Civil Rights: What Price Preference?

Fears mount that affirmative action may cheapen black achievements while failing to help the underclass

As the Supreme Court confirmation hearings on Clarence Thomas made evident, affirmative action to benefit blacks and other minorities has become one of the most bitterly controversial social policies in the U.S. Some whites have opposed the idea from day one. Others initially accepted the concept of social justice but now argue that racial preferences have gone on long enough and ask whether minorities expect special treatment in perpetuity. Beyond the white backlash is a growing body of dissent, or at least disquiet, among blacks -- including some who have benefited directly from affirmative action.

They offer three striking arguments: 1)...

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