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The New Color Line Hardcover – November 25, 1995

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

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Readers who find attacks on recent civil rights laws and regulations too mild will relish Roberts and Stratton's shifting of the debate back to the 1950s. "The demise of liberalism" and "the assault on freedom of conscience" have their roots, the authors argue, in Brown v. Board of Education and the 1964 Civil Rights Act: "Democracy gave way to judicial and regulatory edicts, and persuasion gave way to coercion." In their defense of democracy, majority rule, and goodwill as the vital bulwarks of a liberal social order that must be rescued from decades of judicial dictatorship and "the proliferation of privilege," Roberts and Stratton take shots at everyone from Gunnar Myrdal to Lani Guinier, but the venom they heap on "critical race theory" legal scholars in particular--comparing them to anti-Semitic proto-Nazis--marks this analysis as more extreme than it may at first appear. Curiously, Roberts and Stratton seem not to notice that quotas and privileges were essential tools in the distribution of wealth and power in the U.S. long before Earl Warren was born. Popular subject, expect demand. Mary Carroll


Paul Roberts and Lawrence Stratton maintains that one of the great ironies of history is the "colorblind" 1964 Civil Rights Act which resulted in stripping white males of their constitutional protections and turning them into second-class citizens. The New Color Line: How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy maintains that it is now legally necessary to discriminate against white males in order to avoid civil rights lawsuits and to achieve mandated race and gender proportionally in the work force, university admissions, training programs, mortgage financing, and even disciplinary actions. Civil rights legislation has turned America into a caste society. There are two classes of citizens: those protected by civil rights laws and white males who are not. That this problem began when the Supreme Court based its public school desegregation decision, Brown v. Board of Education, on the premise that the innate racism of white Americans precluded a democratic solution to segregation. Thus, Brown resolved segregation at the expense of the democratic process. The 1964 Civil Rights Act substituted coercive regulation for freedom of conscience, thus displacing another bedrock of democracy. The authors proposed solution is goodwill, persuasion, and freedom of conscience as the avenues to social progress if Americans are to preserve their democracy. -- Midwest Book Review

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4.1 out of 5 stars
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3.0 out of 5 stars The new Colour Line
Reviewed in Germany on October 7, 2013
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