Freedom From Discrimination Essay Paper

Essay/Term paper: Racsism

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Racism and Discrimination

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Racism is a certain kind of prejudice, based on faulty reasoning and
inflexible generalizations toward a specific group. The word prejudice
comes from the Latin noun praejudicium, which means a judgment based on
previous decisions formed before the facts were known. If a person
allows their prejudiced beliefs to block the progress of another, it is
discrimination. Those who exclude all members of a race from certain
types of employment, housing, political rights, educational
opportunities, or a social interactions are guilty of racial
discrimination.
For centuries conflicts have taken place among three main races,
Caucasian, Asian, and Negro ranging from snobbish social exclusion, to
state- sponsored genocide. Racism is an unmerited fear or dislike of
a people because of their ethnic heritage. When colour is not a reason,
other reasons such as language, religion, nationality, education, sex,
or age become the reason of prejudice.
Sociologists, historians, anthropologists and archeologists believe
racial discrimination happens more often and most harshly when two
groups with different skin colours and unique physical features come
into contact with each other and the two compete for the same thing.
History shows that all attempts at a racial dominance result in
conflict and avoidance. But, some communities without disturbed
racial conflict can take advantage of all its citizens potential and
move toward elimination.
Our hate is caused by witnessing the behaviour of the Ku Klux Klan, our
unfavourable feeling toward a person without actual facts and the verbal
abuse that we get almost every day of our lives (if not us, then there
is someone in the world being hurt right this very minute.). The most
effective way which I believe this issue can start to be stopped is by
talking it out rationally without involving racism at that point in time
and bringing everybody together as equal as the next.

Africans were brought to the colonies and forced to work a lifetime for
no wages. The master took all the profits to save the small amount he
used to provide food, clothing and shelter for his slaves. Without
being able to read or write, the first Africans in America had no
defence against the refusal of their people. The dehumanization of the
African-American slave stands out as one of the most brutal and savage
torture in history.
Not being able to defend yourself against the hurt that people can put
a person through, can scar you for life. We need to see what the
world is doing to each other and instead of turning to violence or some
other kind of defence to get even. It would be easier if we just come
together as one and help the people who are discriminated against in
understanding that they are not what person"s say they are.
From birth to about age twelve, children collect information
about their world. They learn from many ways including their school,
family, neighbours, friends, and the community. They also get
information from books, movies, television, and other media. From this
information they gain beliefs, attitudes, and opinions.
(An opinion is a belief that is stronger than impression and less
strong than positive knowledge.)
Attitudes are feelings and emotions held toward a person, idea, or
things.
Attitude, opinions and the way we treat people are based on our
beliefs. If beliefs are prejudiced, then our attitude and behaviour
will be the same. Racism is a belief based on faulty reasoning,
misconceptions, and generalizations. Stereotyping is an exaggerated
belief associated with a group. It is produced by name calling, racial
slurs, and jokes.
Victims of prejudice often develop a faulty belief in the same way
children learn to be prejudiced. They learn to protect themselves by
creating self defences essential to their survival. A slur directed at
a particular ethnic group is likely to get these results in a
confrontation: pain, anger, shame, hostility, guilt and embarrassment.
Students admitted that they had used racial slurs when angered. I have
noticed in our own school, that the students tell racial jokes and used
ethnic names but they say that they don"t mean what they say it"s just
for humour"s sake.

Race hatred often leads to violence. People whom form groups to
defend America from a minority takeover fall into the category of
extremists. There are gangs in America today who walk the streets
measuring out a perverse form of justice to a whole race by choosing
an innocent person of such race to beat or kill. Such gangs are usually
powerless as people, so they seek strength in numbers. People with
shared hatred gain a pseudo power within the organizational structures
of such groups as the neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.
Race hatred, permitted to gain unlimited power, will be disastrous.

The state - sponsored genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany is an example
of what happens when people who hate gain power. Hitler"s extermination
took the lives of six million human beings for no other reason than they
were Jewish.
It started in little ways, an ethnic joke, stereotyping that was never
challenged, then restrictions, loss of jobs, loss of civil rights, loss
of voting rights, and the loss of life.
Racists have very specific beliefs about their own groups and others.
Columnist Ellen Futterman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says, We are
guilty of race prejudice. We might go out of our way to avoid certain
words and phrases in our everyday speech only to find ourselves laughing
at a racial or ethnic joke later. Even though we may say that we could
never be racist or prejudice against a certain type of person, (I"m not
saying we are), it is interesting how someone can just say something
hurtful and not even realize what has been said.

