Assault on Affirmative Action

The Reaganauts tackle the dilemma of racial preference in hiring

Affirmative action is rooted in an uncomfortable reality: that to remedy the effects of past discrimination against blacks and women it is sometimes necessary to discriminate against white men. The Government shied from stating the proposition so boldly, but beginning with the Nixon Administration it put the principle into practice. Throughout the '70s Washington pressed employers to set explicit goals and timetables for the hiring of minorities, even if that meant tacitly accepting "reverse discrimination."

Ronald Reagan has tried to stage a countermarch. At his first press conference after he took office in 1981, Reagan said that some affirmative action programs...

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