[NOTE: Cross-Posted on College Insurrection]
I’ve argued too many times to cite that there is no such thing as “reverse discrimination,” a term some apply to the race-based burdens affirmative action places on many Asians, some whites, and others in un-favored groups. A policy, program, behavior, whatever either discriminates on the basis of race, or it doesn’t.
Now, however, I’m beginning to wonder if some of what supporters of racial, ethnic, and gender preferences regard as bias against the groups they favor isn’t simply an expression of resentment against the preferences they’ve received for a generation or more, much as a good deal of the opposition to gay rights is not based on antipathy to gays but on a not unreasonable fear that their demand for equal rights is just a prelude to demands for preferential treatment. That’s certainly what happened, after all, with the demands to end discrimination based on race and on sex.
See my recent post on Minding The Campus, “Another ‘Diversity’ Double Standard?” for a discussion of what appears to some to be bias against women in STEM fields might be an example of such a reverse diversity backlash.