drifted far from its initial intent. The literal meaning was to enforce equal treatment, yet the interpretation of it today is discriminatory, "It's different here, Johnny. I forgot to tell you. The white people sit in the front of the bus, and the negroes sit in the back" (Donn). Affirmative action was suppose to open doors to give all men equal opportunity, but it has had the opposite effect ("Affirmative Action"). Affirmative action has been an overall failure. It has increased resentment, causing an overload of racial tension. Affirmative action and reverse discrimination are still heavily debated issues. This is because they affect all people of all races and ethnicities.
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