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By Carl Cohen

Racial personal tastes are one of the such a lot contentious concerns in our society, concerning basic questions of equity and the correct position of racial different types in govt motion. Now modern philosophers, in a full of life debate, lay out the arguments on both sides. Carl Cohen, a key determine within the collage of Michigan very best proceedings, argues that racial personal tastes are morally wrong--forbidden through 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 typically, harm the colleges 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 absolutely mandated by way of legislations within the pursuit of a society that's racially and sexually simply. a similar Congress that followed the 14th modification, he notes, handed race-specific legislation that prolonged relief to blacks. certainly, there are many different types of affirmative action--compensation for prior discrimination, remedial measures aimed toward present discrimination, the warrantly of diversity--and Sterba studies the best complaints that construct a constitutional origin for every. Affirmative motion, he argues, favors certified minority applicants, now not unqualified ones. either authors supply concluding touch upon the college of Michigan circumstances determined in 2003. part a century after Brown v. Board of schooling, matters concerning racial discrimination proceed to grip American society. This penetrating debate explores the philosophical and criminal arguments on each side of affirmative motion, but additionally finds the passions that force the problem to the vanguard of public lifestyles.

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Extra info for Affirmative Action and Racial Preference: A Debate (Point Counterpoint)

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Sex we reject. Privileges to which men are entitled cannot be denied to 18Aristotle wrote: “All men admit . . that equals ought to receive equally. ” Politics, book III, chapter 12. 23 24 Why Race Preference Is Wrong and Bad women. Religion we reject. Opportunities open to Methodists must be open to Baptists. Color we reject. When the state favors white skins over black skins—a common practice for centuries—we are now properly outraged. Such categories cannot determine desert. This matter is morally settled: in dealings with the state, persons may not be preferred because of their race, or color, or religion, or sex, or national origin.

The University of Texas long gave preference to all blacks seeking admission, claiming that by this preference it was giving remedy for the deprivations suffered by blacks in the Texas public schools. If some of the very finest public school students (and public school teachers) in Texas are black, as they surely are, the university’s racial favoritism could not even recognize that fact; the system was unable to attend to morally significant differences. Blackness in itself, naked race, was the ground of preference in Texas, and the finest black students of the Texas schools received preference in admission along with every other applicant whose skin was black.

The principles are found in those great documents because they are true. That “all men are created equal” is one way, perhaps the most famous way, of expressing the fundamental moral principle involved. A guarantee that the “equal protection of the laws” is not to be denied to any person by any state (as the Fourteenth Amendment to our Constitution provides) is one way of giving that moral principle political teeth. Our great documents recognize and realize moral truths grasped by persons everywhere: All the members of humankind are equally ends in themselves, all have equal dignity— and therefore all are entitled to equal respect from the community and its laws.

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