What are we to make of the term "reverse discrimination?" The opposite of discrimination? No. Reverse discrimination is, well, discrimination. Then why add "reverse?" Words are not arbitrary; they have meaning. But some words convey more than the literal meaning. Frequently, their use is intended to incite specific negative emotions. Words and phrases like "socialism" and "tax and spend" have become detached from their proper definitions and are now mere slogans used by panderers as an economical means to elicit desired emotional reactions. Pandering politicians and pundits arguing against affirmative action invariably characterize it as reverse discrimination. This is red-meat rhetoric aimed at those ordinarily not much troubled by discrimination, signaling that the ill-fitting shoe of discrimination is on the other foot. It says, “NOW you should be outraged!”
It is incumbent upon those opposing affirmative action to offer alternative remedies for inequities arising from historical or present day discrimination. It is disingenuous for those who have for so long benefited from discrimination to suddenly get religion and cry reverse discrimination, implicitly suggesting we ignore their privileged past. How convenient.
Panderbear encourages you to note who uses manipulative code words like “reverse discrimination,” consider the emotions those words are intended to evoke, and refuse to submit to the tyranny of slogans.
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