Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > Miscellaneous > Lounge

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-06-2009, 09:35 AM   #1
Jaime_Astorga
Member Retired
Jaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura about
 
Posts: 274
Karma: 4446
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Florida
Device: PRS-350-SC: Sony Reader Pocket Edition
Affirmative Action

I tried searching the forums but it seems there is never been a discussion about this topic on the boards, so yeah, what do you think about affirmative action as a factor in employment and college admissions?

I will personally never, ever, agree with the idea, even if it happens to benefit me personally as a hispanic. Affirmative action is racist. To quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
Jaime_Astorga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 10:38 AM   #2
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 62,777
Karma: 40390405
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Onyx T68, N7,
Can you explain what you mean by "affirmative action", please? It's an expression that I'm not familiar with.

Thanks
HarryT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 10:51 AM   #3
pdurrant
The Grand Mouse
pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pdurrant ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pdurrant's Avatar
 
Posts: 30,856
Karma: 85498352
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Norfolk, England
Device: NOOK ST GlowLight
In the UK it's more commonly known as "positive discrimination".

At mildest, it's saying that if you have two equally qualified candidates, you should select the one that will make you more closely reflect the general demographics.

Say there are 20% whites in a society. A university receives 20 white applicants and 180 black applicants for a course with 100 places. The applicants all have the same qualifications.

If choosing randomly, you'd end up with (about) 10 white and 90 black on the course. Under affirmative action you'd get 20 white and 80 black.


Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Can you explain what you mean by "affirmative action", please? It's an expression that I'm not familiar with.

Thanks

Last edited by pdurrant; 07-06-2009 at 10:51 AM. Reason: deleted poorly worded example
pdurrant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 10:51 AM   #4
pshrynk
Beepbeep n beebeep, yeah!
pshrynk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pshrynk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pshrynk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pshrynk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pshrynk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pshrynk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pshrynk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pshrynk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pshrynk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pshrynk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.pshrynk ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
pshrynk's Avatar
 
Posts: 11,722
Karma: 5533402
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin, aka America's IceBox
Device: iThingie, KmkII, I miss Zelda!
Affirmative Action is a method developed in the past to assist minorities in the US to improve their economic standing by by-passing those who are not considered to be in the minority, who are presumed to have a leg-up into better paying jobs, promotions, contracts, etc. It is very controversial.
pshrynk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 11:05 AM   #5
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 62,777
Karma: 40390405
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Onyx T68, N7,
Thanks for the explanations. Is it legal? I'm pretty sure that in the UK, selecting someone on the basis of their race or gender (either "positively" or "negatively") would be illegal!
HarryT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 11:12 AM   #6
NormHart
Semper Carpe Bufo
NormHart has become one with the cosmosNormHart has become one with the cosmosNormHart has become one with the cosmosNormHart has become one with the cosmosNormHart has become one with the cosmosNormHart has become one with the cosmosNormHart has become one with the cosmosNormHart has become one with the cosmosNormHart has become one with the cosmosNormHart has become one with the cosmosNormHart has become one with the cosmos
 
NormHart's Avatar
 
Posts: 536
Karma: 21626
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Napa Valley, California
Device: Kindle2 & Kindle3
We (USA) are still debating the legality of it all.

I have yet to convince anyone that I, as an Irish American of Hispanic and Native American descent, am a minority and deserve to be hired in advance of anyone else.



Last edited by NormHart; 07-06-2009 at 11:12 AM. Reason: brain farts arrrrr
NormHart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 11:48 AM   #7
Verencat
Wizard
Verencat read the news today, oh boy.Verencat read the news today, oh boy.Verencat read the news today, oh boy.Verencat read the news today, oh boy.Verencat read the news today, oh boy.Verencat read the news today, oh boy.Verencat read the news today, oh boy.Verencat read the news today, oh boy.Verencat read the news today, oh boy.Verencat read the news today, oh boy.Verencat read the news today, oh boy.
 
