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Minority RelationsIntergroup Conflict and Cooperation$
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Greg Robinson and Robert S. Chang

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496810458

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496810458.001.0001

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date: 18 June 2019

The Birth and Death of Affirmative Action

The Birth and Death of Affirmative Action

Is Resurrection Possible?

Chapter:
(p.191) 7 The Birth and Death of Affirmative Action
Source:
Minority Relations
Author(s):

Stephen Steinberg

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496810458.003.0007

This chapter argues that the fatal flaw of the discourse on affirmative action is that it treats affirmative action as an ahistorical aberration. By reconstructing the history of efforts to offer compensation for past discrimination to African Americans, the chapter reveals that the most sustained and formidable opposition did not stem from White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) conservatives. Rather, it was Jewish intellectuals such as Sidney Hook and Nathan Glazer, who were involved as contributors to Commentary magazine, who devised the anti-affirmative action discourse adopted by later neoconservatives. The chapter also offers an analysis of the chances for a revival of affirmative action under the current political system in America.

Keywords:   affirmative action, discrimination, African Americans, WASP conservatives, Jewish intellectuals, Sidney Hook, Nathan Glazer, neoconservatives

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