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    Affirmative Action Programs and Reverse Discrimination

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    Many organizations have established policies to remedy discrimination in hiring of women and minorities. Discuss whether or not you feel that affirmative action programs, reverse discrimination, and criteria of comparable worth are appropriate forms of remedy. How is your response to this discussion consistent with the moral philosophy. If it is not consistent with that philosophy, explain why your philosophy has changed.

    Note: We need an opinion. Thank You.

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    Please see response attached, which is also presented below. I hope this helps and take care.

    RESPONSE:

    Hi,

    Interesting discussion question! I am wondering if you have given this much thought, and what your take on this statement is. Let's take a closer look:

    1. Many organizations have established policies to remedy discrimination in hiring of women and minorities. Discuss whether or not you feel that affirmative action programs, reverse discrimination, and criteria of comparable worth are appropriate forms of remedy.

    Affirmative action is an attempt to redistribute economic power by forcing employers to give preference to women and minorities. Affirmative action can trace its roots back to the 14th amendment, although it did not really get started until Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed, giving minorities equal employment rights. The overall strategy and outline for this plan were contained in Executive Order 11246, which was issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1972 (Gilbert et al. 2). This led to a wave of programs that were intended to further the equal employment opportunities for minority individuals. Affirmative action programs were intended to legally require organizations to be diverse. During the 1990's these programs have come under a lot of scrutiny (2)

    However, I still agree that these are forms of appropriate forms of remedies (at least until they can come up with some better ideas) as some form of remedy is required because of the historical roots of discrimination against women and minorities in the work place. Although there is still a gap in wages, and still some discrimination as the above author suggests, the gap is narrower and the courts are available for dealing with discrimination in the workplace. However, not everyone agrees as the author below in the first example:

    Example 1: Argument against Affirmative Action ProgramsSome argue against all schemes of distributing justice, and that choice is taken from individuals and given to social planners. Affirmative action has been a debacle, as it has not seemed to cure sex segregation in the work place or closed the wage gap between men and women. More importantly, it has hindered the institution that has done the most to benefit women economically: the free market. (1)

    The above author draws on a real life experience below, using an example of her friend (white and male) who failed to get a promotion that he supposedly well deserved, mainly because of affirmative action programs, where the University promoted a women instead (less experience and less merits):

    Real Life Example: Last week I learned that a friend had been passed over for tenure at an ivy-league school. This was surprising to me. He had been teaching at the university for several years and was immensely popular, not only with the students but also within the department. With a book and several journal articles to his credit, his qualifications were in good order. So what was the problem? He explained it to me: he was a white male in a department that needed more visible women and minorities. Never mind that the woman hired had less experience and fewer credentials. Never mind that the university had been grooming him for the position -- (indeed, the department head could not even look him in the eye while breaking the news). Never mind that my friend is now so embittered that he tells his male students to forget pursuing a degree in the humanities, because credentials and quality do not matter anymore. If they are white and male, he insists, there will be no place for them in academia.

    I hope he is overstating the case. But I understand his bitterness: it is difficult not to rail against unfairness when there is next to no recourse against it. If my friend were a woman, he could sue the university for unfair employment practices under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This section of the Act states that it is unlawful for any employer:

    "(1) to fail or refuse to hire or discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, or privileges of employment because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex or national origin."

    But to bring such a suit, he would have to belong to a class protected by Title VII: that is, he would have to be a woman or a minority. As a male from German-Irish ancestry, he is not simply excluded from protection; he is, in fact, the person against whom protection is being offered. Why is this protection necessary? My friend has always been sex-blind when it comes to his students and colleagues. Why, then, do women have to shield- ed from him? ... Because, it is argued, women have historically been discriminated against in employment. Since white males (as a class) have benefited from this injustice, they must now (as a class) bear the brunt of adjusting the balance. This includes him. In her book Feminism Unmodified, Catharine MacKinnon explains why my friend is inescapably my oppressor: "...the social relation between the sexes is organized so that men may dominate and women must submit and this relation is sexual."[1] (Excerpted from ...

    Solution Summary

    Many organizations have established policies to remedy discrimination in hiring of women and minorities. This solution explains whether or not affirmative action programs, reverse discrimination, and criteria of comparable worth are appropriate forms of remedy. It then explains whether or not these ideas are consistent with moral philosophy.

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