Verencat's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,616
Karma: 96491
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Montreal, Qc
Device: xxx
I know in Québec it's a method that has been used by the government for a few years now. In Montréal, they pushed it so far that they created a special program for minorities to get trained to be police officers, so they can cut the "farking white police" image, but all it did, for now, was change the image to "farking police filled with white wannabees". The schooling program of the special program is only half the length of the usual college program, so the "beneficiaries" of positive discrimination end up stuck into offices, since their bosses don't consider them apt to do the same job as the others. The solution only created a new problem. (I hold that from friends, black and white, in the police force of Montréal)

On another hand, racism can seriously cut your chances to get a job. A journalist sent job applications under different names (Quebecer and Arabic) with the same qualifications and the call back was greater under the Québec name than under the Arabic name. I did the same experiment (I'm from Ukrainian decent and have the last name to prove it) at 2 different places and got called twice under the fake name I used and once under my real name.
It's also hard to rent a place. One of my best friend is black and speaks French (and English) with no accent. She'll call somewhere, get an appointment to visit an apartment, then once she gets there, she'll be told it's already rented, leave, and see someone else (white) get in and visit with no restriction. But her take (and I agree with her) on positive discrimination for renting apartments is that it creates ghettoizing and leaves the town split in sections corresponding to race - and it's already a natural tendency in Montréal, I really don't think we should encourage more cleavage.

I don't tend to approve of positive discrimination, but think it might be a necessary solution as long as negative discrimination is existing, but then again, it's rarely applied in a functional manner, even if with good intentions.

Interesting but complicated issue, really.
Verencat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 11:56 AM   #8
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
The sole point to affirmative action in the U.S. was to create opportunities for minorities that were being denied them based on racist attitudes. It has so far had the benefit of demonstrating to the American workforce (and those abroad) that the color of your skin has no impact on the ability to do a job, and that race does not dictate character (pro or con).

Today, that lesson is essentially considered learned in the U.S. However, there are still areas where minorities are noticeably underrepresented in jobs and opportunities. This is why affirmative action is still in effect in the U.S., to redress those imbalances. However, the reasons for the imbalances are fundamentally different today (usually financial or national, as opposed to racial), so the original laws need a reboot to deal with today's realities.
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 01:31 PM   #9
jgray
Fanatic
jgray ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgray ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgray ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgray ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgray ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgray ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgray ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgray ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgray ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgray ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgray ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 512
Karma: 1018067
Join Date: Mar 2008
Device: Galaxy Tab 10.1 & Note II
I live in a mostly Hispanic part of the US. Affirmative Action and other methods of "preference" are still used to discriminate against Anglo males, who are in the minority here. I have experienced it first hand, many times. Any and all forms of preference, based on race, age, etc. should go away. We no longer need them.
jgray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 03:17 PM   #10
Crusader
Space Cadet
Crusader ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Crusader ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Crusader ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Crusader ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Crusader ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Crusader ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Crusader ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Crusader ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Crusader ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Crusader ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Crusader ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Crusader's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,149
Karma: 3654988
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: South Africa
Device: Sony PRS-T1, Cybook Opus, Kobo Glo
Over here in South Africa Affirmative Action is a huge deal and is being implemented to right the wrongs of the Apartheid era. Unfortunately the only real affect it has is that incompetent people get appointed in positions based purely on their skin color and no thought is given to appetite.

It also makes it nearly impossible for white South African males to get accepted for any jobs. Businesses are being forced to do Black Economic Empowerment as well (have to have a certain % of black shareholders) in order to qualify for goverment tenders etc.

I see it as a pure form of reverse racism. Some brilliant people can't get bursaries to attend universities and those that do manage to educate themselves have an extremely difficult time to get work. The sad part is that the politicians over here have stated that it will never be stopped.

I strongly believe people should be appointed on merit and not based on skin color.
Crusader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 03:21 PM   #11
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgray View Post
I live in a mostly Hispanic part of the US. Affirmative Action and other methods of "preference" are still used to discriminate against Anglo males, who are in the minority here. I have experienced it first hand, many times. Any and all forms of preference, based on race, age, etc. should go away. We no longer need them.
With due respect for your position, jgray, I wouldn't say the laws are no longer needed... I'd say they need to be upgraded, mainly to downgrade the importance of racial motivations to guide hiring, and your situation is probably a clear example of that.

It's also true that the law as it stands takes a more national view... local situations are often significantly different, for instance in a predominantly African region of the country, often making the law ineffective or even nonsensical. This can be what gives many people the impression that the law "intentionally discriminates" against Anglo males, when in many cases it is simply leveling the playing field for all job applicants, and is not intentionally excluding anyone. On a level playing field with a population of 80% African and 20% European, you'd expect to see roughly that proportion of African and European hires. (This is not to say that your personal statements are unfounded, jgray, as I clearly don't know your personal situation.) As well as bringing the law up-to-date in terms of intention, it could be rewritten to be made more directly applicable to local and regional situations and realities, providing a more "fair" application at the local level.

Of course, to anyone who loses out on a job to "the other guy," and especially if they are a different nationality, race, gender, etc, the laws always seem "unfair." But they can be made better, so as to remove as much "unfairness" as possible.