What can be done to stop racism? A famous document from the Johnson
era, called the Kerner Report, stated that there must be strategies for
action that can produce progress and make good the promises of American
democracy to all citizens urban and rural, white and black, Spanish
surname, American Indians and every minority. We can"t expect only the
people of colour to take a stand in the elimination of racism. This
issue includes each and every one of us whether it is black, white,
orange, yellow, Australian, Russian, Ukrainian, or Irish.


If you have been called names that are directed to your colour, race,
the way you talk, act, or walk, you have experienced racism. (Based on
the lives of human rights leaders, there is no single way to take a
stand. Each person has to decide whether to take a leadership role or
to follow a leader, whose beliefs or goals he or she shares.
Taking a stand against racism and discrimination is not casual
involvement. It is a total commitment).

Racism is an emotionally charged subject. If you have ever been
discriminated against, you know it is difficult to think or act calmly.
The first reaction is to attack. But it is only fair when taking a
stand against racism or discrimination that you state your case
directly, fairly, and accurately, using facts, and evidence to support
your claims. Before you can take a stand against racism and race
discrimination, you need to know what it is, how it develops, and how to
recognize it in you and others. According to Alfred Fleishman, St.
Louis newspaper columnist, Racial prejudice is one of the scourges of
our society. And when it grows and lurks, especially where it is not
even noticed, the danger is even greater.
Up to the point of life which we are in now, we don"t even realize
what we say, the jokes we tell or the music we listen to. Some think
of some major issues as a joke but really there is always someone
being hurt whether they show it or not.
Today we stand for equality, justice and freedom. Where Canada and
America stand on racism and discrimination today and tomorrow is where
we stand because we are what is needed to stop the hate.

 

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REVERSE DISCRIMINATION:

THE REPRECUSSIONS OF 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 compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin…” 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(a)(1). This law was enacted in an effort to set right the wrongs of the past and instill equity in the workplace; yet a new set of wrongs and social injustices have been created. This newly created set of wrongs and injustices are referred to as reverse discrimination. Reverse discrimination is discrimination against a majority class, and is ever increasing in public-sector employment.

Social Equity and Affirmative Action

Affirmative action was instituted to redress the social inequities of past discrimination in employment against what became known as a ‘protected class’ (women and minorities). The goals of affirmative action plans are to increase the representation of historically disadvantaged people in the workplace equal to their representation in the corresponding community and relevant labor market. This formula is how affirmative action became coined as the ‘quota system’.

The financial burden associated with discrimination lawsuits forced employers to implement remedial plans (affirmative action plans), out of fear of noncompliance of TitleVII that ultimately have had the same adverse effects on social equity, yet in a different context.

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 Protection Clause because the classification for layoff purposes was based solely on race. Specifically, white teachers with seniority had been laid off in order to retain black teachers simply because of their race.

The resulting effect was an increased awareness of the “strict scrutiny” standard as it relates to the constitutionality of affirmative action plans. Validation of these plans has become crucial with respect to all aspects of employment, especially hiring, promotion, and terminations. Statistical analysis proving under representation in the workplace and a documented history of the disparate treatment of a protected class are the key elements of a validated affirmative action plan. Without these key components, an affirmative action plan can be ruled in violation of the Equal Protection Clause (as has been demonstrated by this case and many others, especially in police and fire positions) and ultimately unconstitutional, which opens all employers (public especially) to a wide array of lawsuits.

In Dallas, TX, the fifth circuit struck down the city’s affirmative action plan for the fire department when white and Native American male firefighters sued for being passed over for promotions.

The affirmative action plan called for promoting back, Hispanic, and female firefighters ahead of those others who had scored higher on examinations. The only evidence of racial discrimination to justify the affirmative action plan was a 1976 consent decree between the city and the U.S. Justice Department and a statistical analysis showing that minorities had been underrepresented in higher ranks. Given the minimal evidence of discrimination, the court held the plan to be invalid. (Champagne 1)

The state of California has passed Proposition 209, which prohibits the state from using racial or gender preferences in public employment, public education, or public contracting. The legality of this proposition was tested in the ninth circuit court of appeals by The Coalition for Economic Equity in 1997. The lawsuit was dismissed in 1998 and the court held that Proposition 209 did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution and is not prohibited by Title VII. (Champagne 1)

The Legal Debate: Title VII Lawsuits

Generally when one hears “Title VII” and “lawsuit” in the same sentence the thought of discrimination against a protected class comes to mind. This is not so much the case anymore. As of 1996, reverse discrimination in federal employment comprised 20% of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s caseload. (Discrimination at the Opportunity Commission, 1)

