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Court to Take on Reverse Discrimination, Voting Rights

Change may come to America in the form of new standards in civil rights. On Friday, the US Supreme Court decided that it would hear two cases, one dealing with work discrimination and the other with voting discrimination. Depending on how the court rules later this year, these cases could change the landscape of US civil rights law.

The first case involves Connecticut firefighters who say that even though they scored highest on the exam, they were not given promotions because they were white. Instead, the test was scrapped after no minorities qualified, and the promotions were given to African Americans. The white firefighters have lost their legal battles so far, as lower courts ruled that federal law forbids exams that have a disproportional impact on minorities.

The other law in question, a provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, requires 16 mostly southern states to get federal clearance before making a change to their local voting rules. A lower court ruled last Spring that Congress was reasonable to determine that voting discrimination still persists, thus upholding the clearance requirement.

The election of the first African American president has sent a strong signal that national race relations have changed in the US, but organizations like the NAACP point out that a lot of work remains. Do you think it's time for the Supreme Court to strike down laws that help promote minority working and voting rights?

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Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
What Would Martin Say? by Clarence B. Jones offers some interesting viewpoints on this from the perspective of a man who worked closely with Martin L. King. I suggest everyone read this book.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
The problem is, is government getting involved in who a specific employer hires. I have been to Mexican food restaurants where the only people that work there are Mexican. Do I think this is wrong? No, they hire who they are comfortable with. There are way too many variables for me to know why they hire the way they do. On paper, it looks like racism. But nothing is done in that instance, why? Is it because whites have the majority, what if a white person wanted that job and only didn't get a call back because their name sounded too white? There seems to be no rising up to protect those people. I don't think there needs to be any law that tells a private citizen who they can or cannot hire. And government should have an independent auditor to review their hiring practices. Like a computer that selects the qualified applicants from the group, before they go to interview. Giving them an equal opportunity to impress the interviewer. Now if they fail at doing so, they should not get the job.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
As long as people make an issue of race, either side, there will continue to be a bias. And no amount of affirmative action can make people do the right thing. They will always skirt around ridiculous rules somehow. Many companies hire people only as contractors and not direct hire employees so they can skirt the law. And those studies you posted completely negate that people hire who they are comfortable with. Maybe those hiring have had bad experiences with people of certain races in the past. Or maybe they have had customers that complained about the attire certain people wear to work. Or the way they speak. There are just too many variables to say that someone is being unfairly treated or not. And just because you have articles saying that the instances of reverse racism are not true, really means nothing. All that means is that liberal courts upheld affirmative action, because minorities are under-privileged. They do not say that qualified people have not been passed up, because they have. Giving special treatment to someone on any grounds is wrong. And giving special treatment to minorities is just as wrong. 2 wrongs don't make a right.
tawnyinthepink tawnyinthepink 7 years
Goodbye liliblu...I hope you open your mind to the variances of life!
tawnyinthepink tawnyinthepink 7 years
when we can...that is
tawnyinthepink tawnyinthepink 7 years
Exactly my point! It's all around us...it's up to each of us as individuals to try and educate those around us when when can. Otherwise, how can any benefit and progress be made for everybody?!
liliblu liliblu 7 years
I'd like to continue but I must say goodbye. Goodbye.
liliblu liliblu 7 years
twany I actually live in a very diverse community. I have friends and coworkers from all walks of life. But my mindset and the way I live my life has not made me immune to racism and discrimination.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
"It helps people get jobs they may not otherwise get but I don't see that as discrimination. " If you're using gender or race to make the decision, it's discrimination. That's pretty cut and dry. "I don't assume unqualified minorities and women are snatching up jobs from qualified white males in large numbers. " What numbers are you talking about? I try not to think of people in terms of groups. Even if it only happens once, it's still a shame.
tawnyinthepink tawnyinthepink 7 years
...and where you have the most direct influence!
tawnyinthepink tawnyinthepink 7 years
Your 'community' is the location that you live in...wherever that may be. If you live in DC...your DC community...If you live in LA...your LA community. Very simple! Race and gender should have nothing to do with your community...it's just where you live!
liliblu liliblu 7 years
It helps people get jobs they may not otherwise get but I don't see that as discrimination. I don't assume unqualified minorites and women are snatching up jobs from qualified white males in large numbers. I used statistics earlier that proved that. I have more from recent years but I'll keep those off the boards.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Lili, then what's the point of affirmative action? Either it helps people get jobs they might not otherwise get, or it doesn't.
liliblu liliblu 7 years
What's my community tawny?
liliblu liliblu 7 years
Mich I would agree if there was widespread evidence of it. But there isn't.
tawnyinthepink tawnyinthepink 7 years
True, but if you (in your community) pass along this sentiment we can get there that much quicker for our future generations!
Michelann Michelann 7 years
"the qualified people they pass over face the consequences of those decisions in the here and now." That would also apply to those passed over because of affirmative action. Racial discrimination is discrimination no matter which race it hurts or helps.
liliblu liliblu 7 years
"I also wanted to say that if more people would admit and learn to admire their 'mixed' heritage, there might be less of an uphill battle for our future children." I agree but we have a long way to go.
tawnyinthepink tawnyinthepink 7 years
BTW I am accredited in all my degrees. NYT doesn't always get it correct. Some of their views are highly politically motivated. This is true for most new sources. I don't understand why people tend to put some publications over what people have first hand experienced. That somehow seems backwards!
liliblu liliblu 7 years
The study was not conducted by the New York Times. The study/experiment was conducted by Marianne Bertrand of the University of Chicago and Sendhil Mullainathan of M.I.T.. If I still have it I'll post a link froma source other than the NYT(since some of you act likes it kryptonite). The article just explains it well.
tawnyinthepink tawnyinthepink 7 years
I also wanted to say that if more people would admit and learn to admire their 'mixed' heritage, there might be less of an uphill battle for our future children. I am always either too dark or too light...what kind of example is that to set?!
liliblu liliblu 7 years
I would also like to add that very real people are harmed by these practices. So while the bigot may one day be punished, the qualified people they pass over face the consequences of those decisions in the here and now.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Lili, facts are wonderful if they're relevant. But you can't respond to "discrimination is it's own punishment" with "discrimination happens, the NYT says so!".
organicsugr organicsugr 7 years
That's probably where you went awry.
liliblu liliblu 7 years
Sorry Organic for the studies and the article about a study. But I thought facts were relavent not just opinions.
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