The Affirmative Action Debate

By George E. Curry | Go to book overview

The Future of Affirmative Action

Louis Harris

The country is witnessing a concerted and well-planned campaign to destroy affirmative action for women and minorities. In the end this effort will fail, partly because those behind it are totally misreading public opinion. Every poll that has asked the simple question of whether people "favor or oppose affirmative action -- without strict quotas" has obtained a similar result: the country favors affirmative action. Support runs 55% to 40% in our latest poll, slightly down from the average majority of 60% to 38% who have favored affirmative action over the past twenty-five years.

Yet if one picks up nearly any newspaper or views nearly any TV news program or reads certain chapters in this book, the impression abounds that public opinion has turned drastically against affirmative action and that it just is no longer needed. The reason is that the Far Right forces think they have found the formula for defeating affirmative action and using it as the major wedge issue to win the 1996 election, especially the White House. Governor Pete Wilson of California based his whole campaign for the presidency on the issue. Senator Bob Dole, with a long record of support for affirmative action, introduced a bill that would virtually outlaw affirmative action at the federal level.

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The Affirmative Action Debate
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • With Contributions By ii
  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • 1 - The Beginning 1
  • Staying on the Path to Racial Equality 3
  • To Fulfill These Rights 16
  • A Personal Footnote in History 25
  • Affirmative Action in Context 31
  • 2 - On the Job 36
  • Affirmative Action in the Workplace 39
  • Performing Without a Net 49
  • Performing Without a Net 49
  • Diversity in Corporate America 76
  • Notes 76
  • Who Has Benefited from Affirmative Action in Employment? 95
  • 3 - The Economics of Affirmative Action 97
  • The Business of Affirmative Action 99
  • Personal Responsibility 111
  • Notes 119
  • Why America Needs Set-Aside Programs 121
  • 4 - A Question of Justice 127
  • An Experiment Gone Awry 130
  • Standing in the Right Place 137
  • Race and The Supreme Court's 1994-95 Term 146
  • The Supreme Court Ruled Correctly in Adarand 163
  • 5 - Beyond Black and White 165
  • The Minority-Majority Society 167
  • Why Women Need Affirmative Action 182
  • Notes 182
  • Invisible Latinos: Excluded from Discussions of Inclusion 190
  • The Latinos Experience 190
  • Beyond the Model Minority Myth 205
  • 6 - In the Field 208
  • Sitting in for Diversity Victoria Valle 210
  • Notes 215
  • The Color Line and the "Thin Blue Line" 226
  • Affirmative Action in the Army: Why It Works 227
  • 7 - The Political Issue 239
  • Tracing the Politics of Affirmative Action 241
  • Notes 256
  • Mend It, Don't End It 258
  • The Meaning of American Equality 285
  • Race-Baiting and the 1996 Presidential Campaign 288
  • 8 - Closing Arguments 297
  • Affirmative Action: Why We Need It, Why It is Under Attack 299
  • Note 313
  • Promoting Racial Harmony 314
  • The Future of Affirmative Action 326
  • Bibliography 337
  • About the Editor 343
  • About the Contributors 345
  • Index 355
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