So much has been said, written, and emoted concerning the subject of "reverse discrimination" that it represents a veritably frustrating experience to endeavor to come to grips with it in a nonredundant, non-banal, non-breast-beating manner. The difficulty is compounded by the all-too pervasive substitution of passion for reason on the wrenching issue-one that, admittedly, invites passion. Indeed, passion informed not an insignificant number of the record filings of the 120 briefs amicii curiae in the first central "reverse discrimination" case of Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, in which oral argument was presented to the Supreme Court of the United States in mid-October 1977. It took place in a sardine-like packed Court chamber, with more than 200 putative spectators waiting in line all night in the hope of perhaps hearing one three-minute segment of that potential bell weather decision-toward which the Court, in an unusual action, called for the filing of supplementary briefs by all parties concerned two weeks later in order to argue specifically the statutory question(s) involved in the application of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Passion similarly governed the denouement of the second major "reverse discrimination" case, United Steel Workers and Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation v. Weber, which the Court decided in June 1979, almost exactly one year after the Bakke holding. And passion, however comprehensible emotionally, has clouded the arguments and contentions of even the most cerebral professional as well as lay observers of the "reverse discrimination" issue, the resolution of which may well constitute a watershed in this particularly crucial aspect of the race syndrome, of what Gunnar Myrdal more than three decades ago so pointedly titled "The American Dilemma."
Henry J. Abraham,
Some Post-Bakke-and-Weber Reflections on "Reverse Discrimination",
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol14/iss2/4