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Reversed discrimination refers to a situation where employer favors hiring members from the minority groups and women while excluding members from dominant groups. This result from policies established to ensure minority groups are not discriminated. Groups are defined in relation to race, gender, color, disability or ethnicity. Reverse discrimination is inherent to the affirmative action which refers to policies put in place by authorities to ensure equality in employment opportunities, college admissions, resource allocation and job promotions. Reversed discrimination can also be referred as the negative impact that has resulted from the preferential treatment of women and minority groups in resource accessibility. plans on reversed discrimination are considered illegal, but in the United States, affirmative action is still being exercised.
Affirmative action can also be referred as the positive steps that are designed to destroy existing and continuing discrimination, to remedy the negative effects of past discrimination and to build systems and plans so as to ensure future discrimination does not occur. It is usually based on population levels of minority groups and women in a given area. The idea of affirmative action goes back to the Reconstruction period after the U.S. civil war. When the war ended, the former slave population living in the South owned almost nothing and had little skills, which they could make a living from. In a move to help these poor citizens, General William T. Sherman proposed to allocate land and goods from the large plantations of South-eastern Georgia. The proposal was met by powerful political opposition, and it was never fully adopted (Johnson & Green, 2009).
After many years, this idea of assisting minority groups to gain access to equal opportunities re-emerged in the U.S. law through a number of court decisions and human right initiatives. These decisions and initiatives led to the policy affirmative action. The term refers to both mandatory and voluntary policies intended to ensure civil rights of minority classes of individuals are maintained by taking actions to protect them. What this means is that; an engineering school, for example, might take affirmative action to find and enroll qualified students of any color. An employer might employ qualified women into positions which had been known to be held by men.
Over the past decades, affirmative action has continued to grow; however, it has drawn huge criticism from men and whites, who refer to it as a form of reverse discrimination. Debate remains on establishing whether affirmative action has denied qualified members of the dominant groups’ equal access to opportunities. Has the fourteenth Amendment Clause aimed at Equal Protection of all individuals been used to promote the welfare of one class of individuals while at the same time infringing the life or liberty of another? The continued passage of affirmative action programs and policies suggests that the Supreme Courts lies with the answer. Affirmative action policies may be performed voluntarily, as in the case of university admissions, which are imposed by courts to protect civil rights. Affirmative action should not be taken to mean preferential treatment. The affirmative action does not mean that unqualified individuals from minority groups should be hired or promoted over other people. According to the U.S Labor department, affirmative action is meant to promote and ensure equal employment opportunities for all (Beckwith & Jones, 1997). Some affirmation action policies are subject to legal compliance procedures, which may consist of monitoring through examining and elimination from government contract work, or being sued by the justice department.
Americans have continued to criticize affirmative action programs as being unfair and discriminatory to the whites. In the 1990s, critics began to press the legal system to reverse its precedents both in employment and in higher education admission policies (Beckwith & Jones, 1997). Employment laws call for equality in employment regardless of race, gender, color or ethnicity. The policies entailed in the affirmative action, and equal employment opportunity plan are almost the same in relation to selection procedures, employment, and promotion. However, they differ in concepts. Equal employment opportunity stipulates that all persons must be treated equally in the employment process, in learning, and in career advancement (Johnson & Green, 2009). Every person has the right to be examined and evaluated as an individual based on his or her qualifications without discrimination. Affirmative action goes further and affirms that organizations and employers in organizations will work on overcoming the impacts of past discrimination against minority groups and women through a positive approach in recruiting and promoting them. This means that organizations should always seek to eliminate any barriers that limit the career and individual development of members from protected classes. Steps should be undertaken to encourage qualified women and minorities in any professional field.
In my own point of view, one way of increasing the number of both ladies and minorities in the labor sector is through advertising job vacancies in journals, magazines and media houses aimed at women and minority audiences. Another way would be creating a network among women and the minorities so that once an opportunity arises they can be contacted directly. Suppose organizations focused on employing women and members of minority groups, will that satisfy the goal of equal employment? I believe the aims of affirmative action cannot be achieved unless people with disabilities, women and members of minority groups are hired to positions that give them potential for advancement and personal development. Many whites believe that reverse discrimination has resulted from organizations trying to accommodate the affirmative action policies of giving considerations to selected groups. This is not the case as major groups, especially the white males, continue to hold many positions in the employment sector. It is important to note that affirmative action was not meant to encourage the employment of any individual who is less qualified to the position. The concept addresses the fact that discrimination against people from minority communities and women has been part of the western history and continues to exist. Americans should learn to appreciate what women and the minority groups have contributed to the economy. This does not mean devaluing the efforts of others. However, no individual should be selected solely due to their membership in any group; a common standard should be applied to all candidates. Some members are differently qualified for certain jobs and they bring different but equally important contributions to the field.
Determining whether candidates are best qualified based on the number of years since the award of degree is an invalid measure of qualification. This is because it works against women and minorities who are often new in their fields. Most people agree that organizations should employ and promote people fairly. Does affirmative action make this happen? Most Americans disagree on this. A research by Associated Press poll on July 2010 found that 32 % think it does, but 58% think that giving preference to women and minorities generates even greater unfairness (Beckwith & Jones, 1997). Opponents believe that the benefits offered by affirmative action hide the real harm they spread of devaluing the idea of merit and punishing white men.
In conclusion, all citizens should be treated equally regardless of their background so as to eliminate the issue of reverse discrimination. Opportunities in the work place, college enrollment and career advancement should cater for all members irrespective of whether they come from the dominant or minority groups. The government should work on ensuring that children from all color have equal opportunities to learning materials and quality education so as to set a good platform for competition at school. Once this is achieved, the issue about some groups being the minority will be a thing of the past. For instance, children will be able to learn together, respect each other’s culture and learn to appreciate their different backgrounds. Such an atmosphere will facilitate cohesion from an early age as well as togetherness hence eliminating social discrimination and racism. Institutions of higher learning should also be in top gear to enhance programs aimed at building a common community, where opportunities will only be based on qualifications and not community membership.