Ethics Updates


Race, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism

Multimedia Resources on Race, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism

Lawrence M. Hinman

Online Surveys

Internet Resources on Race, Ethnicity and Human Rights

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Supreme Court Decisions

Human Rights Resources

Multiculturalism Resources

  • Diversity Resources
    • University of Maryland. Excellent resources on a wide range of diversity issues, including resources for race and ethnicity, gender, age, physical ability, and class.

See the excellent selection of sources in Elizabeth Anderson's "Dialogue on Diversity: Bibliography on Race, Gender, and Affirmative Action."

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • A rich set of resources relating to Dr. King, including audio clips from speeches. Maintained by the Seattle Times.

Black History Resources

Racism Resources

  • Inheriting Slavery   Review of Edward Ball's book Slaves in the Family.  Ball rewrites his family legends in an effort to bring black and white history together. 
  • A Family Business Excerpt from Slaves in the Family. "In his will, Elias devoted considerable thought to Dolly, whom he called his 'Molattoe Wench.'"
  • Sawmill Excerpt from Slaves in the Family.  "'They build the chimney with clay. But oh Lord, if it rains, you have to keep a fire all night so it don't fall.'"
  • The President's Proclamation  by Ralph Waldo Emerson (Novermber, 1862) "And the aim of the war on our part is indicated by the aim of the President's Proclamation, namely, to break up the false combination of Southern society, to destroy the piratic feature in it which makes it our enemy only as it is the enemy of the human race, and so allow its reconstruction on a just and healthful basis. Then new affinities will act, the old repulsions will cease, and, the cause of war being removed, Nature and trade may be trusted to establish a lasting peace."
  • The Heart of the Race Problem by Quincy Ewing (March, 1909)  "The foundation of [the race problem], true or false, is the white man's conviction that the Negro as a race, and as an individual, is his inferior.... The problem itself ... is the white man's determination to make good this conviction, coupled with constant anxiety lest, by some means, he should fail to make it good."
  • Denmark Vesey by Thomas Wentworth Higginson (June, 1861) "Men in authority came and sought by promises, threats, and even tortures, to ascertain the names of other accomplices. His companion, wearied out with pain and suffering, and stimulated by the hope of saving his own life, at last began to yield. Peter [Poyas] raised himself, leaned upon his elbow, looked at the poor fellow, saying quietly, 'Die like a man,' and instantly lay down again. It was enough; not another word was extorted."

Affirmative Action Resources

NPR's "Talk of the Nation"

Racial Screening (14.4 | 28.8)  Racial profiling can describe a situation where cops use skin color as a reason to frisk, or cabs passing by black customers, or why whites feel for their wallets when in an elevator with minorities. As a police policy, it's been attacked by Amnesty International. As an instinct, it can only be cured by long and brutally honest conversations. Join Brooke Gladstone and guests for a look at racial profiling as government policy and personal inclination.  November 30, 1999.

Youth & Race (14.4 | 28.8Guests: Michael Meyers Executive Director of New York Civil Rights Coalition, Beverley Daniel Tatum, Dean of Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA, Professor of Psychology and Education, Mount Holyoke College, Author, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? And Other Conver- sations About Race (Basic Books, 97)  The young Americans of today make up the most racially diverse generation in our nation's history. Polls indicate that young people tend to have more relaxed attitudes to race relations, but other indicators suggest that racial tensions on high school and college campuses are still a problem. Join Melinda Penkava and guests to discuss young Americans' attitudes toward race.  October 11, 1999.

Native American Land Claims (14.4 | 28.8Guests:  SUZANNE SHOWN HARJO
President and Executive Director of the Morningstar Institute, a national,
non-profit, Indian rights organization.  Thirty years ago, a group of Native American activists occupied Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay, drawing national attention to the struggle of Native Americans across the country. Today, the 'Red Power' movement has faded from the minds of most Americans, but many Native Americans still feel their treaty-secured rights and sovereignty are unfulfilled. Join Melinda Penkava and guests on Columbus Day for a look at the state of Native American lands at the end of the twentieth century.  October 11, 1999.

