Are We Perpetuating Discrimination?

10Feb09

This whole tiff has gotten me thinking about my own values.  I’ve always been opposed to “equal opportunity”.  This does not mean that I support or condone discrimination, however.  It simply means that I don’t want race, gender, age, etc… to be a factor when determining whether I am qualified for something.  I think it’s absurd that I should be considered more eligible based on race or gender than say a white male based on his skill or merit.  On the other hand, I don’t feel that it’s tokenizing when the “majority” tries to promote minorities.  I feel that in most instances it is indeed genuine.  I guess that’s just my optimistic disposition because I tend to give people credit rather than be suspicious of others’ good will or intentions.  What I think is sad is that the majority feels obligated to promote certain people based on their physical characteristics.  I don’t want to advance through life because I have some sort of a running start given to me because of “white guilt”.  I’m sure that because I grew up in the United States and I am fair skinned I may have a different perspective but it just seems that equal opportunity actually promotes discrimination. I love Dr. Isis and Samia because they are intelligent and witty (and sexy divas, too!) but not because they are simply women and minorities.  I definitely feel that minorities that succeed should be acknowledged for their hard work and determination but to give them some sort of advantage to get where they’re going I think actually cheapens their hard work.  So… hopefully I didn’t offend any of you with my previous post but that’s just the way I’ve always felt.  Succeeding in the face of adversity is far more rewarding.

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3 Responses to “Are We Perpetuating Discrimination?”

  1. The title of the post is interesting.

    What if it were, “Are we delaying justice?”

    There are the two conflicting virtues in this question: fairness and justice. Fairness says, “Treat everyone equally regardless of what happened the past.” Justice says, “Treat people differently because of what happened in the past.”

  2. 2 extrovertscientist

    Thanks Dr. Zen for bringing up a very relevant ethical issue, that of fairness, equality, and justice. I interpret justice to be the application of punishment or reward as it is deserved. In this sense your title very aptly fits my post. What’s up for debate is the difference between fairness and equality.

    From what I understand, although I am not an expert on ethics but have thoroughly discussed this matter, fairness is what “equal opportunity” actually represents and what is actually delaying justice. It means that we make sure everyone has a similar outcome despite their beginnings. From my perspective there are rarely cases where I can legitimize this. For the most part I think it’s rubbish.

    Equality means that we treat all people the same regardless of their background or circumstances. Granted that this is more difficult to apply in real life since humans are biased creatures, but in theory it is the way I think we should go about things. What I am morally opposed to is overcompensating in the direction of fairness because people are not capable of applying equality.

    So, long story short, I agree that justice is being delayed because we often are forced to reward people on physical or social characteristics rather than merit.

  3. 3 whysharksmatter

    Treating people differently based on the color of their skin IS discrimination, by definition.


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