Document Type

Occasional Paper

Publication Date



The purpose of this paper is to discuss why I think the Reagan administration's avowed commitment to helping only "actual victims" of racial discrimination retards rather than advances the cause of civil rights. I make reference in my title to "seniority" and "the shadow of Stotts" because the current administration is relying upon Supreme Court decisions having to do with seniority, particularly its 1984 opinion in Memphis Firefighters v. Stotts, to justify a wholesale attack upon race-conscious remedies, not only in employment but in education and public contracting as well.


Transcription of presentation made on April 3, 1986, as part of the William Monroe Trotter Distinguished Lecture Series on Affirmative Action.

Occasional Paper No. 2


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