White Male Discontent (14.4 | 28.8Guests:  SUSAN FALUDI Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle award winner Contributing Editor for Newsweek Author, Stiffed: the Betrayal of the American Man (William Morrow and Company, 1999)  ELWOOD REID  Author, What Salmon Know (Doubleday, 1999) Writes for GQ Magazine on men's issues.  There's been growing talk about 'white male discontent' in America, and surprisingly a prominent feminist thinks these men DO have something to gripe about. In her new book Stiffed, Pulitzer-Prize winning author Susan Faludi examines the social and cultural influences underlying men's anger and alienation and what both men and women are doing to address these problems. Susan Faludi and guests join Ray Suarez for a discussion of how men today are searching for a new, and more meaningful, definition of masculinity.  September 22, 1999.

Lone Wolf Hate Crimes (14.4 | 28.8)  A number of recent hate crimes have been committed by so-called 'lone wolf' types. While no organized hate groups can be connected to these attacks, the 'lone wolf' strategy has long been advocated by some white supremacist groups. Can these groups be held responsible for attacks like last week's shooting at a Jewish center? Join Ray Suarez and guests for a look at what's been called the 'leaderless resistance.'  August 18, 1999.

St. Louis Desegregation (14.4 | 28.8) This past March, a 27-year-old desegregation lawsuit against St. Louis public schools was finally settled. In 1972, Minnie Liddell and other black parents filed suit against the St. Louis School Board to allow their children to go to a local school that was predominantly white. In the intervening years, a court-ordered desegregation plan, involving a voluntary city-county busing program, was put in place. The settlement reached in March would continue the transfer program for the next three years, but its status is uncertain after then. Ray Suarez takes "Talk of the Nation" on the road to St. Louis to look at this landmark settlement agreement and how it will affect the future of St. Louis's public schools. May 27, 1999.

Deadly Force and Race (14.4 | 28.8Guests:  Bob Stewart Executive Director of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Alexandria, VA Former Chief of Police, Ormond Beach, FL Retired in 1991 as captain after 22 years of service in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Dept. William Geller Director of Geller & Associates in Wilmette, IL (offers technical assistance, education & research to police departments and governments on humane policing) Author, Police Violence: Understanding & Controlling Police Abuse of the Force [Yale University Press, 1996]  Amadou Diallo, an immigrant from West Africa, was killed in the Bronx by four police officers in a barrage of forty-one shots early this month. He was unarmed and had no criminal record. Some civil rights groups have asserted that this incident is symptomatic of a larger problem -- police using deadly force disproportionately against minorities. How can police departments win the trust of minority communities? Join Ray Suarez and guests for a look inside police culture and a discussion of ways training programs can help police departments avoid tragedies like Diallo's death...on the next "Talk of the Nation" from NPR News. February 23, 1999. 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (14.4 | 28.8Guests:  Desmond Tutu, Former Archbishop of the Anglican Church of South Africa; Robert W. Woodruff, Visiting Professor of Theology, Emory University, Chair, South Africa's Truth & Reconciliation Commission\rArchbishop Desmond Tutu is reknowned for his campaign against apartheid in South Africa. In 1996, he was appointed chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). In an effort to unite South Africans, this unique Commission aimed at getting to the truth of apartheid crimes against humanity. The TRC's final report, released in October, created intense emotions on all sides. It held both the apartheid government and freedom fighters accountable for various human rights violations. Host Ray Suarez talks with Bishop Tutu about his work on the TRC, the report, and what other countries might learn from the process. November 23, 1998.

Integration of the Military Guests:  William Leftwich III Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Equal Opportunity; Charles Moskos Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University Military Sociologist and Architect of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy Co-author, All That We Can Be: Black Leadership & Racial Integration The Army Way [NY Basic Books, 1997] Charity Adams Earley Highest Ranking African-American Servicewoman in WWII Author, One Woman's Army: A Black Officer Remembers the WAC [Texas A&M University Press, 1989] \rFifty years ago, President Truman signed an executive order abolishing racial segregation in the U.S. military. African Americans have fought in all conflicts dating back to colonial times. But until 1948, blacks and whites were divided into separate units. Today, the military is one of the most racially integrated institutions in the country. Join Ray Suarez and guests to mark the 50th anniversary of military integration and look at the challenges the military still faces.  July 27, 1998

Whiteness Studies   Host:  Ray Suarez.  What does it mean to be white? How does a person's "whiteness" affect their political and social consciousness? How do white people perceive themselves in the racial spectrum? These are all questions addressed in the new academic field known as Whiteness Studies. Scholars of the discipline believe that formal analysis and understanding of "whiteness" will help bring important perspective to America's conversation on race.  July 14, 1998.

