Preserving Privilege

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Gibbs and Bankhead examine the history and current situation in California as it struggles to deal with the ethnic and racial change that will make it the first American state to have a non-white majority in the first decade of the 21st century. From shock and denial, to bargaining to change the outcome, they analyze the impact in California and what this may mean for the rest of the country.

They begin by tracing the major historical, social, economic and political events of the past 50 years that laid the foundation for the impetus of such ethnically and racially divisive initiatives as the efforts to strengthen anti-crime measures, remove illegal immigrants, limit affirmative action measures, and eliminate bilingual education. Each of these ballot propositions is examined, detailing the pro and con arguments of their advocates and opponents, their major financial contributors, campaign strategies, ethnic voting patterns, implications of implementation, and their impact on people of color. Gibbs and Bankhead then look at parallels from a national and international perspective. They conclude with a discussion of the values that should guide public policy debates in a multiethnic, multicultural society, and they propose specific policy alternatives to address the issues of crime prevention and control, illegal immigration, affirmative action, and bilingual education. A thoughtful analysis that will be of value to concerned citizens as well as policy makers, scholars, and students of contemporary American issues.

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Editorial Reviews

As the most populous US state moves toward the country's first non-white majority in the first decade of the century, Gibbs and Bankhead (both social work, U. of California-Berkeley) examine the impact of the demographic trends. They trace the major historical, social, economic, and political events of the past half century that have laid the foundation for such ethnically and racially divisive initiatives as efforts to strengthen anti- crime measures, remove illegal immigrants, limit affirmative action, and eliminate bilingual education. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275969912
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/30/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

JEWELLE TAYLOR GIBBS is the Zellerbach Family Fund Professor of Social Policy, Community Change, and Practice, Emerita, at the School of Social Work, University of California at Berkeley. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist. Gibbs is editor of Young, Black and Male in America: An Endangered Species (Auburn House, 1988), author of Race and Justice: Rodney King and O. J. Simpson in a House Divided (1996), and co-author of Children of Color: Psychological Interventions with Culturally Diverse Youth (1998).

TEIAHSHA BANKHEAD is a doctoral candidate at the School of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley.

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Table of Contents


The California Crucible: Melting Pot or Caldron

Coming to California: Chasing the Dream

Los Angeles: The Legacy of Rodney King

California's Three Strikes Initiative: The Politics of Crime and Corrections

Saving Our State: Demonizing the Immigrants

Affirmative Action: Resisting Change, Reclaiming Privilege

Bilingual Education: Language, Culture and Identity

Culture Wars at Home and Abroad: National and International Trends

The Politics of Identity: Conflict or Co-existence?

Meeting the Millennium: Making Multiculturalism Work


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