Rethinking Affirmative Action

April 28, 1995 • Volume 5, Issue 16
Are policies based on race and gender unfair?
By Kenneth Jost


Affirmative action has emerged as one of the nation's hottest political issues. Supporters say the policy has opened opportunities for women and minorities and is still needed to offset discrimination. Critics say it has evolved into quotas, preferences and set-asides that amount to reverse discrimination against white males. Republican lawmakers and presidential hopefuls want to end affirmative action; President Clinton has called for an internal review of affirmative action policies in scores of federal programs. In California, a proposed ballot initiative would outlaw race- and gender-based policies in public education, public employment and government contracting. Polls show Americans favor affirmative action but oppose quotas and preferences. The issue is likely to simmer through the 1996 elections.

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
Affirmative Action
Civil Rights: African Americans
Civil Service
Domestic Issues
Equal Employment Opportunity & Discrimination
Segregation and Desegregation