The EEOC. The most ironic of cases deals with the EEOC itself. Joseph Ray Terry, a civil rights attorney employed by the Commission won a lawsuit against them in 1996 for unlawful employment discrimination with respect to promotions. Terry claimed that he had been passed over for various promotions over an eight-year time period due to his race and gender (white, male). He was a graduate of the EEOC’s candidate development program that was designed to provide the necessary skills for upper-management positions and was well qualified for all of the positions that he had sought to be promoted. However, these positions repeatedly had been filled by less qualified minorities. The Judge ordered the EEOC to pay Mr. Terry $150,000 in damages, and over $8,000 for stress. The amount ordered in back pay was not disclosed. The EEOC was also ordered to promote him to the position of deputy general counsel for which he had been applying. (Reverse Discrimination Case Against EEOC, 2)

According the EEOC’s own 1995 annual report, almost 50% of white-collar jobs within the organization are held by African-Americans, even though they comprise less than 10% of the civilian work force. Additionally, the percentage of Hispanics employed at the EEOC was 200% of the percentage of Hispanics in the civilian work force. “If the EEOC were a private employer, the racial makeup of its workforce would set off alarm bells,” says Clint Bolick, an attorney who worked on the staff of an EEOC commissioner during the eighties and heads the Institute for Justice, a Washington public-interest legal group. (Berleau, 36)

The GAO (General Accounting Office). The U.S. General Accounting Office is the audit and investigative arm of Congress. It employs over 2,000 evaluators and its annual budget is close to $400 million. “It is one of the most powerful agencies in the federal government. Its personnel policies serve as the de facto model for the entire federal government.” (Judge Orders Trial for Diersen’s Reverse and Age Discrimination Claims After Evidence of GAO’s Continuing Retaliation is Presented, 1)

During the 80’s there had been pressure placed on the agency to give preferential treatment to its minority and female evaluators which led to personnel systems known as broadbanding (BB) and more flexibility in the compensation structure through pay-for-performance (PFP). The flexibility in BB allowed less qualified protected class members more latitude in the GS levels, therefore promotions were granted easier. The trend in downsizing federal government agencies aided in the preferential treatment. The older (white, male) employees who had previously complained of the discrimination were forced out through early-outs, buyouts, and selected office closings rather than using seniority-based reduction-in-force procedures, which was the accepted practice. (Judge Orders Trial for Diersen’s Reverse and Age Discrimination Claims After Evidence of GAO’s Continuing Retaliation is Presented, 4)

These issues (plus many others) led Dave Diersen to file an individual and a class action lawsuit for reverse discrimination and age discrimination against the agency, Diersen v. Hinchman, (Case No. 98-1887) on July 30,1998. Diersen had previously filed complaints of these natures using the agency’s in-house grievance procedures, but all were denied. The Judge has ruled that the case should go to trial, but seems to be held up in the courts.

The Burden of Proof

In 1973, McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, the court stated that the plaintiff must “carry the initial burden of establishing a prima facie (on first look) case of racial discrimination…by showing (i) that he belongs to a racial minority; (ii) that he applied and was qualified for a job for which the employer was seeking applicants; (iii) that, despite his qualifications, he was rejected; and (iv) that, after his rejection, the position remained open and the employer continued to seek applicants from persons of complainant’s qualifications.” The courts have since then attempted to apply this standard to instances of reverse discrimination, coupling it with the decision handed down by the Supreme Court three years later in McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail stating that Title VII “proscribes racial discrimination in employment against whites in the same terms as nonwhites.”

The D.C. Circuit Court in Harding v. Gray later expanded on this test to add “background evidence” which can be generally divided into two categories: (1) evidence indicting that the particular employer at issue has some reason or inclination to discriminate invidiously against whites,…and (2) evidence indicating that there is something’fishy’ about the facts of the case at hand that raises an inference of discrimination.” This places the burden on the plaintiff (employee) to establish that the defendant (employer) is a ‘unique employer that discriminates against the majority’. (Gianni, 3)

The U.S.3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in September 1999 rejected this line of reasoning in Iadimarco v. Runyon. Judge Theodore McKee wrote an opinion for a three-judge panel stating that the “background circumstances” requirement raises the bar higher for white male plaintiffs than for minority/female plaintiffs and the concept is “irremediably vague and ill-defined.” Judge McKee wrote “All that should be required to establish a prima facie case in the context of ‘reverse discrimination’ is for the plaintiff to present sufficient evidence to allow a fact finder to conclude that the employer is treating some people less favorably than others based upon a trait that is protected under Title VII.” This ruling therefore shifts the burden onto the defendant to refute the discrimination given the ‘totality of the circumstances’ rather than forcing the plaintiff to initially have to present proof that would only become relevant in order to rebut the employer’s explanation of the challenged conduct. (Ginanni, 3)

Conclusion

Victims of discrimination, regardless of skin color or gender, feel the same effects: a brick wall placed between them and their constitutional right of prosperity and equality. Over the last hundred years our societal values (in employment) have swung from an anything goes mentality to the other end of the spectrum, the era of “political correctness” where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Uncertainty prevails. It is apparent, though, that the proverbial “pendulum” is in an evening-out process and trying to find middle ground.

