affirmative action

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Aug 30 08:37:40 MDT 1999

For those at the bottom of the American economic ladder, the recent boom
years have brought nothing but economic malaise as Andrew Hacker's
statistics in the 1997 "Money: Who Has How Much and Why" (Scribner, 1997)
indicate. Black male college graduates get only $739 for every $1,000 going
to their white counterparts by the time they are between the ages of
thirty-five and forty-four. The only explanation for this is racism.
Nothing angers Hacker more than the notion that blacks are a privileged
group. Addressing the resentment toward affirmative action programs, Hacker
notes that it is the public sector that has done much more to remedy past
injustices than the private sector, especially the military, postal
service, health, education and social services. Continuing efforts to
balance federal, state and municipal budgets are not only detrimental to
those who benefit from the programs, but to those who administer them as
well. Layoffs occured with great frequency and mercilessness in the public
sector, as Black administrators were thrown into the ranks of the unemployed.

Private corporations, despite public relations effort to correct their
racist reputations, remain lily-white at the top levels. Only 5 of 104
corporations--Sears, Xerox, Mobil, Kraft and Merrill Lynch--have
African-Americans in senior executive positions. The Forbes 400 list has
cited more than a thousand different men and women since it began the
survey in 1982. Of this group, only five--less than one-half of one
percent--has been black.

Louis Proyect


More information about the Marxism mailing list