David Halberstam / Civil Rights Movement   Guests:  David Halberstam Author, The Children [Random House, 1998] Author of nine bestsellers including The Best and the Brightest, The Amateurs [William Morrow, 1985] and Summer of '49 [William Morrow, 1989], In 1960, David Halberstam was a young reporter in Tennessee assigned to cover Nashville's first sit-ins. In his new book "The Children," Halberstam returns to the first big story he covered for a newspaper - the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. The book focuses on the young African Americans students who met in Nashville and went on to become leaders in the movement. David Halberstam joins Ray Suarez along with some of "the children" he profiles to discuss the civil rights movement and how their experiences transformed their lives and American history. April 21, 1998.

Lani Guinier   Guests:  Lani Guinier Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law         School, Philadelphia, PA Author, Lift Every Voice: Turning A Civil Rights Setback Into A New Vision of Social Justice [Simon and Schuster, 1998] \r In 1993 President Clinton abandoned his support of Lani Guinier as his choice for Assistant Attorney General (AAG) for Civil Rights, concurring with her critics that some of her views were anti-democratic. Now Guinier has written a memoir about her controversial AAG nomination and her new vision of the civil rights movement. Guinier joins Ray Suarez to discuss her experience with the Clinton White House and her work as a civil rights activist.  March 31, 1998

Hate Crimes

  • Read Andrew Sullivan's article in the New York Times Magazine on hate crimes, "What's So Bad about Hate?" and then listen to the Talk of the Nation interview with him.
  • Hate  Crimes.  Noah Adams talks with Brian Levin, director of the Center on Hate and Extremism at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, about hate crime legislation. Levin says hate crime law acts as a deterrent because hate crime perpetrators are punished more severely in states where such laws exist. Wyoming has no hate crime laws (October 13,1998).
  • Preventing Hate Crimes.  Host: Ray Suarez.  Guests: Clarence Anthony, Mayor of South Bay, Florida, President of the National League of Cities; Dennis W. Archer, Mayor of Detroit, Michigan, Second Vice President, National League of Cities; Tine Podlodowski, Seattle City Council At Large Member, Co-Chair, International Network of Lesbian and Gay Officials, Chair, Seattle City Council's Public Safety, Health and Technology Committee.   The murder of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas was horrific, but there have been a spate of gruesome hate crimes in America recently. The pattern of violence has civic officials scrambling for answers. Some states have hate crime prevention laws, but beyond the law, many feel a change of attitude is necessary. The mayors of some cities are proposing a community approach to fight bigotry and hate.
  • Internet HateOctober 21, 1997 -- The Anti-Defamation League released a report today on what it calls the dark side the Internet. It says the World Wide Web is a powerful new tool for groups that want to spread messages of hate and extremism. NPR's Kathleen Schalch reports the study says the Internet offers racists, anti-Semites, and anti-government extremists, another way to recruit new members and spread misinformation - particularly to young people.
  • Race Relations/President's Race Speech. June 12, 1997.
    • Part One. Guests: Jim Sleeper, Author of Liberal Racism (Viking, 1997); Emma Coleman Jordan, Co-Author of Race, Gender, and Power in America (Oxford University Press).
    • Part Two. Guests: Jim Sleeper, Author of Liberal Racism (Viking, 1997); Emma Coleman Jordan, Co-Author of Race, Gender, and Power in America (Oxford University Press); Leon Wynter, Columnist, The Wall Street Journal, Commentator, NPR's All Things Considered.
  • Tuskegee Apology. May 15, 1997.
    • Guests: Vanessa Gamble, Chair, Tuskegee Syphilis Study Legacy Committee, Physician and Historian of Medicine, Director, Center for Study of Race and Ethnicity in Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Stephen Thomas, Director and Associate Professor of Community Health, Institute for Minority Health Research, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University Host: Melinda Penkav
  • Racial Categories. Host: Ray Suarez. April 8, 1997
  • Biography of Elijah Muhammad. Guest: Claude Andrew Clegg III, Author of An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad, Professor of History, North Carolina A&T State University. Host: Ray Suarez. March 17, 1997.
  • W.E.B. Du Bois. Guests: Louis Massiah, Producer/Director, "W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography in Four Voices," to be aired February 7 (9pm EST), on PBS, Producer/Director of the award-winning series, "Eyes on the Prize II;" Earle Lewis, Professor of History, and Professor of Afro-American and African Studies, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Senior Associate Dean, University of Michigan Graduate School; Harold Cruse, Professor Emeritus of History and African American Studies, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. February 6, 1997.
  • Race Relations On Campus. Guests: Elise Bryant, Founding member of Common Ground Theater Troupe, Ann Arbor, MI, Playwright, actress, director and singer, has spent 22 years at the University of Michigan; Jamie Hart, Gradaute Student in History Department, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Diversity Training Coordinator for Office of New Student Programs, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; Thomas Almaguer, Associate Professor of Sociology and American Culture, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Author of Racial Faultlines: Historical Origins of WhiteSupremacy in California (University of California Press, 1994). February 6, 1997.
  • Ebonics. Guests: Jack White, National Correspondent, Time Magazine in Washington,DC; Dr. Richard Wright, Professor of Linguistics, School of Communications, Howard University, Author of African American Oratory, The Encyclopedia of African American History and Culture. Published by the Institute for Culture Studies at Columbia University. January 21, 1997.
  • Affirmative Action In the Army. Guests: Charles Moskos, Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University, Author of All That We Can Be: Black Leadership and Racial Integration The Army Way Basic Books, 1996; General Donald Scott, Deputy Librarian of Congress, Retired Brigadier General, U.S Army. December 10, 1996.
  • Transracial Adoption. Guests: Dr. Ruby Gourdine, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Howard University; Gloria Hochman, Director of Communications and Marketing National Adoption Center, Philadelphia, PA. December 5, 1996.
  • Biracial Identity. Lisa Funderburg, Author of Black, White, Other: Biracial Americans Talk About Race and Identity (William Morrow, 1994). November 14, 1995.
  • Louis Gates and Cornel West. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Professor of Humanities, Harvard University, Chairman, Harvard University African-American Studies, Co-Author of The Future of the Race (Knopf, 1996); Cornel West, Professor of African-American Studies, Harvard University. April 4, 1996 .
  • Afrocentrism. Guests: Mary Lefkowitz, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Wellesley College, Author of Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth As History (Basic, 1996); Maulana Karenga, Professor and Chair, Department of Black Studies, California State University. July 9, 1996
  • Non-racist Kids. Guests: Barbara Mathias and Mary Ann French, co-authors of 40 Ways to Raise a Nonracist Child. July 9, 1996

