Racial Quotas

May 17, 1991 • Volume 1
Can there be affirmative action without special preferences?
By Mary H. Cooper


The civil rights debates of the 1990s are a far cry from those of the 1960s. Gone is the stirring rhetoric of Martin Luther King's “I Have a Dream” speech. In its place is a single word: quotas. The resentments generated by the quota issue can be seen in debates over college admissions policies and in controversies over hiring and promotion. But the main focus is in Congress, where supporters of affirmative action are pushing a new civil rights bill. President Bush vetoed a similar measure last year, saying it would force employers to adopt racial quotas. The bill's supporters say it would do no such thing, and they accuse the president of using the quota issue to scare white voters. Looming over the debate is the 1992 presidential and congressional elections, which could be powerfully affected by the quota issue.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Affirmative Action
Oct. 17, 2008  Affirmative Action Updated
Jul. 11, 2003  Race in America
Sep. 21, 2001  Affirmative Action in Undergraduate Admissions
Jan. 23, 1998  The Black Middle Class
Feb. 23, 1996  Getting Into College
Apr. 28, 1995  Rethinking Affirmative Action
May 17, 1991  Racial Quotas
Apr. 14, 1989  Is Affirmative Action Still the Answer?
Jul. 31, 1981  Affirmative Action Reconsidered
Mar. 30, 1979  Affirmative Action Under Attack
Civil Rights and Civil Liberty Issues
Domestic Issues
Equal Employment Opportunity & Discrimination