Racism and Justice: The Case for Affirmative Action

Racism and Justice: The Case for Affirmative Action

Racism and Justice: The Case for Affirmative Action

Racism and Justice: The Case for Affirmative Action

Synopsis

Affirmative action: does it really counteract racism? Is it morally justifiable? In her timely and tough-minded book, Gertrude Ezorsky addresses these central issues in the ongoing controversy surrounding affirmative action, and comes up with some convincing answers.

Excerpt

The affirmative action programs begun in the 1960s have been diminished in the 1980s in response to a different political climate. in this book I hope to make alive, once again, the rationales for those programs and to answer their critics.

This book focuses on black persons as beneficiaries of affirmative action in employment. in adopting that focus I do not mean to deny the entitlement of other minorities, women, or groups such as the handicapped to such benefits. Blacks, however, as descendants of slaves brought to this country against their will and as victims of the post-Reconstruction century of murderous racism, which was encouraged, practiced, and given legal sanction by our government, have a unique entitlement to special efforts to ensure their fair share of employment benefits.

An important purpose of affirmative action programs in employment may best be understood as racial desegregation of the American workplace, but the programs also significantly affect the working lives of millions of Americans--their access to professional and skill training, their place in the hierarchy of employment, and, consequently, the living standard they and their families enjoy. in this book, I argue that affirmative action is warranted on both practical and moral grounds. To understand the rationale for affirmative action, however, we must start by distancing ourselves from the controversy over its merits. Part . . .

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