Job Descrimination Work Force Essay, Research Paper
Job descrimination work forceIn recent years preferential hiring has become an issueof great interest. Preferential hiring, which was devised tocreate harmony between the different races and sexes, has dividedthe lines even more. Supporters on both sides seem fixed intheir positions and often refuse to listen to the other group splatform. In this essay, the recipients of preferential hiringwill be either black or female, and the position in question willbe a professorship on the university level. The hirings inquestion are cases that involve several candidates, all roughlyequal in their qualifications (including experience, education,people skills, etc.), with the only difference being race and/orsex. What we have here is a case of predetermined preference. The two candidates in question are equal in all ways, except race. The black applicant is selected, not because of skills orqualifications (in that case the white man would have providedthe same result), but for his skin color. This seems to be blatantdiscrimination, but many believe it is justified. Some feelretribution for years of discrimination is reason enough, but thatissue will be discussed later. First, lets focus on why this isnot a solution to creating an unbiased society. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream: “I have a dream thatmy four little children will one day live in a nation where theywill not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the contentof their character.” He desired a world without discrimination,without prejudice, and without stereotypes. The fundamental lessonyears of discrimination should have taught is that to give anyonepreference based on skin color, sex, or religious beliefs is, inone word, wrong. As Martin Luther King Jr. stated, judgment basedon skin color must not exist. All preferential hiring does iskeep judgments based on skin color alive. Race and sex should notbe issues in today s society, yet preferential hiring continues tomake these factors issues by treating minorities as a group ratherthan as individuals. More importantly preferential hiring mayactually fuel, rather than extinguish, feelings of racial hostility. Applying the concept of preferential hiring to anothersituation may help elucidate its shortcomings. A party of whitemen and a party of black men both arrive at a restaurant at the sametime and only one table is free. The headwaiter can only seat oneparty and must make a decision. According to preferential hiringtheory it is necessary to seat the black party first, sincehistorically blacks have been discriminated against when seatedin restaurants. In another situation, a white man and a black manare both equidistant from the last seat on the bus. Both men arethe same age, have no medical problems, and are equal in all waysexcept skin color. Should the black man get the seat since in thepast black men have been discriminated against? We could continuethis practice for several centuries before the debt we owe fordepriving blacks of a seat on the bus would be paid. Perhaps theseexamples are invalid. It could be said that jobs are a differentissue. They help define social status and provide economicwell-being. They might even boost self-confidence, something thatdiscrimination has stolen. Two points must be considered before moving any further. First, blacks may learn better from a black, and women may learnbetter from a woman. Second, hiring women and blacks will providerole models for others. The first point Thomson quickly concedesas likely to be false. Discussion about the second point howeveris required, and will, in effect, serve to negate the first pointas well. First, lets create a character, Bill. Bill is grosslyoverweight and unattractive. Studies have shown that many employersdiscriminate (whether subconsciously or not), against both overweightand unattractive individuals. Unfortunately for Bill, he fits intoboth categories. His inability to land a job reflective of hisabilities, coupled with years of public humiliation through jokesmade at his expense, has destroyed his self-esteem. This has causedhim to accept as fact the notion that he will never be able to reachhis goals. Few “Bill” success stories exist, only further plummetinghis self-confidence. This example sounds strikingly similar to a common argumentfor preferential hiring. I have been discriminated against, whichhas caused my self esteem to fall, and now I am stuck, with few rolemodels to follow. Bill s success has probably been thwarted by moresources than the today s average black or female, but there is noprovision in preferential hiring for him. Just like no one cancontrol their race or skin color, Bill s obesity is caused by amedical problem beyond treatment. Selective preferential hiringwon t work. Even if one doesn t accept the fact that preferentialhiring discriminates against the white male, one must accept thefact that preferential hiring discriminates against Bill. Now let s assume that this argumentation is invalid for onereason or another. Let s assume the lack of self-confidence andself-respect that today s blacks and women are suffering from maydeserve some compensation. But before continuing, it seems necessaryto narrow the range of who qualifies for compensation for suffering. The issue at hand concerns today s blacks and today s women. Today ssociety is not responsible for incidents preceding its own existence. Other opinions may not coincide with this belief, but I do not feelany responsibility for the positive or negative actions of mygrandfather or my father. However, as a member of society I willtake responsibility for the positive or negative actions of societytoday. For example, today s society is not responsible for blacksor women s lack of voting rights years ago. If for some reason wewere responsible, how could this possibly be repaid? Make a blackor female vote count two or three times? No, this is preposterous.
