Racial Inequality and Developmental Affirmative Action‪.‬

The Western Journal of Black Studies 2003, Spring, 27, 1

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Publisher Description

I have been known over the years as a critic of affirmative action policies. However, in the wake of a successful ballot initiative banning affirmative action in the state of California, I now find it necessary to reiterate the old, and in my view still valid, arguments on behalf of explicit public efforts to reduce racial inequality. In doing so, I want to stress that I am not defending racial quotas, or race-based allocations of public contracts, or racial double standards in the workplace, or huge disparities in the test scores of blacks and whites admitted to elite universities. These practices are deservedly under attack. But I do defend the U.S. Army's programs to commission more black officers, the public funding of efforts to bring blacks into science and engineering, the attempts by urban law enforcement agencies to recruit black personnel, and the goal of top universities--public and private--to retain some racial diversity in their student bodies. The mere fact that these efforts take race into account, I will argue here, should not be disqualifying. My basic position is that the current campaign against "preferences" goes too far by turning what prior to Proposition 209 had been a reform movement to which I was happy to belong into an abolitionist crusade that I feel forced to oppose. Some say that all government policies should be "color blind." And, given our troubled racial history, the simplicity and clarity of this colorblind formulation can, indeed, seem compelling. But, the problem is more complicated than this "simple" position can accommodate. I maintain that procedural color blindness is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for the attainment of substantive racial justice.

GENRE
Non-Fiction
RELEASED
2003
22 March
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
15
Pages
PUBLISHER
The Western Journal of Black Studies
SIZE
188.5
KB

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