And don't forget: Despite the existence of such affirmative action "quotas," the laws do not support hiring people who are not qualified to do a job, just to satisfy a racial quota. That kind of thing has been challenged and upheld in court, so most employers take care to make sure the people they hire are qualified for that position.
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 04:40 PM   #12
Sparrow
Wizard
Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Sparrow ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 4,400
Karma: 1358102
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Device: Palm TX, CyBook Gen3
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Thanks for the explanations. Is it legal? I'm pretty sure that in the UK, selecting someone on the basis of their race or gender (either "positively" or "negatively") would be illegal!
In the UK, Harriet Harman is trying to get through as part of the 'Equalities Bill'.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7474801.stm

It's supposed to come into consideration when two (or more) candidates for a job are otherwise equally suitable - but that's a situation that'll never arise in real life imho.
Sparrow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 08:04 PM   #13
Steven Lyle Jordan
Grand Sorcerer
Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Steven Lyle Jordan ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Steven Lyle Jordan's Avatar
 
Posts: 8,482
Karma: 5171130
Join Date: Jan 2006
Device: none
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
It's supposed to come into consideration when two (or more) candidates for a job are otherwise equally suitable - but that's a situation that'll never arise in real life imho.
Why not? It doesn't suggest they have to be exactly alike. Multiple people being equally suitable for the same job is easy, depending on the listed qualifications (mind you, there's often some estimation involved, especially if neither meet the exact qualifications).

Hiring is always a tricky business... it's rarely exact, and it is wide open to personal interpretation. That's why minorities could be blatantly discriminated against, and that's why AA was needed to overcome the imbalance.

And as bad as you think it might have become, think of the plight of handicapped, obese, and even ugly people... they are still discriminated against in hiring, and often have little or no support or legal redress for being passed over. Even the handicapped often lose legal battles by companies who claim undue "hardship" in having to outfit their work spaces for them, despite U.S. laws specifically designed to support them.
Steven Lyle Jordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 08:09 PM   #14
Jaime_Astorga
Member Retired
Jaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura aboutJaime_Astorga has a spectacular aura about
 
Posts: 274
Karma: 4446
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Florida
Device: PRS-350-SC: Sony Reader Pocket Edition
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Can you explain what you mean by "affirmative action", please? It's an expression that I'm not familiar with.

Thanks
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_action

The basic idea in the white-dominant countries where it is usually implemented begins with the fact some minorities perform worse than whites and other minorities in employment tests or university qualifications. Without affirmative actions, this leads to some groups being "underrepresented" (that is, present in a lower ratio than a random sample from society would indicate; for example a college that is 3% black in a country where 10% of people are black because blacks perform worse on the metrics the college uses to measure student achievement) while other groups tehttp://www.mobileread.com/forums/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=513565nd to be "overrepresented" (so whites and minorities like jews and asians get to be in the same college in a greater number than their percentage of the population would indicate due to superior performance in such metrics).

The assumption is that this worse performance comes from "stumbling blocks" to the performance of the underperforming minorities while whites get preferential treatment. These "stumbling blocks" include poverty, racism, lack of connections, single parent households, etc... The idea is encapsulated in these political cartoons.



Either in order to right perceived injustices or in an effort to "increase diversity" (incidentally, be sure to read Maddox's hilarious rant on the subject), affirmative action policies and laws favor giving preferential treatment to members of the underperforming minorities (mostly blacks and hispanics, and women in some cases), while not giving as many spots to whites, asians, and jews. Part of the mindset of the "diversity" is that people feel uncomfortable in environments dominated by one race and are much less likely to take a position, even if favorable, in an job or college that has a tiny number of people of their same race. I call those people "racists."

Quote:
On a level playing field with a population of 80% African and 20% European, you'd expect to see roughly that proportion of African and European hires.
What do you consider an "even playing field?" It seems many people will only believe a playing field is fair when an after-the-fact count of people who are accepted to the positions in question seems to reflect the race ratios present in the source population, but this assumes that all populations of all races and all cultures (which tend to correlate with race) are equally capable and conductive to academic and job success. That is not necessarily the case, in these or in other pursuits. Is not there a higher rate of blacks in professional sports and college sports teams in the U.S. than there is in the regular population? Might not this be indicative that american blacks are, on average, stronger and more athletic than other race populations in the U.S.? And if so, is too much of a stretch that there might be other differences between populations of races?

We should strive for equality of opportunity, not equality of result. If the process is fair, we should not decry the outcome as "unfair" because it does not fit our preconceived notions of what the outcome will be. Instead, maybe we should examine those notions more carefully.

