A Case for Affirmative Action

A Case for Affirmative Action

RACISM AND JUSTICE: THE CASE FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, by Gertrude Ezorsky. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991. 139 pp. Cloth $21.95; paper $6.95.

Gertrude Ezorsky presents a powerfully reasoned argument in favor of raising out of misery that part of the American population that has been relegated to the most miserable jobs and deprived of civil rights and humane treatment.

The book starts with a demonstration that there is still institutional racism in the United States. Space does not permit a listing of all the evidence. Let me mention only the fact that, according to a 1986 survey, in the thirty-two states where the death penalty has been imposed in the 1980s, the killer of a white is nearly three times more likely to be sentenced to death than the killer of a black. In 1980 blacks with a college education had a higher unemployment rate than did white high-school dropouts. This also applies to West Indians, who are usually thought of as doing better than American blacks. In New York City, a U.S.-born white male college graduate can expect to earn 50 percent more than an equally educated black male of West Indian ancestry.