Hugh LaFollette's "Ideas and Issues"


  • New York Times articles on Ebonics
  • Ebonics. NPR's Talk of the Nation. Guests: Jack White, National Correspondent, Time Magazine in Washington,DC; Dr. Richard Wright, Professor of Linguistics, School of Communications, Howard University, Author of African American Oratory, The Encyclopedia of African American History and Culture. Published by the Institute for Culture Studies at Columbia University. January 21, 1997.

On-Line Literature on Race and Ethnicity

  • Ned Block, "How Heritability Misleads about Race," The Boston Review, XX, no 6, January, 1996, p. 30-35.
  • Eugene F. Rivers, 3d, "Beyond the Nationalism of Fools: Toward An Agenda for Black Intellectuals," The Boston Review, 1996. Replies by Michael Berube, Tony Martin, Robin D. G. Kelley, Martin Kilson, Glenn C. Loury, Bruce Nichols, Lisa Y. Sullivan, Karen Lattea, Willard R. Johnson, Mark Tushnet, Bob Hulteen.
  • Eugene Rivers, "The Responsibility of Intellectuals in the Age of Crack," The Boston Review.
    • Discussion with Regina Austin, Selwyn Cudjoe, bell hooks, Randall Kennedy, and Eugene Rivers, moderated by Margaret Burnham
    • Forum with Margaret Burnham, former Associate Justice at Boston Municipal Court and lecturer in Political Science at M.I.T; Henry Louis Gates, Jr., W.E.B DuBois Professor of the Humanities and Director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University; bell hooks, Visiting Professor in Women's Studies at City College of New York; Glenn Loury, Professor of Economics at Boston University; and Cornel West, Professor of Religion and Director of the Afro-American Studies Program at Princeton University. The discussion was moderated by Anthony Appiah, Professor of African-American Studies at Harvard and a member of the editorial board of the Boston Review.
    • Glenn C. Loury, "The Poverty of Reason"
  • Wendy Brown, "The Power of Rights, A Review of The Alchemy of Race and Rights: Diary of a Law Professor, by Patricia J. Williams." The Boston Review.
  • Stanley Fish, "Reverse Racism, or How the Pot Got to Call the Kettle Black," (Atlantic Monthly, 1993).
    • In America "whites once set themselves apart from blacks and claimed privileges for themselves while denying them to others," the author writes. "Now, on the basis of race, blacks are claiming special status and reserving for themselves privileges they deny to others. Isn't one as bad as the other? The answer is no." A distinguished professor confronts the objections to affirmative action and offers a spirited rebuttal.
  • Juan Williams, "A Question of Fairness," (Atlantic Monthly, 1987).
    • This is an interesting portrait of Clarence Thomas before he was nominated to the Supreme Court. "Clarence Thomas, a black, and the chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, does not believe in integration, affirmative action, or the possibility of a colorblind society. His job, he believes, is to protect individuals, not groups."
  • McGeorge Bundy, "The Issue Before the Court: Who Gets Ahead in America?" (Atlantic Monthly, 1977)
  • Claude M. Steele, "Race and the Schooling of Black Americans," (Atlantic Monthly, 1992).
    • "At every educational level something depresses black achievement, writes the author, a well-known social scientist. That something, he believes, goes beyond poverty, social isolation, and poor preparation: it is stigma."
  • "Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka: 40 Years Later." Woodstock Report, June 1993, no. 34, pp. 3-10.
    • On April 22, 1993, a Woodstock forum addressed the progress of African-American education since Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the 1954 landmark decision of the Supreme Court which called for racial integration of public schools. Panelists were Samuel Harvey, Jr., vice president for urban affairs at Georgetown University; Dr. Floretta Dukes McKenzie, former Superintendent of Schools in the District of Columbia; and Roger Wilkins, Clarence J. Robinson Professor of History and American Culture at George Mason University. Moderator of the forum was Jim Vance, an award-winning journalist and anchor for News 4, WRC-TV in Washington, D.C.
