The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action

By Richard D. Kahlenberg | Go to book overview

Notes

Note: This book crosses several disciplines--law, sociology, philosophy, and political science. Citations employ a social science rather than a legal format, since the former is likely to be more familiar to most readers.


Introduction
1.
Sen. Robb recounted this exchange in an address to the Senate; see Congressional Record, October 15, 1991, S14688.
2.
By "class," I mean socioeconomic status (SES). See ch. 5.
3.
Some object to the use of the word preferences and particularly to using preferences as a synonym for affirmative action; see Dorothy Gilliam, "Damaging, Destructive Doublespeak," Washington Post, June 17, 1995, H1 (complaining about the press's use of the word preferences to describe a federal program giving a 10 percent bonus to contractors who use minority subcontractors); Louis Harris, "Affirmative Action and the Voter," New York Times, July 31, 1995, A13; and Geneva Overholster, "Preferential Treatments," Washington Post, August 13, 1995, C6. But "preferences" are precisely what the controversy over affirmative action is all about, and the two terms will be used interchangeably in this book. Almost everyone favors making sure there is a diverse applicant pool (what I call "old-style affirmative action"), and almost everyone opposes quotas for the unqualified. The nub of the disagreement is over "preferences"--counting race or gender in favor of otherwise less qualified women or people of color.

It is not the use of the term preference that makes race- and gender-based decision- making unpopular. When polls ask whether race should be "a factor when deciding who is hired, promoted or admitted to college," the same negative reaction is registered as when the word preference is used; see Washington Post/ Kaiser Family Foundation/ Harvard University Survey, Washington Post, October 11, 1995, A1, A12. By contrast, veterans' "preferences" are broadly supported. The policy I advocate--class-based affirmative action-- will be used interchangeably with class preferences. I argue that class preferences are justified, and therefore do not shrink behind more euphemistic terms like class-conscious remedies to describe what is in fact a preference.

4.
Richard Morin and Sharon Warden, "Americans Vent Anger at Affirmative Action," Washington Post, March 24, 1995, A1, A4.
5.
Jeffries, Justice Powell, 473.
6.
Dershowitz and Hanft, "College Diversity,"383.
7.
Jeffries, Justice Powell, 469.
8.
White House Office of the Press Secretary, Remarks by the President on Affirmative Action, July 19, 1995, 5. Northwestern University's Charles Moskos also approvingly cites the army's use of the Bakke straddle; see Charles Moskos, "Affirmative Action: The Army's Success . . . ," Washington Post, March 15, 1995, A19.
9.
The initiative provides: "Neither the State of California nor any of its political subdivisions or agents shall use race, sex, color, or national origin as a criterion for either discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group in the operation of the State's system of public employment, public education or public contracting"; see Quentin L. Kopp and Bill Leonard, "Take the Initiative on Reverse Discrimination," Wall Street Journal, June 6, 1994. Early polls suggest it could pass by a wide margin; see Mona Charney, "Lack of Funds Threatens California Civil Rights Initiative," Fresno Bee, November 2, 1995, B7, citing Field poll finding 65 percent support for CCRI; Charles Krauthammer, "Affirmative Action: The Debate Is Over," Washington Post, April 14, 1995, A21; and "Affirmative Action on the Edge," U.S. News and World Report, February 13, 1995, 32.

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The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Praise for The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action i
  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Preface to the Paperback Edition xv
  • Introduction - The Lost Thread xxiii
  • Part I 1
  • 1 - The Early Aspirations of Affirmative Action 3
  • 2 - Affirmative Action Gone Astray 16
  • 3 - A Report Card on Affirmative Action Today 42
  • Part 2 81
  • 4 - The Case for Class- Based Affirmative Action 83
  • 5 - The Mechanics of Class- Based Affirmative Action 121
  • 6 - Six Myths About Class-Based Preferences 153
  • Part 3 181
  • 7 - Picking Up the Lost Thread 183
  • Notes 211
  • Bibliography 322
  • Index 339
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