Kenneth Tollett

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Racism and Race-Conscious Remedies

An exchange on whether American social and economic policy should emphasize special programs for blacks and other racial minorities or a more universal approach aimed equally at disadvantaged whites.

Racism and Race-Conscious Remedies Kenneth S. Tollett I am sad to observe that the views expressed by Professor William Julius Wilson ("Race-Neutral Programs and the Democratic Coalition, TAP , Spring 1990) are barely, if at all, distinguishable from those of so-called liberal or progressive whites. Of course, I am not objecting to his right to express his particular views. But I would like to see better represented the views of blacks who are more supportive of a race-conscious approach to public policy. Although Wilson is surely not a Glenn Loury, Thomas Sowell, or Shelby Steele, his views, like theirs, carry considerable force and persuasiveness and give aid and comfort to whites who resist race-conscious policies for reasons, I believe, inimical to the interest of blacks. Theda Skocpol ("Sustainable Social Policy: Fighting Poverty Without Poverty Programs, TAP , Summer 1990) uses Wilson's approach as a justification for universal policies in preference to targeted programs. I...