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Getting Under the Skin of #34;Diversity#34;: Searching for the Color-Blind Ideal

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ISBN 10: 0982089902 / ISBN 13: 9780982089903
Usado Condición: Good
Librería: BooksforGoodwillGetJobs (Brooklyn Park, MN, Estados Unidos de America)

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Título: Getting Under the Skin of #34;Diversity#34;:...

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Getting Under the Skin of "Diversity" is about the struggle for civil rights in the United States. That struggle has had many twists and turns, but none more ironic than the emergence in American higher education of a doctrine that claims the moral authority of the civil rights tradition to justify a system of racial preferences. In this book, Larry Purdy reclaims that authority on behalf of the ideal of genuine equality. He writes, "If our life experience has taught us anything, it is that continuing a pattern of 'race-consciousness' does not cure racism. It merely perpetuates it." Purdy was one of the lawyers who represented the plaintiffs Barbara Grutter and Jennifer Gratz in the pair of racial preference cases that the U.S. Supreme Court decided at the end of its term in June 2003. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's majority opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger notoriously came with its own expiration date. O'Connor wrote, "We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today." In the mean time, however, O'Connor joined by Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, decided that colleges and universities could continue to consider race to select which applicants to admit--provided that they did so in a manner that blurred exactly how much race counted. Getting Under the Skin of "Diversity" is partly a critique of O'Connor's wayward decision in this case. Purdy is not the first to draw attention to the dizzying leaps of illogic and pirouettes on invisible distinctions that give O'Connor's opinion a Cirque du Soleil quality. But because of his deep involvement in both the trial and briefing of the Grutter case, he knows better than anyone what O'Connor chose to put in--what she deliberately left out. Thus Purdy puts at the center of his critique a work of scholarship that profoundly informed O'Connor's judgment: a book published in 1998, The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admission. The authors of this waterfront were the former president of Princeton, William Bowen, and the fomer president of Harvard, Derek Bok. Those Ivy League credentials are not incidental. O'Connor was the sort of justice whose head could be turned by bien-pensant pronouncements, and Bowen and Bok were crucial in giving the genteel racism of the diversity doctrine an aura of establishment authority. "Diversity." The word itself is full of mischievous ambiguity. It suggests on one hand openness to people regardless of their backgrounds; but on the other hand, it can also enunciate a close-minded determination to reduce people to their racial or group identities. On college campuses, the word is used both ways at once. Here we no sooner "celebrate diversity" as a glorius welcoming of all, than we pivot to say that some students are welcome and others not, depending on their race. Or, as Purdy puts it, "Where previously it was a word with an uncomplicated meaning, 'diversity' today in the context of higher education stands mainly for the narrow goal of racially balancing the nation's colleges and universities." Purdy clearly supports diversity in the sense of openness but opposes it in the sense of a doctrine of racial privilege. It is not a hard distinction to draw, but he is writing in opposition to public figures who have invested a great deal of time and trouble to keep the matter confused. Are Bowen and Bok among these public figures? Justice O'Connor, too? It is a question best pondered after you read Getting Under the Skin of "Diversity." (Excerpted from Dr. Peter Wood's Foreword)

About the Author:

Larry Purdy was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1946. Educated in the Oklahoma public school system, he received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1964. Following his graduation in 1968, he spent the next five years in the Navy including a one year tour in Vietnam. After being honorably discharged from active military duty, he attended William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, graduating in 1977. He has been involved in the private practice of law for the past thirty years. Beginning in 1997, Mr. Purdy served as trial counsel for the plaintiffs in two landmark cases, Grutter and Gratz, decided by the United States Supreme Court in June 2003. In connection with his work on these cases, he made numerous appearances on national television and radio news programs. He also has been a guest lecturer on the subject of race-conscious admissions systems at colleges and universities throughout the country and has appeared before local, state and federal bar associations to discuss the important legal issues raised in the Michigan cases. Mr. Purdy currently practices law in Minneapolis.

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