THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FRAUD: Can We Restore the American Civil Rights Vision? by Clint Bolick

THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION FRAUD: Can We Restore the American Civil Rights Vision?

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As the charged title suggests, Bolick presents a polemic admitting of no debate, and his language is carefully weighted against counterargument. He mentions, for instance, his experiences lobbying in California to ratify a voucher system for children ""that would allow their parents to secure a decent education for them outside the failed public-school system,"" without ever saying why that system should be deemed a failure or what constitutes ""decent"" education. Bolick has made a career of fighting quotas as an attorney; he served in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during Ronald Reagan's second term, when, to his disgust, he learned that his employers ""were less concerned with the plight of white firefighters victimized by reverse discrimination than with those who had been left behind by the civil rights revolution."" Having been caught in the L.A. riots following the Rodney King verdict, Bolick concludes, by a circuitous train of logic, that civil rights remedies have no bearing on inner-city lives; those remedies, he argues, never trickle down to those who deserve them, but only ""reinforce the propensity of individuals to define themselves in terms of their race"" in a nation that purports to be color-blind. Nowhere does the author examine why affirmative action policies were thought advisable in the first place. Instead, he sees the continuing victimization of the deserving white majority in existing federal law, with worse to come: ""Quietly but ominously,"" he writes, ""the Clinton administration has set its civil rights policies on a radical course permeated by race-consciousness, brazenly breaking candidate Bill Clinton's 'new Democrat' assurances that he would pursue a politics of moderation and healing."" Given that affirmative action policies have supporters and opponents of all ideological stripes, Clint owes readers a more deliberate appraisal.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1996
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Cato