Quote:
And don't forget: Despite the existence of such affirmative action "quotas," the laws do not support hiring people who are not qualified to do a job, just to satisfy a racial quota. That kind of thing has been challenged and upheld in court, so most employers take care to make sure the people they hire are qualified for that position.
But "qualification" is only a bottom line, a minimum required in order to qualify. People can and do perform better than that. Affirmative action favors denying people who performed better a spot in an organization or educational institution in favor of someone who performed worse purely based on the color of their skin.

Last edited by Jaime_Astorga; 07-06-2009 at 08:13 PM.
Jaime_Astorga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 08:51 PM   #15
Patricia
Reader
Patricia ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Patricia ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Patricia ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Patricia ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Patricia ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Patricia ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Patricia ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Patricia ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Patricia ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Patricia ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Patricia ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Patricia's Avatar
 
Posts: 11,520
Karma: 2199070
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Wales, UK
Device: Sony PRS-500, PRS-505, Asus EEEpc 4G
This was one of the key U.S. cases on reverse discrimination (aka positive discrimination and affirmative action).

THE BAKKE CASE
Regents of the University of California vs. Allan Bakke, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on 5th July 1978. [98 S. Ct 2733 (1978)]

'Allan Bakke applied for admission to the medical school of the University of California at Davis. In an attempt to increase the number of members of minority groups who attended medical school, the university reserved 16 out of every 100 places for students belonging to a disadvantaged minority. Since these students would not have won so many places in open competition, fewer white students were admitted than there would have been without this reservation. Some white students denied places would certainly have been offered them if, scoring as they did on the admission tests, they had been black. Bakke was among these white students and on being rejected he sued the university.' [Peter Singer, Practical Ethics (1st edn. 1979), p 41]

Bakke won his case. It was held that the U.S. Civil Rights Act (1964) provides that no person shall, on the grounds of colour, race or national origin, be excluded from any activity receiving Federal financial assistance. A bare majority of judges held that this excluded all forms of discrimination, even reverse discrimination. The university was told that it could not operate a quota system but could extend admission criteria to include race as one of a number of factors, such as athletic or artistic ability, work experience, leadership potential a history of overcoming disadvantage or demonstrated compassion.

ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF REVERSE DISCRIMINATION

1. The Backward-Looking Argument
This starts from the claim that certain groups in the past have been discriminated against and deserve compensation now. Hence reverse discrimination is justifiable.
Objection (a)
It is not whole groups of people who deserve compensation but those individuals who have been harmed by past discrimination. Reverse discrimination cannot compensate these individuals but only the group. So it may benefit the wrong people.
Reply
The whole group has suffered. Through knowledge of discrimination against other group members, all members suffer. They may feel that their self confidence and self respect have been damaged. The whole group is insulted of one of its members has been insulted.

Objection (b)
Reverse discrimination harms people who don't deserve it. E.g. white males such as Bakke aren't responsible for discrimination against minority groups.
Reply
All members of a 'superior' group have benefited from membership of that group.

Objection (c)
Is preferential admission (to college, jobs etc.) really a suitable form of compensation?
Reply
It is justified because it is the best way of enhancing the prospects of those who have been discriminated against.

Objection (d)
Reverse Discrimination is unjust because any discrimination is unjust. Discrimination in favour of certain groups is just as unjust as discrimination against them in the past.

2. The Forward-Looking Argument
This concedes that reverse discrimination is not a good thing in itself. However, it is a necessary temporary means to a more equal society in the long term.

This can be seen as a broadly utilitarian argument in that it appeals to long-term beneficial consequences.

Objection
Reverse discrimination will not work: one will not achieve an equal society by pursuing inequalities in the short term. Will it really help minority groups if their members realise that they only got a college place or a job because of reverse discrimination? This could undermine their self confidence and could reinforce prejudice against them. Justice Powell said in the Bakke case, 'Preferential programs may only reinforce common stereotypes holding that certain groups are unable to achieve success without special protection.'

This, however, is an empirical question and could be settled by sociological studies over time. There are other considerations. These include:

(a) The need for role models. These are necessary in order to encourage members of minorities to follow the footsteps of the role model and to realise that more options are available. One problem, however, is that role models are often regarded as atypical or as tokens.

(b) It could improve the quality of life for everyone - not just for disadvantaged groups - if everyone lived in a more equal society.
Patricia is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice on Action jaxx6166 Writers' Corner 5 06-25-2010 12:29 AM
Action/Adventure pshrynk Reading Recommendations 27 11-07-2008 06:58 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:30 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.