  • The America's History Archives, a subsection of the World History Archives, contains a number of articles on this racism, including:

A Bibliographical Survey of Philosophical Literature on Race, Ethnicity, and Multiculturalism

Biliographical essays are drawn from Lawrence M. Hinman, Contemporary Moral Issues

Review Article

Bernard R. Boxill's "Racism and Related Issues," Encyclopedia of Ethics, edited by Lawrence and Charlotte Becker (New York: Garland, 1992), Vol. II, pp. 1056-59 provides an excellent overview of work on race and related issues.


There is an extensive and often powerful literature dealing with the prevalence of racism in our society. Derrick Bell's Faces At The Bottom Of The Well: The Permanence Of Racism (New York: Basic Books, 1992) provides a penetrating look at the pervasiveness of racism in the United States today. Patricia J. Williams's The Alchemy of Race and Rights (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991) is part autobiography, part feminist legal philosophy, and part cultural critique. Cornel West's Race Matters (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993) and his Prophetic Thought in Postmodern Times (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1993) are both well-argued analyses by one of the foremost contemporary African-American thinkers. Shelby Steele's The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America (New York: Harper Collins, 1990) offers a much more conservative interpretation of these phenomena. Stephen L. Carter's Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby (New York: Basic Books, 1991) stresses the ambiguity of affirmative action for African- Americans. Lure and Loathing: Essays on Race, Identity, and the Ambivalence of Assimilation, edited by Gerald Early (New York: Penguin Press, 1993) contains a number of insightful autobiographical essays on the ambivalence toward assimilation experienced by many contemporary African-Americans. Naomi Zack's Race and Mixed Race (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993) offers a perceptive analysis of many of the issues surrounding mixed race in our society.


Several excellent anthologies contain shorter selections on these issues. See, especially, Racism in America: Opposing Viewpoints, edited by William Dudley (San Diego, CA.: Greenhaven Press, 1991), which contains an excellent selection of largely popular pro-and-con pieces on a number of topic related to racism; Taking Sides: Race and Ethnicity, edited by Richard C. Monk (Guilford, CN: Dushkin Publishing Group,. 1994), which treats a wide range of issues relating to ethnicity as well as race; Race, Class, and Gender in the United States, Third Edition, edited by Paula S. Rothenberg (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995), which is a gold mine of eloquent selections; Bigotry, Prejudice, and Hatred: Definitions, Causes, and Solutions, edited by Robert M. Baird and Stuart E. Rosenbaum (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1993), which contains an number of excellent philosophical selections; and Anatomy of Racism, edited by David Theo Goldberg (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1990), which contains pieces by Appiah, Outlaw, Fanon, Barthes, Kristeva, Said, Goldberg, and Gates. The transcript of a two-day conference on "Race and Racism" is printed in Salmagundi, Nos. 104-105 (Fall, 1994-Winter, 1995), pp. 3-155; this consists of a round-table discussion including Orlando Patterson, Christopher Lasch, Dinesh D'Souza, Anthony Appiah, Jean Elshtain, David Rieff, Michelle Moody-Adams, Norman Birnbaum, and Gerald Early. Also see Women of Color in U.S. Society, edited by Maxine Baca Zinn and Bonnie Thornton Dill (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994), a collection of 16 essays, largely from social scientific standpoints .

