Past time to drop adjective ‘reverse’

Something has been nagging me over the past couple of years and was really reinforced with the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Connecticut firefighters who were claiming discrimination in regard to their advancement tests being thrown out. What struck me was that every time I heard it reported the phrase “reverse discrimination” was used. I have heard this phrase a lot, especially in reference to sexual harassment cases where a man was claiming harassment. Why is this phrase even used? Does this mean that the discrimination laws were written only for minorities and that sexual harassment laws were written only for women?

There should not be any words added at all to the words “discrimination” or “harassment.” Adding the word “reverse” seems to imply a lower form of discrimination or harassment. It should not matter what your race or sex is — discrimination is discrimination. Do not play it off as a lesser offense by adding “reverse.”

I applaud the Supreme Court for recognizing that racial discrimination can and does happen to whites and Hispanics as well as blacks.

Kevin Ostenson


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