Reverse Discrimination

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Reverse discrimination

Affirmative action is not the source of discrimination, but the vehicle for removing the effects of discrimination. The Labor Department report found less than 100 reverse discrimination cases among more than 3,000 discrimination opinions by the U.S. District Court and the Court of Appeal between 1990 and 1994. Discrimination was established in only six cases. The report found that, "Many of the cases were the result of a disappointed applicant…. erroneously assuming that when a woman or minority got the job, it was because of race or sex, not qualifications."(SF Chronicle, March 31, 1995) Job discrimination is grounded in prejudice and exclusion, whereas affirmative action is an effort to overcome prejudicial treatment through inclusion. The most effective way to cure society of exclusionary practices is to make special efforts at inclusion, which is exactly what affirmative action does.

Violates the principle of merit

Because we still don't have equal opportunity. Affirmative action, though initially created to redress the consequences of slavery and segregation, must also serve to stem the effects of continuing discrimination against women as well as people of color. The selection of unqualified candidates is not permitted under federal affirmative action guidelines and should not be equated with legal forms of affirmative action. There is a mandate that in choosing a person of color when past discrimination has resulted in white people receiving preferential treatment. Most jobs are found by word-of-mouth. Since neighborhoods tend to be more segregrated word of mouth leads to the perpetuation of discrimation, intentionally or not. Affirmative action pushes employers to try harder, to cast wider net.

Does affirmative action mean quotas?

No. Affirmative action plans do not impose quota; they simply seek to increase the pool of qualified applicants by using aggressive recruitment and outreach programs, setting goals and timetables and establishing training programs, among other measures. In 1976, Allan Bakke sued the University of California Medical School at Davis for denying his admission on the basis of reverse discrimination, because 16 out of 100 places in the medical school class were reserved for "economically and educationally disadvantage applicants." The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bakke, holding that the policy of reserving specified slots was a quota system and illegal. However, the Court also held that race could be included as a factor in determining admission, as long as it was not the exclusive basis on which a decision was made.

Why should white women care about affirmative action?

Women, in general, have been the main beneficiaries of affirmative action. The number of women entering profession has increased substantially. Women tend to work in a narrow range of low paying, low-status jobs. Women occupy 44 percent of all federal jobs but only13 percent of the top jobs according to The Feminist Majority, March 14, 1995.

Affirmative action stigmatize people of color

Stereotypes plagues people of color and would continue to do even if this policy was eliminated. Now people of color are stigmatized by being told, "The only reason you're here is because of affirmative action." So they are faced with the constant need to prove that they are qualified.

Why don't we change affirmative action to policies that help people based on economic need instead of race of gender?

This approach would benefit people of color who are disadvantaged economically. People of color have been discriminated against based entirely on race for hundreds of years. Therefore, policies to eliminate discrimination must address the issue of race. We need programs based on economic need in addition to, but not instead of, affirmative action.

Tests are inadequate

Many tests are inadequate to predict success. Numerous studies have found that there is only a...
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