Definition:
REVERSE DISCRIMINATION
Adversity.Net, Inc. for Victims of Reverse Discrimination
          Reverse Discrimination is widely used to refer to the discriminatory effects that racial quotas and preferences have upon Caucasians, Northern European Americans, and other non-minorities in the United States.

          Reverse Discrimination refers explicitly to laws and policies which deny certain opportunities, jobs, employment, contracts and educational admissions to "whites" in favor of other, government-defined "disadvantaged" racial groups.  Sometimes these policies and laws are collectively, if historically inaccurately, referred to as "Affirmative Action".

          The arguments in favor of racial preferences all boil down to this:  Government-defined "historically disadvantaged groups" (such as blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and selected others) continue to suffer from the "lingering effects of prior discrimination" (e.g., slavery, Jim Crow laws, etc.) and thus need racially discriminatory policies which give them an advantage over so-called "historically advantaged" individuals and groups (such as white Americans of Northern European descent).

          Of course, more racial discrimination in order to wipe out the effects of prior discrimination presents a Constitutional, moral, and logical conundrum:  Racial discrimination is racial discrimination regardless of the "higher" purpose for which the discrimination may be endorsed.

          According to most opinion surveys, most Americans strongly disapprove of using race or skin color as the basis for providing (or denying) any opportunity in the U.S.

Brief History:   Racial preferences (reverse discrimination) in the U.S. began in earnest almost on the very day in 1964 that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (CRA) in spite of the fact that the CRA was race-neutral and eschewed racial quotas! 

          The text of the original, unamended 1964 CRA was race neutral, it demanded non-discrimination, it supported integration, and it specifically prohibited the granting or denial of any opportunity based upon race, gender, or ethnicity. 

          But racial special interests in Congress and in the federal agencies almost immediately began violating the law by implementing concepts such as "racial underrepresentation", "proportional representation", and "disparate impact" which provided a thin, legalistic veneer by which discrimination could be practiced against the supposed beneficiaries of prior discrimination (whites), and in favor the the supposed victims of prior discrimination (primarily blacks, but later also including Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, and women regardless of race).

          But concepts such as "racially proportionate representation" have always begged the Constitutional question:   Does the U.S. promise its citizens equal opportunity based upon effort and ability regardless of race or ethnicity, or does the U.S. promise various racial and ethnic groups proportional numbers of jobs, educational admissions, contract and other opportunities based upon the number of their racial / ethnic group in the general population?

          Since enactment of the original, unamended Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U.S. has endured 40+ years of racial preferences and racial quotas in the form of preferences which strongly favor selected, non-white racial groups (referred to as "minorities") in the form of:   preferential college admissions for selected racial groups, special school transfer policies favoring minorities, and contracting and employment preferences for minorities.

          By definition, during the preceding 40+ years since passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, literally hundreds of thousands of innocent "white" citizens have been denied jobs, contracts, educational admissions and other benefits in favor of selected, non-white citizens who often have lower qualifications.

          In 2006 the following questions are very much worth considering:

  • Why, after 40+ years of racial preferences, are they still necessary? (If they ever were necessary?)
  • Why, after 40+ years, hasn't this policy of "reverse discrimination" solved the problems of racial minorities in the U.S.?
  • What is the difference between supposedly "good" racial discrimination and "bad" racial discrimination?  Is there any difference at all?  From a moral perspective, can there be any difference?
  • What possible Constitutionally or morally valid argument can be made in favor of using more racism to deny jobs, educational opportunities, contracting opportunities, and other opportunities to "whites" simply because of the color of their skin?

          Thus, the term Reverse Discrimination has come to be accepted as shorthand for race and gender discrimination against whites, and especially against white males, for the alleged purpose of "remedying" the lingering effects of prior discrimination against persons of color and against women regardless of color. 

          NOTE:  Adversity.Net doesn't especially care for the term Reverse Discrimination because there really is only one kind of discrimination, and that is old-fashioned racial and sexual discrimination.  However, we grudgingly use this term since it is so widely understood to mean illegal discrimination against anyone who is not on the government's approved list of "historically disadvantaged".

Additional Reading and Topics:
Official List of Historically Disadvantaged
Horror Stories and Case Studies

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Copyright 2002 Adversity.Net, Inc., an IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational organization.  For problems or questions regarding this web contact editor@adversity.net    Last updated: August 02, 2006.

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*  We use the term reverse discrimination reluctantly and only because it is so widely understood.  In our opinion there really is only one kind of discrimination.