Discrimination

Discrimination - Racial Discrimination: a Fundamental Right...

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Racial Discrimination: a Fundamental Right The topic for my paper is Racial Discrimination. The question I will be addressing is the following: Should private companies be allowed to discriminate based on race even if it is immoral? My article, “EEOC Investigating FedEx on Charges of Companywide Race, National Origin Discrimination”, provides an argument that is strongly opposed to racial discrimination. The article details FedEx employee Tyronne Merritt’s claim that FedEx’s requirement of passing a “Basic Skills Test” for promotion discriminates against people of color and should thus be federally prohibited. However, upon consideration of the issue I have come to the conclusion that government restrictions on the personnel decisions of private companies are oppressive and unnecessary infringements of the autonomy and liberty rights of individuals and are thus morally impermissible. Mr. Merritt’s argument is as follows: P1. Any discrimination on the basis of race is morally wrong. P2. FedEx’s “Basic Skills Test” discriminates against people of color. C1. FedEx’s “Basic Skills Test” is morally wrong. P4. Companies should not be allowed to do things that are morally wrong. C2. FedEx should not be allowed to use its “Basic Skills Test” in its promotions process. Premise 1 is not directly expressed by Merritt in this article and is thus a “hidden premise”, but it can be implied from his attempt to bring legal action against FedEx for what he believes to be its discriminatory practices. Racial discrimination has many negative effects upon society as a whole. First and foremost, racism is contradictory to social equality. The fundamental principle of equality asserts that it is unjust to treat people differently in ways that deny social
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benefits to some unless there is a relevant difference between them. Skin color alone has no effect on one’s morality, intelligence, or any other socially important trait, and thus basing employment decisions on race alone creates social inequality. Inequality is incompatible with the ideal of a fair, meritocracy-based society, under which only one’s abilities should be evaluated. Not only does racism lead to social inequality, but it also limits societal utility. People facing discriminated simply because of their race will feel angry and frustrated by their treatment, obviously limiting their happiness and probably their productivity as well. Race is an arbitrary, unfair characteristic to judge a person by, and I thus agree with Premise 1 that racial discrimination is morally wrong. Without being able to see FedEx’s “Basic Skills Test” or the statistical data showing how
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This note was uploaded on 03/29/2008 for the course PHIL 140g taught by Professor Kwon during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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Discrimination - Racial Discrimination: a Fundamental Right...

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