Discussion /Affirmative Action – Assignment Example

Affirmative Action The primary argument from the essay is that identifying discrimination through racial imbalance should be unlawful because it leads to quotas. Reverse discrimination is still discrimination. The essay also points out the difference between equality of opportunity and equality of result. I agree with the overall argument as it is explicitly stated, but I disagree with two of the implied arguments.
I would disagree that it is not possible to infer racial discrimination from racial imbalance. However, confounding factors must be taken into account, and even then the racial balance should not necessarily match the expected result when the confounding variables are taken into account. Taking into account confounding factors, it is possible to determine the likelihood that discrimination has occurred using appropriate statistical analysis (e.g. χ2 test). Although this analysis would not definitively prove discrimination has occurred, a test for the likelihood that discrimination has occurred would satisfy legal requirements such as proof beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case or based on the preponderance of the evidence in a civil case.
Furthermore, if there are confounding variables that lead to racial imbalance in the workforce, these confounding factors are evidence for inequality of opportunity. However, this instance of discrimination would not be the result of discriminatory hiring practices, and the ethical and legal solution to this problem would not be through hiring quotas. For example, suppose certain ethnic minorities are not getting good jobs because they are not being provided with the same educational opportunities. If this is because these minorities are disproportionately poor, it would be possible to provide equal opportunities through need-based scholarships without running afoul of our laws against racial discrimination. This kind of solution would not only assist the minority population, but it would also assist other individuals trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty who have not had an equal opportunity to succeed.