Reverse discrimination, a relatively new concept, is discrimination against a dominant or a majority group and in favor of a minority or disadvantaged group. Here, the groups can be distinguished as a different ethnicity, race, religion or gender.
Sometimes, organizations have a certain quota for ethnic employees which they have to fill. In this case, an applicant belonging to a certain Ethnic group or race is given preference, even if he or she may be less qualified than any other applicants. The main reason behind creating a quota for the minority groups is so that there is equal opportunity for all groups and races; however, with a certain quota, often a less qualified applicant is accepted for a designation that he or she might not be able to handle.
The same rule is applicable for educational institutes also. In an attempt to increase diversity among the students, many universities and colleges have a quota to fill with African-America, Asian, African and Hispanic students, beside the usual Caucasian scholars. Though it certainly succeeds in creating a diverse student body, many able Caucasian, or White, students are often denied their choice of subject as the quota for that subject has already been fulfilled.
It is also said that students from the minority groups easily get admission into college so that the institutions can boast of their diversified student body. The same rules also apply in case of professional sports too.
Though reverse discrimination is mostly seen in the field of race or ethnicity, it is also noticed in the cases of sex or gender too.
Just as with racial reverse discrimination, some organizations have a quota for a certain number of female employees to be hired in the top management positions of the country. These top female executives can either he headhunted or promoted from the lower designations of the organization. In many cases, in order to fill the quotas of the female top management employees, capable male applicants are passed over to give the position to female employees who may not be up to the mark. In some careers this is not possible. Consider how many years it takes to become a medical assistant versus a hospital administrator: 2 years vs 6 years. How can an assistant, who has limited knowledge of a practice, be picked over someone who has 4 more years of education, not to mention experience?
The Feminist Movement is one of the most famous examples of reverse gender discrimination. Since all walks of life, from work to home, gives more importance to male than the female population, the women who are feminists or who follow Feminism demand that the female face is superior to men and should be treated so. Feminists not only demand equal rights as their male counterparts, but sometimes more rights and liberties.
The United States government is so focused on assuring the rights of the minority groups, that a portion of the majority group, namely the White feel like, at times, they are being discriminated against. According to them, discrimination against the White also exists in the US. An example as such is a lawsuit filed by Mr. Mark Hillaker Jr., an environmental technician at Hurley Medical Center, on grounds that he is being discriminated against because he is White.
Other such examples of lawsuits exist in the United States, where individuals belonging to a majority group or a man have filed lawsuits against discrimination.
Reverse Discrimination is a term that has caused mixed feeling among all communities. Although having a specific quota for female employees or a minority student quota is sometimes helpful and welcome, according to some, discrimination is discrimination and it is never a good thing. Discrimination against the majority is as bad as discrimination against the minority. Therefore, while reverse discrimination sometimes gives a false sense of security to women or minorities, it is nevertheless unfair and unwelcome to many.