Philosophical Approaches to Racism

Among the specifically philosophical approaches to racism and related issues, see the issue of Philosophia, Vol. 8, No. 2-3 (November, 1978) that contains several articles on racism, including Marcus George Singer, "Some Thoughts on Race and Racism," pp. 153-83; Kurt Baier, "Merit and Race," pp. 121-51; and Peter Singer, "Is Racial Discrimination Arbitrary?", pp. 185-203; also see the double issue of Philosophical Forum, Vol. 9, Nos. 2-3 (1977-78), entitled "Philosophy and the Black Experience" and the triple issue, "African-American Perspectives and Philosophical Traditions," Vol. XXIV, Nos. 1-3 (Fall-Spring,1992-93). See Kwama Anthony Appiah, "Illusions of Race," In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp.28-46, for a discussion of the slipperiness of the concept of race.

Racism and Sexism

On the relationship between racism and sexism, see Richard A. Wasserstrom, "On Racism and Sexism," in Today's Moral Problems, Third Edition, edited by Richard A. Wasserstorm (New York: Macmillan, 1985), pp. 1-28; and Laurence Thomas, "Sexism and Racism: Some Conceptual Differences," Ethics, Vol. 90 (January, 1980), pp. 239-247.


Claims of racially-based differences in intelligence have been frequent over the ages. In recent times, see Arthur Jenson, "How Much Can we Boost I.Q. and Scholastic Achievement?" Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 39, No. 1 (1969), pp. 1-123; William Schockley, "Dysgenecs, Geniticity, and Raciology," Phi Delta Kappan (January,1972), pp. 297-307; and, most recently, Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein, The Bell Curve (New York: Free Press, 1994). Equally common have been strong critiques of such connections, including Steven Jay Gould, Ever Since Darwin (New York: W. W. Norton, 1977) and Ashley Montagu, Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race, Fourth Edition (Cleveland: World, 1964).


Some of the initial articles on multiculturalism are to be found in Debating P.C., edited by Paul Berman (New York: Laurel, 1992) and Culture Wars: Opposing Viewpoints, edited by Fred Whitehead (San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1994). For perceptive comments on these issues, see Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Loose Cannons: Notes on the Culture Wars (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993). Among the critics of multiculturalism are, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Disuniting of America (New York: W. W. Norton, 1992), William J. Bennett, The De-Valuing of America (New York: Summit Books, 1992), Dinesh D'Souza, Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus (New York: Vintage, 1992), and Robert Hughes, Culture of Complaint (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).

For an excellent discussion of the philosophical and political dimensions of multiculturalism, see Amy Gutmann, "The Challenge of Multiculturalism in Political Ethics," Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 22, No. 3 (1993), pp. 171-206 and the essays in Defending Diversity: Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives on Pluralism and Multiculturalism, ed. Lawrence Foster and Patricia Herzog (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994. For a philosophically sophisticated account of the question of identity within this context, see Charles Taylor, Multiculturalism and "The Politics of Recognition," with commentary by Amy Gutman, Steven C. Rockefeller, Michael Walzer, and Susan Wolf (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992). On the issue of identity, also see the papers by Anthony Appiah and others at the APA Symposium on Gender, Race, and Ethnicity, Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 87, No. 10 (October, 1990), pp. 493-99. Also see the articles on multiculturalism and philosophy that appeared in Teaching Philosophy, Vol. 14, No. 2 (June, 1991).

