I follow a group called The Other 98% on facebook. They posted this pic:
and some of the comments I saw were a little unsettling. The issue I am concerned with here is the concept of “reverse discrimination.”
Lets start with some simple definitions:
Discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things.
Prejudicial: harmful to someone or something; detrimental.
Unjust: not based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.
What does this actually mean?
Since our chief concern is people, we are going to limit our discussion in that direction. Let’s begin with categories of people, and what they are. Categories are anything that separates us. People can be categorized by race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, regional location, physical limitations, mental limitations, or just about anything else. if you can think of a group to put people in, people can be categorized by it.
If something or someone treats a category of people harmfully, that is discrimination. So, an entire race of people being actively held captive here in the US was undoubtedly discrimination. Being detrimental is also considered discrimination, so releasing that category of people from captivity, but refusing to give them the same rights, education, and respect that was normal for the others, was also discrimination.
Personally, I’m uncomfortable with the definition of unjust. I subscribe to the philosophical school of moral relativity, therefore, I feel that the definition would be far better off without the reference to morality. In fact, I feel that fairness, equality, and justice has more to do with facts, situations, and evidence, than it does morality. That being said, fairness, and equality certainly come into play when discussing discrimination. When one group, or category, of people is singled out for unfair, detrimental treatment, be it by another group, or a single individual, it is discrimination.
There is no such thing as reverse discrimination. Either a group is being discriminated against, or it isn’t. You cannot have a reverse category to discriminate against. You cannot have discrimination in retaliation for previous discrimination. That is not how discrimination works. There is no such thing as discrimination on a personal level. That is called a grudge. Grudges are personal vendettas, not discrimination.
If people truly feel that able-bodied white males are being discriminated against, feel free to state your case. I’ll be more than happy to listen. The statistics show a very different story. White males have a better chance of getting into college, getting a job after college, getting loans, talking their way out traffic tickets, and many other advantages that the rest of us simply do not have. When I bring up these advantages in general conversation, the response I inevitably get is circumcision. Many men feel that they, as a group, have been singled out for discrimination because of the practice of circumcision. First off, this isn’t an issue unique to white males. Second, speak to your parents, they’re the ones who took away your rights, no one else.