Discrimination is discrimination regardless of what type of form it takes. There is truly only one kind if discrimination and that is where an individual’s rights are infringed upon due to traits in which they have no power to control. Each and every one of us deserves to have the right to freedom and equality given to us by our forefather’s.

Bibliography

REVERSE DISCRIMINATION:

THE REPRECUSSIONS OF 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 compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin…” 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(a)(1). This law was enacted in an effort to set right the wrongs of the past and instill equity in the workplace; yet a new set of wrongs and social injustices have been created. This newly created set of wrongs and injustices are referred to as reverse discrimination. Reverse discrimination is discrimination against a majority class, and is ever increasing in public-sector employment.

Social Equity and Affirmative Action

Affirmative action was instituted to redress the social inequities of past discrimination in employment against what became known as a ‘protected class’ (women and minorities). The goals of affirmative action plans are to increase the representation of historically disadvantaged people in the workplace equal to their representation in the corresponding community and relevant labor market. This formula is how affirmative action became coined as the ‘quota system’.

The financial burden associated with discrimination lawsuits forced employers to implement remedial plans (affirmative action plans), out of fear of noncompliance of TitleVII that ultimately have had the same adverse effects on social equity, yet in a different context.

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 Protection Clause because the classification for layoff purposes was based solely on race. Specifically, white teachers with seniority had been laid off in order to retain black teachers simply because of their race.

The resulting effect was an increased awareness of the “strict scrutiny” standard as it relates to the constitutionality of affirmative action plans. Validation of these plans has become crucial with respect to all aspects of employment, especially hiring, promotion, and terminations. Statistical analysis proving under representation in the workplace and a documented history of the disparate treatment of a protected class are the key elements of a validated affirmative action plan. Without these key components, an affirmative action plan can be ruled in violation of the Equal Protection Clause (as has been demonstrated by this case and many others, especially in police and fire positions) and ultimately unconstitutional, which opens all employers (public especially) to a wide array of lawsuits.

In Dallas, TX, the fifth circuit struck down the city’s affirmative action plan for the fire department when white and Native American male firefighters sued for being passed over for promotions.

The affirmative action plan called for promoting back, Hispanic, and female firefighters ahead of those others who had scored higher on examinations. The only evidence of racial discrimination to justify the affirmative action plan was a 1976 consent decree between the city and the U.S. Justice Department and a statistical analysis showing that minorities had been underrepresented in higher ranks. Given the minimal evidence of discrimination, the court held the plan to be invalid. (Champagne 1)

The state of California has passed Proposition 209, which prohibits the state from using racial or gender preferences in public employment, public education, or public contracting. The legality of this proposition was tested in the ninth circuit court of appeals by The Coalition for Economic Equity in 1997. The lawsuit was dismissed in 1998 and the court held that Proposition 209 did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution and is not prohibited by Title VII. (Champagne 1)

The Legal Debate: Title VII Lawsuits

Generally when one hears “Title VII” and “lawsuit” in the same sentence the thought of discrimination against a protected class comes to mind. This is not so much the case anymore. As of 1996, reverse discrimination in federal employment comprised 20% of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s caseload. (Discrimination at the Opportunity Commission, 1)

The EEOC. The most ironic of cases deals with the EEOC itself. Joseph Ray Terry, a civil rights attorney employed by the Commission won a lawsuit against them in 1996 for unlawful employment discrimination with respect to promotions. Terry claimed that he had been passed over for various promotions over an eight-year time period due to his race and gender (white, male). He was a graduate of the EEOC’s candidate development program that was designed to provide the necessary skills for upper-management positions and was well qualified for all of the positions that he had sought to be promoted. However, these positions repeatedly had been filled by less qualified minorities. The Judge ordered the EEOC to pay Mr. Terry $150,000 in damages, and over $8,000 for stress. The amount ordered in back pay was not disclosed. The EEOC was also ordered to promote him to the position of deputy general counsel for which he had been applying. (Reverse Discrimination Case Against EEOC, 2)

