Racism and Justice: The Case for Affirmative Action

Gertrude Ezorsky, Author Cornell University Press $25 (139p) ISBN 978-0-8014-2622-3
Ezorsky ( Moral Rights in the Workplace ) focuses in this extended essay on affirmative action as a means to ending discrimination against African-Americans, arguing that the unique history of black Americans makes them a perfect test case of the policy's efficacy. She writes that ``from the post-Reconstruction period to the present . . . racist practices have continued to transmit and reinforce the consequences of slavery,'' relegating most blacks to jobs that would, 150 years ago, have been reserved for slaves. Moreover, she points out, race-neutral policies such as seniority have the same effect as overtly racist exclusion. Ezorsky's discussion of affirmative action programs is quietly methodical and admirably clear-headed; her prose, unfortunately, is often as dry as it is deliberate. When she turns her attention to the opposition, however, she begins to warm to the task. Although her argument is buttressed by key documents from recent studies, programs and legal cases, one wishes she had gone into greater detail on the nuts-and-bolts effects of the programs. Even so, the book is a useful starting point for any discussion of the morality of affirmative action. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 136 pages - 978-0-8014-9922-7
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