By Carl Cohen
Racial personal tastes are one of the so much contentious concerns in our society, bearing on basic questions of equity and the correct position of racial different types in executive motion. Now modern philosophers, in a full of life debate, lay out the arguments on both sides. Carl Cohen, a key determine within the college of Michigan perfect complaints, argues that racial personal tastes are morally wrong--forbidden via the 14th modification to the structure, and explicitly banned by means of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He additionally contends that such personal tastes damage society usually, harm the schools that use them, and undermine the minorities they have been meant to serve. James P. Sterba counters that, faraway from being banned by means of the structure and the civil rights acts, affirmative motion is really mandated by means of legislations within the pursuit of a society that's racially and sexually simply. an analogous Congress that followed the 14th modification, he notes, handed race-specific legislation that prolonged reduction to blacks. certainly, there are many types of affirmative action--compensation for earlier discrimination, remedial measures aimed toward present discrimination, the warrantly of diversity--and Sterba studies the splendid lawsuits that construct a constitutional origin for every. Affirmative motion, he argues, favors certified minority applicants, now not unqualified ones. either authors provide concluding touch upon the collage of Michigan situations made up our minds in 2003. part a century after Brown v. Board of schooling, matters referring to racial discrimination proceed to grip American society. This penetrating debate explores the philosophical and felony arguments on each side of affirmative motion, but in addition finds the passions that force the difficulty to the vanguard of public lifestyles.
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Additional info for Affirmative Action and Racial Preference: A Debate (Point Counterpoint)
Preferences given to minority applicants are so greatly diluted by the size of the majority that their consequences are barely detectable. This argument is deceptive and its conclusion is false. True it is that only some in the majority are directly affected, and true also that after such preferences are given we often cannot know precisely who among the majority would have been appointed or admitted if that preferential system had not been in place. But it is not true that, because the group from whom the benefits are taken is large, the burden of preference is diluted or rendered insignificant.
Race preference is morally wrong because it violates this principle. 18 Identical treatment for everyone in all matters is certainly not just. Citizens have privileges and duties that aliens do not have; employers have opportunities and responsibilities that employees do not have; higher taxes may be rightly imposed upon those with higher incomes; the right to vote is withheld from the very young. Groups of persons may deserve different treatment because they are different in critical respects.
But ethnicity has no bearing whatever in many spheres, and in such spheres percentages cannot justifiably govern or distort the selection process. The alleged but uncertain benefits of some desired racial distribution do not override moral principles requiring fair treatment. Suppose we were confronted with very strong evidence that racially segregated classrooms improve learning and teaching. Suppose the evidence in support of segregated schools were far more impressive than the very thin materials now offered in support of ethnic diversity.