Banning Hate Speech

The issue of banning hate speech has received a lot of attention in the past decade. Some of the most influential essays are gathered together in Mari J. Matsuda, et al., Words That Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, and the First Amendment (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1993) and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., et al., Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex, Hate Speech, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, with an Introduction by Ira Glesser (New York: New York University Press, 1994); also see Gates' "Let Them Talk: Why Civil Liberties Pose No Threat to Civil Rights," The New Republic, Vol. 209, No. 12-13 (September 20, 1993), pp. 37 ff. Andrew Altman, "Liberalism and Campus Hate Speech: A Philosophical Examination," Ethics, Vol. 103, No. 2 (January, 1993), pp. 302-317. Also see, Catharine A. MacKinnon, Only Words (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993).

Affirmative Action

There are a number of excellent anthologies dealing with the issue of affirmative action. These include Social Justice and Preferential Treatment, edited by William T. Blackstone and Robert Heslep (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1976), Equality and Preferential Treatment, edited by Marshall Cohen, Thomas Nagel, and Thomas Scanlon (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977); Affirmative Action and the University: A Philosophical Inquiry, edited by Steven M Cahn (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993); Reverse Discrimination, edited by Barry R. Gross (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1977); Equal Opportunity, edited by Norman E. Bowie (Boulder: Westview Press, 1988); Discrimination, Affirmative Action, and Equal Opportunity: An Economic and Social Perspective, co-edited by W. E. Block and M. A. Walker. (Vancouver, B.C., Canada: Fraser Institute, 1981), which includes contributions by Gary Becker, Thomas Sowell, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.; Racial Preference and Racial Justice: The New Affirmative Action Controversy, edited by Russell Nieli (Washington, D.C.: Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1991); and, most recently, Debating Affirmative Action: Race, Gender, Ethnicity, and the Politics of Inclusion, edited and with an introduction by Nicolaus Mills (New York: Delta, 1994).


p>Among books arguing one side of this issues, see especially Bernard R. Boxill, Blacks and Social Justice (Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Allanheld, 1984); Gertrude Ezorsky, Racism and Justice: The Case for Affirmative Action (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991); The Reverse Discrimination Controversy: A Moral and Legal Analysis, by Robert K. Fullinwider (Totowa, N.J. : Rowman and Littlefield, 1980); Affirmative Discrimination: Ethnic Inequality and Public Policy, by Nathan Glazer New York: Basic Books, 1975); Out of Order: Affirmative Action and the Crisis of Doctrinaire Liberalism, by Nicholas Capaldi (Buffalo, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1985); Invisible Victims: White Males and The Crisis of Affirmative Action, by Frederick R. Lynch (New York: Greenwood Press, 1989); Justice and Reverse Discrimination, by Alan H. Goldman (Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1979); Barry R. Gross, Discrimination in Reverse: Is Turnabout Fair Play? (New York: New York University Press, 1978); Michael Rosenfeld, Affirmative Action and Justice: A Philosophical and Constitutional Inquiry (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991); and Iris Marion Young, Justice and the Politics of Difference (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), especially the chapter on "Affirmative Action and the Myth of Merit," pp. 192-225.

Philosophical Articles

Among the many important philosophical articles on this set of topics, see W. Blackstone, "Reverse Discrimination and Compensatory Justice," Social Theory and Practice, Vol. 3 (1975), pp. 258-271; Bernard R. Boxill's "The Morality of Reparations," Social Theory and Practice, Vol. 2 (1972), pp. 113-24 and "The Morality of Preferential Hiring," Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 7 (1978). Pp. 246-268; H. McGary, Jr., "Justice and Reparations," Philosophical Forum, Vol. 9 (1977-78). Pp. 250-63; Thomas Nagel, "Equal Treatment and Compensatory Discrimination," Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 2 (1973), pp. 348-63; and Thomas E. Hill, Jr., "The Message of Affirmative Action" Social Philosophy and Policy, Vol. 8 (Spring, 1991), pp. 108-129.

Suggestions for Discussion Questions and Term Paper Topics

  1. A Common Language?

    • There is no official language in the United States. Should English be required as the offical language? This raises a number of interesting moral and political questions. What role does language play in ethnic identity? To what extent should the state permit ethnic identity? encourage it? To what extent is a common language necessary for political community? Click here for the National Education Association press release: "No" to English Only Initiatives Before Congress (1 November, 1995).
  2. Are There Racial Differences? If so, what is their significance?

    •  Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray's The Bell Curve presented a controversial case for the existence of significant differences in intelligence among the races. Are there any such differences? If such differences exist (e.g., that Asian-American students overall are smarter than Caucasian students), what follows from those differences?
  3. A Separate Language?

    • Should Ebonics be taught as a separate language in our public schools? See the New York Times articles on this topic.