Article Title

Another Approach to Racial Preferences

Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law


As the debate on "affirmative action" continues, its proponents have already won an important victory: the labeling of the term itself. The use of the term "affirmative action" in the context of modem political debate is flawed, for the modem discussion is not truly about affirmative action, but rather about racial preference. Labeling racial quotas, preferences, and set asides under the more general and less threatening term "affirmative action" is akin to the press labeling hard-line communists in the final days of the Soviet Union as "conservatives," or a politician labeling a decrease in the rate of growth of a federal spending program as a "cut."' These are all simply misnomers designed to mislead the public as to their proponents' true purpose.