Essay on Reverse Discrimination and Affirmative Action

4000 Words16 Pages
Reverse Discrimination and Affirmative Action

Discrimination in employment has been an issue that has plagued our society throughout history. At the turn of this century it was acceptable to advertise job openings and specifically state that people of a certain race, color, religion, gender, or national origin "need not apply". A lot has changed over the last 100 years. The proverbial "pendulum" has swung in the direction of federal protection of certain people, but the problem now is that it has swung too far.

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act states that it is unlawful for an employer "to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his
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In Wygant v. Jackson Board of Education, (476 U.S. 293)(1981) the Supreme Court took into account the harmful effects suffered by whites from government policies designed to serve the permissible purpose of redressing the continuing effects of past racial discrimination are constitutionally significant inequities that can be justified only by "compelling" state interests. (Chang 1)

This case dealt with layoff procedures in a public school system during the height of affirmative action. An important aspect of this case was that there had been prior racial discrimination lawsuits litigated in 1976 and again in 1979, Jackson Education Assn. v. Board of Education (Jackson I and Jackson II, respectively). The Board of Education relied upon these cases as proof of past misconduct and racial discrimination in order to validate their current remedial attempts. Nonetheless, the court decided that ultimately, two wrongs do not make a right.

The layoff policy was as such that tenured nonminority faculty members were being laid off while minority faculty members (some of whom were still classified in a probationary status) were retained in order to fulfill remedial requirements. The court found that this policy was in violation of the Equal
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