Affirmative Action May Still Be Saved

By Clarence Page Copyright Tribune Media Services Inc. | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), June 2, 1995 | Go to article overview

Affirmative Action May Still Be Saved


Clarence Page Copyright Tribune Media Services Inc., St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Life is filled with great debates. For example: Is Certs a "breath mint" or a "candy mint"? Is Miller Lite "less filling" or does it "taste great"? So it is with most of the current debate about affirmative action.

We have little agreement over what good or harm it does largely because there is so little agreement over what it is.

Is it an anti-poverty program? Or is it an equal-opportunity program? Is it a diversity program to create enrollments and payrolls that "look like America" and produce more role models?

Or is it a reparations program, suitable only to native-born blacks and other groups who can claim specific historical grievances? Or is it a remedial program, intended to make up for specific discrimination at specific com)act, affirmative action can be any or all of these things, plus several more I probably have left out.

That's why so many of those who argue the topic talk past each other. They simply are not talking about the same thing. That's why polls regarding affirmative action show that a clear majority either opposes it or supports it, depending on how the question is phrased. That's why reports of affirmative action's death are, in Mark Twain's word, exaggerated.

The Supreme Court's recent Adarand Constructors vs. Pena decision does what every other Supreme Court decision on affirmative action has done: It weakens affirmative action and prunes away its excesses, while defending the formidable mission that affirmative action is trying to accomplish.

Most of the court refused to go along with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas' extreme view that the government never has an interest in imposing racial preferences.

After all, one person's "preferences" are another person's efforts to "include" and to diversify beyond one group that always has enjoyed special preferences in the past.

For example, a blond, blue-eyed Washington lawyer I know jokes that he "got into Harvard under an affirmative action program for Nebraskans." Yes, diversity has its virtues - for white men, too.

Still, a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court did agree that such preferences for women or minorities must be "narrowly tailored," limited to a specific time period and imposed only as a last resort. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Affirmative Action May Still Be Saved
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.