Affirmative Action: Social Justice or Reverse Discrimination? / Edition 1

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What is our goal: equal opportunity or equality of result? The debate rages on.

The November 5, 1996 decision by voters in California to eliminate most forms of state sanctioned affirmative action ignited a civil rights debate that sent shock waves across the country. The vote had critics celebrating the dawn of a new era of equal rights, while opponents warned of school and workplace discrimination without the protective blanket of affirmative action.

The question of racial equality has inspired new debate today, reminiscent of the conflicts of the 1960s. Again we ask ourselves: Is affirmative action necessary to maintain equal labor practices, school desegregation plans, and broad social standards of racial equality? Does affirmative action or laws to roll it back go against the idea of equality itself? Should race play an important role in college admissions and corporate hiring? Is affirmative action a poison instead of a cure? For some, it depends on how the term is defined.

These and other questions are debated in this highly charged collection of essays by a distinguished group of politicians, philosophers, educators, and others including Tom Beauchamp, Ward Connerly, Ronald Dworkin, Stanley Fish, Lyndon Johnson, Nicholas LeMann, Louis Pojman, George Sher, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Richard Wasserstrom, Cornell West, and Steven Yates. Included also are important legal decisions bearing on affirmative action.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573921572
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Series: Contemporary Issues Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 250
  • Lexile: 1440L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Francis J. Beckwith (Anaheim Hills, CA) is Associate Professor of Philosophy, Culture and Law at the Graduate and Law Schools of Trinity International University as well as Senior Research Fellow, Nevada Policy Research Institute. He is the co-editor of Are You Politically Correct? Todd Edwin Jones (Las Vegas, NV) is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Nevada.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: What Is Affirmative Action and What Is the Controversy About? 9
Pt. I The Public Policy Debate Over Affirmative Action
1 Taking Affirmative Action Part 34
2 To Fulfill These Rights: Commencement Address at Howard University (June 4, 1965) 56
3 The Sweet Music of Equal Treatment 64
4 The DeFunis Case: The Right to Go to Law School 70
5 Casualties and More Casualties: Surviving Affirmative Action (More or Less) 90
6 From Equal Opportunity to "Affirmative Action" 99
7 Nihilism in Black America 121
8 Affirmative Action: The Price of Preference 132
9 Reverse Racism, or How the Pot Got to Call the Kettle Black 142
10 Race-Neutral Programs and the Democratic Coalition 152
Pt. II Philosophical Discussions of Affirmative Action
11 The Moral Status of Affirmative Action 175
12 A Defense of Programs of Preferential Treatment 198
13 Is Racial Discrimination Special? 205
14 Goals and Quotas in Hiring and Promotion 214
15 Justifying Reverse Discrimination in Employment 227
Bibliography 239
About the Contributors 249
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