We have canceled our debts, simply by giving them a right to voteand a say in the election of their representatives. Now that isnot to say that today s society is not responsible for thediscrimination of blacks and women in recent years. But, even priorto the lifetime of those that would be most affected by preferentialhiring: both blacks and women have had the right to vote;discrimination based on race, color, religion, or sex has beenillegal; segregation has ended; and the civil rights movement hastaken place. Clearly, we live in a different United States thanout predecessors. Today s blacks and women may still experience some repercussions ofdiscrimination, but for decades laws have been enforced prohibitingdiscrimination. If someone discriminates against a black today,charges could be filed against that person and that person will bepunished. That is the bottom line. Preferential treatment cannotbe given to victims of all crimes. It would become chaotic tryingpin the level of preference a victim should get for different crimes. For a moment let’s digress to the case of Judy. Judy wasraped. All society can offer her is the punishment of her rapist,if her rapist is found guilty. Sure, Judy will probably suffer forthe rest of her life believing that it was her fault; she will loseself-respect and self-confidence. But is Judy going to receivepreferential treatment when she walks into an office and appliesfor a job? There is no space on a job application for Judy to say:”I should receive special consideration, because several years ago Iwas raped. This rape has caused me years of anguish, and now I lackthe self-confidence I once had. All this has cause me to underachievein school and in life. Please consider this when you review myapplication.” If Judy, who lost her self-confidence and self-respectthrough the violation of her rights by a member of society, is givenno compensation for her trauma, why should blacks or women? Allsociety owes the victim of a crime is that the criminal be punishedif in fact a law was breached. Possibly their case is more powerful. Not all women (or men)are raped each year, but most blacks and women have been discriminatedagainst at some point in their life. Could we possibly owe thevictims of discrimination something? If, as Thomson claims, all blacks and females have, as aconsequence of their past lack of rights, suffered a lack ofself-confidence and self-respect, then why preferentially give themjobs? Jobs have no direct correlation to a lack of self-respect andself-confidence. Indirectly, yes, maybe many blacks and women havenot been able to achieve their highest goals due to this lack ofself-confidence and are therefore handicapped when they enter the jobmarket. But it seems to me that if we were to solve the problem andprovide repayment with the loosening of qualifications necessary, oreven not the loosening but the offering of preferential treatmentwhen hiring blacks and women, this does not solve the problem. Itseems to make more sense to dig deeper; to find the root of theproblem and change it. Since we can t go back and change history,eliminating the poor treatment blacks and women of the past, then thenext best thing seems to be to reverse the effects of discriminationin the present. The lack of presence in the upper levels of the job market isnot a direct effect of discrimination. It is, as Thomson states, alack of self-confidence and self-respect that has kept toady s blacksand women down. So the logical solution would be to renew theirself-respect, and to restore their self-confidence. It seems like toosuperficial of a solution to simply give blacks and women preferencewhen it comes to hiring. Certainly it would not bolster myself-confidence to know that I received a job over another equallyqualified individual, simply due to my skin color or sex. I wouldfeel as if again race and sex were dominating decisions. Wasn t theoriginal goal to eliminate the issue of skin color and sex from alldecisions? Thomson, in her essay on preferential hiring, tells us thatshe is not happy with the solution of preferential hiring in itsentirety: “If there were some appropriate way in which the communitycould make amends to its blacks and women, some way which did notrequire depriving anyone of anything he has a right to, then thatwould be the best course to take.” There must be a better way. Psychological treatment would help give the victims of poor treatmentrenewed self-confidence, providing them the confidence to go out andtry to earn a job, rather than get handed a job. The feeling ofaccomplishment that results from earning a job would help improveself-confidence. But now another issue arises. We would owe all victims ofcrime some sort of compensation. Maybe there is another way to elevatethe status of minorities without bringing the issue of race or sex intothe arena. If what is desired by preferential hiring is a jump-startto promote diversity in the workplace and in society, where race andsex are irrelevant, why not enact a plan where preferential hiring isnot based on these factors? Instead, why not give preference tounderrepresented towns or areas of town (possibly by zip code), tothose that are financially burdened, and to those with handicaps. This would help relieve the pressure of race and sex in these issues. The underprivileged will still be given a jump-start, and diversity willstill be promoted. However, this solution breaches another point that any form ofcategorization of people should not occur. The solutions presented aremore acceptable than preferential hiring, though they still have theirdefects. Why not bury the issue of race? Discrimination is waning. Ithas become a crime to discriminate. Soon blacks and women will becomefull members of the job world. There are plenty of role model successstories available. There is no reason to believe that anyone, in today ssociety, cannot achieve whatever they wish. Hard work and diligence willpay off and eventually race and sex will no longer be issues. The goalis to make race and sex irrelevant, and preferential hiring only keepsthese issues alive. Let s try to live in a society modeled after MartinLuther King Jr. s dream, and I believe the issues of race and sex willdisappear, leaving people to be judged solely on their character.