Equality Control: A Catholic Perspective on Affirmative Action in the Wake of the Recent Supreme Court Decisions
Massingale, Bryan N., U.S. Catholic
Once again this summer, the practice of affirmative action has stepped into. the forefront of our national consciousness. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent landmark decisions on the use of race in admissions to public colleges and professional schools, the issue of racial preferences in our society is receiving fresh scrutiny. The court's affirmation of affirmative action, while certainly significant, is by no means a final word. Affirmative action raises questions that are not only legal and constitutional, but also moral and religious.
The affirmative action debate challenges us to consider who really counts as an American and who we are to be as a nation. Christian faith and morality ask about the kinds of persons we ought to be, the sorts of actions we ought to do, and the kinds of communities we ought to be in light of our faith in Jesus Christ.
Then what are the ethical implications in the renewed affirmative action discussion? What wisdom can our faith offer as we struggle to build a more inclusive society and continue to wrestle with the evil of human exclusion?
What is affirmative action?
Affirmative action is an umbrella term given to practices that seek to address and rectify the pervasive discrimination and social stigma suffered by people of color and women. These measures strive to facilitate, encourage, or (rarely) compel the inclusion of these groups into the mainstream of American society.
Such practices include aggressive recruitment and targeted advertising campaigns; remedial-education and job-training programs; vigilant enforcement of nondiscrimination laws; flexible hiring goals, recruitment targets, and promotion timetables; weighting applications from members of racial minority groups by assigning these applicants additional points (much as is done for veterans applying for certain government positions); and--in the extremely rare case of entrenched discrimination and the failure of voluntary measures--mandatory hiring and/or promotion quotas.
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Publication information: Article title: Equality Control: A Catholic Perspective on Affirmative Action in the Wake of the Recent Supreme Court Decisions. Contributors: Massingale, Bryan N. - Author. Magazine title: U.S. Catholic. Volume: 68. Issue: 9 Publication date: September 2003. Page number: 29+. © 2008 Claretian Publications. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
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