* Critics of Affirmative Action

organization

Overview

  • This section of Discover The Networks features the writings of some of the more notable critics of affirmative action in contemporary America.

Thomas Sowell

An economist and sociologist who has been a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution since 1980, Sowell has written extensively about affirmative action’s injustices and its tendency to breed intergroup animosity wherever it is implemented. Among his major publications are such books as: Black Rednecks and White Liberals (2005); The Quest for Cosmic Justice (1999); The Vision of the Anointed (1995); Preferential Policies: An International Pespective (1990); A Conflict of Visions (1987); Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? (1984); and The Economics and Politics of Race (1983).

Walter E. Williams

Walter E. Williams has been on the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, as the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, since 1980. He serves on the Boards of Directors for Grove City College, the Reason Foundation, and the Hoover Institution. He also serves on Advisory Boards for the Cato Institute, the Landmark Legal Foundation, the Institute of Economic Affairs, and the Heritage Foundation.

Shelby Steele

Shelby Steele is the Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He specializes in the study of race relations, multiculturalism, and affirmative action. He a member of the National Association of Scholars, the National Board of the American Academy for Liberal Education, the University Accreditation Association, and the National Board at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for the New American Community. Among his notable publications are: The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America (1990); A Dream Deferred: The Second Betrayal of Black Freedom in America (1999); and White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era(2006).

Ward Connerly

A California Board of Regents member from 1993-2005, Connerly led the 1996 fight to pass Proposition 209, which ended affirmative action in California’s public sector. He is also the founder and chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute, a national non-profit organization that opposes racial and gender preferences.

Dinesh D’Souza

Dinesh D’Souza is currently the Robert and Karen Rishwain Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. From 2010 to 2012, he was president of The King’s College, a Christian school in New York City. Among his more notable publications are: Illiberal Education (1991) and The End of Racism (1995).

Heather MacDonald

Heather MacDonald is a Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to City Journal. A non-practicing attorney, MacDonald has written prolifically on the topics of policing and racial profiling, immigration, homeland security, education, and welfare. She also has authored the following books: The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s (2007); Are Cops Racist? How the War Against the Police Harms Black Americans (2003); and The Burden of Bad Ideas (2000).

Larry Elder

Larry Elder was a broadcaster with KABC Talk Radio in Los Angeles from 1994-2008, and again from 2010-14, hosting the highly rated “Larry Elder Show” each weekday. He has authored such books as The Ten Things You Can’t Say In AmericaShowdown: Confronting Bias, Lies, and the Special Interests that Divide America; and Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card — and Lose.

Stephan Thernstrom

Stephan Thernstrom is the Winthrop Professor of History at Harvard University, where he teaches American social history. He was the editor of the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, and the author of such books as Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in a Nineteenth-Century CityPoverty and Progress in the American Metropolis, 1880-1970; and A History of the American People. He collaborated with his wife, Abigail Thernstrom, to write America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible (1997), and No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning (2003).

Abigail Thernstrom

Abigail Thernstrom was formerly a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute in New York, a member of the Massachusetts state Board of Education, the Vice Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and a Board of Advisors member of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. She is currently an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She collaborated with her husband, Harvard historian Stephan Thernstrom, to write America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible (1997), and No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning (2003).

Linda Chavez

Linda Chavez is Chair of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a non-profit public policy research organization based in Sterling, Virginia. She held several appointed positions under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. She also writes a weekly syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the United States, and is a political analyst for the FOX News Channel.


Additional Resources

Thomas Sowell

The Fraud Goes On
By Thomas Sowell
June 28, 2016

Affirmative Action Is a Wrong Answer
By Thomas Sowell
December 16, 2015

The New “Yellow Peril”
By Thomas Sowell
January 10, 2007

The Grand Fraud: Affirmative Action for Blacks
By Thomas Sowell
April 1, 2003

Quotas on Trial
By Thomas Sowell
January 8, 2003

“Affirmative Action” and College Graduation Rates
By Thomas Sowell
June 4, 2002

History vs. Hogwash
By Thomas Sowell
March 22, 2002

The Other Side of Affirmative Action
By Thomas Sowell
June 8, 1999

“Affirmative Action” Reconsidered
By Thomas Sowell
Winter 1976

BOOKS:

Affirmative Action Reconsidered: Was It Necessary in Academia?
By Thomas Sowell

Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?
By Thomas Sowell

Inside American Education
By Thomas Sowell

Walter E. Williams

College Destruction of Black Students
By Walter E.Williams
July 4, 2018

Cruelty to Black Students
By Walter E.Williams
September 21, 2016

Academic Mismatch I
By Walter Williams
September 3, 2008

Destroying Black Youth
By Walter E. Williams
July 2, 2003

Affirmative Action Grading
By Walter E. Williams
May 28, 2003

Affirmative Action Bake Sale
By Walter E. Williams
February 26, 2003

Affirmative Action or Racism II
By Walter E. Williams
February 5, 2003

Affirmative Action or Racism
By Walter E. Williams
January 29, 2003

BOOK:

Liberty Versus the Tyranny of Socialism: Controversial Essays
By Walter E. Williams

Shelby Steele

Affirmative Action Doesn’t Solve the Real Problem
By Shelby Steele
July 26, 2009

A Victory for White Guilt
By Shelby Steele
June 28, 2003

The Double Bind of Race and Guilt
By Shelby Steele
2001

The Age of White Guilt: and the Disappearance of the Black Individual
By Shelby Steele
November 30, 1999

A Negative Vote on Affirmative Action
By Shelby Steele
May 13, 1990

VIDEO:

Shelby Steele on Affirmative Action and Education
Posted June 30, 2008

BOOKS:

The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America
By Shelby Steele

White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era
By Shelby Steele

 

Ward Connerly

My Preferences
By Ward Connerly
August 1, 2008

Beware Of Elites Bearing Racial Theories
By Ward Connerly
July 11, 2007

The Q-Word & American Realities
By Ward Connerly
December 1, 2005

BOOK:

Creating Equal: My Fight Against Racial Preferences
By Ward Connerly

Dinesh D’Souza

Why Diversity Doesn’t Matter
By Dinesh D’Souza
June 4, 2007

Affirmative Action Debate: Should Race-Based
Affirmative Action Be Abandoned as a National
Policy?
Debate Between D’Souza Dinesh & Christopher Edley Jr.
January 1, 1996

BOOKS:

Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus
By Dinesh D’Souza

The End of Racism
By Dinesh D’Souza

Heather Mac Donald

Making the Right Move on Racial Preferences
By Heather Mac Donald
July 9, 2018

How Affirmative Action Backfires at Universities

Elites to Anti-Affirmative-Action Voters: Drop Dead
By Heather MacDonald
Winter 2007

VIDEO:

Heather Mac Donald Debated Affirmative Action with a Black Harvard PhD Student
November 30, 2018

BOOK:

The Burden of Bad Ideas: How Modern Intellectuals Misshape Our Society
By Heather MacDonald

 

Larry Elder

What if the NBA Had Quotas?
By Larry Elder
December 14, 2006

The Progress of American Blacks
By Larry Elder
September 4, 2004

“Affirmative Action” Revisited
By Larry Elder
December 27, 2002

High Noon for Affirmative Action
By Larry Elder
December 7, 2000

BOOK:

What’s Race Got to Do with It? Why It’s Time to Stop the Stupidest Argument in America
By Larry Elder

Stephan Thernstrom

The Consequences of Colorblindness
By Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom
1998

The Scandal of the Law Schools
By Stephan Thernstrom
December 1997

Racial Preferences: What We Now Know
By Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom
February 1999

Another Bend in “The Shape of the River”
By Stephan Thernstrom
December 14, 1998

BOOK:

America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible
By Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom

BOOK:

America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible
By Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom

Abigail Thernstrom

Bad Standards
By Abigail Thernstrom & Roger Clegg
March 16, 2006

Race and Education: An Exclusive Interview with Abigail Thernstrom
By George Clowes
October 1, 2003

Affirmative Action Is a Side Issue
By Abigail Thernstrom
June 10, 2003

The Consequences of Colorblindness
By Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom
1998

Is Affirmative Action Needed? Preferences Don’t Fix Problem
By Abigail Thernstrom
January 15, 2003

Racial Preferences: What We Now Know
By Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom
February 1999

BOOK:

No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning
By Abigail Thernstrom

 

Linda Chavez

Affirmative Action Only Hurts Racial Harmony
By Linda Chavez
August 8, 2010

When Whites Are Discriminated Against
By Linda Chavez
April 24, 2009

Ending Racial Preferences: It’s About Time
By Linda Chavez
April 27, 2007

BOOK:

An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal
By Linda Chavez

 

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