According the EEOC’s own 1995 annual report, almost 50% of white-collar jobs within the organization are held by African-Americans, even though they comprise less than 10% of the civilian work force. Additionally, the percentage of Hispanics employed at the EEOC was 200% of the percentage of Hispanics in the civilian work force. “If the EEOC were a private employer, the racial makeup of its workforce would set off alarm bells,” says Clint Bolick, an attorney who worked on the staff of an EEOC commissioner during the eighties and heads the Institute for Justice, a Washington public-interest legal group. (Berleau, 36)

The GAO (General Accounting Office). The U.S. General Accounting Office is the audit and investigative arm of Congress. It employs over 2,000 evaluators and its annual budget is close to $400 million. “It is one of the most powerful agencies in the federal government. Its personnel policies serve as the de facto model for the entire federal government.” (Judge Orders Trial for Diersen’s Reverse and Age Discrimination Claims After Evidence of GAO’s Continuing Retaliation is Presented, 1)

During the 80’s there had been pressure placed on the agency to give preferential treatment to its minority and female evaluators which led to personnel systems known as broadbanding (BB) and more flexibility in the compensation structure through pay-for-performance (PFP). The flexibility in BB allowed less qualified protected class members more latitude in the GS levels, therefore promotions were granted easier. The trend in downsizing federal government agencies aided in the preferential treatment. The older (white, male) employees who had previously complained of the discrimination were forced out through early-outs, buyouts, and selected office closings rather than using seniority-based reduction-in-force procedures, which was the accepted practice. (Judge Orders Trial for Diersen’s Reverse and Age Discrimination Claims After Evidence of GAO’s Continuing Retaliation is Presented, 4)

These issues (plus many others) led Dave Diersen to file an individual and a class action lawsuit for reverse discrimination and age discrimination against the agency, Diersen v. Hinchman, (Case No. 98-1887) on July 30,1998. Diersen had previously filed complaints of these natures using the agency’s in-house grievance procedures, but all were denied. The Judge has ruled that the case should go to trial, but seems to be held up in the courts.

The Burden of Proof

In 1973, McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, the court stated that the plaintiff must “carry the initial burden of establishing a prima facie (on first look) case of racial discrimination…by showing (i) that he belongs to a racial minority; (ii) that he applied and was qualified for a job for which the employer was seeking applicants; (iii) that, despite his qualifications, he was rejected; and (iv) that, after his rejection, the position remained open and the employer continued to seek applicants from persons of complainant’s qualifications.” The courts have since then attempted to apply this standard to instances of reverse discrimination, coupling it with the decision handed down by the Supreme Court three years later in McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail stating that Title VII “proscribes racial discrimination in employment against whites in the same terms as nonwhites.”

The D.C. Circuit Court in Harding v. Gray later expanded on this test to add “background evidence” which can be generally divided into two categories: (1) evidence indicting that the particular employer at issue has some reason or inclination to discriminate invidiously against whites,…and (2) evidence indicating that there is something’fishy’ about the facts of the case at hand that raises an inference of discrimination.” This places the burden on the plaintiff (employee) to establish that the defendant (employer) is a ‘unique employer that discriminates against the majority’. (Gianni, 3)

The U.S.3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in September 1999 rejected this line of reasoning in Iadimarco v. Runyon. Judge Theodore McKee wrote an opinion for a three-judge panel stating that the “background circumstances” requirement raises the bar higher for white male plaintiffs than for minority/female plaintiffs and the concept is “irremediably vague and ill-defined.” Judge McKee wrote “All that should be required to establish a prima facie case in the context of ‘reverse discrimination’ is for the plaintiff to present sufficient evidence to allow a fact finder to conclude that the employer is treating some people less favorably than others based upon a trait that is protected under Title VII.” This ruling therefore shifts the burden onto the defendant to refute the discrimination given the ‘totality of the circumstances’ rather than forcing the plaintiff to initially have to present proof that would only become relevant in order to rebut the employer’s explanation of the challenged conduct. (Ginanni, 3)

Conclusion

Victims of discrimination, regardless of skin color or gender, feel the same effects: a brick wall placed between them and their constitutional right of prosperity and equality. Over the last hundred years our societal values (in employment) have swung from an anything goes mentality to the other end of the spectrum, the era of “political correctness” where you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Uncertainty prevails. It is apparent, though, that the proverbial “pendulum” is in an evening-out process and trying to find middle ground.

Discrimination is discrimination regardless of what type of form it takes. There is truly only one kind if discrimination and that is where an individual’s rights are infringed upon due to traits in which they have no power to control. Each and every one of us deserves to have the right to freedom and equality given to us by our forefather’s.

Word Count: 1995

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