Racial & Ethnic Politics Revision Notes

All of my notes from last year's course. Hope they help you.

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Racial & Ethnic Politics
Jim Crow Laws ­ laws made by the Southern states to essentially bypass the
14th Amendment (the one about protecting all citizens equally) ­ said that
separate was equal
Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896) ­ as long as facilities provided are equal,
separation of the races is fine (but they weren't equal!)
Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, separation cannot be equal
1960s stuff:
o Malcolm X (Nation of Islam movement)
o Etc.
Minority Representation
Equality of opportunity vs. equality of result
...In Government
o Me!
Presidential elections
State & local government
Affirmative Action
JFK 1961 (EEOC ­ Equal Employment Opportunity Council)
Lyndon Johnson 1965 ­ carried on from JFK by giving a whacking great AA
Busing & quotas ­ aim being multiculturalism
Nixon ­ first GOP President to support AA (opposed busing and quotas,
1971 Swann vs. CharlotteMecklenburg Board of Education
o Leads to busing
o Result: 90 to Swann
1978 California vs. Bakke
o Restricts right of university to use AA
o Result: 54 to Bakke
1995 Adarand Constructors vs. Pena
o Struck down AA programme that gave bonuses to roadbuilding
contractors hiring subcontractors that hired minority workers
o Result: 54 to Adarand
1997 Proposition 209
o Made all AA programmes in California illegal
o Followed by Washington in '98, and Florida in 2000

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Arguments for AA
Leads to greater diversity which would not be achieved by leaving things as
they were
Rights previous wrongs (makes AA almost entirely for AfricanAmericans)
Opens up areas of education and employment which minorities otherwise
would not have been considered ­ maximises potential of the population
In education, diversity creates a better learning environment and one in which
ethnic and racial tolerance is promoted
Most meaningful and effective means thus devised by government for
delivering the promise of equal opportunity
It works: 196095,…read more


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