Racism and the Underclass: State Policy and Discrimination Against Minorities

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Greenwood Press, 1991 - Political Science - 180 pages

This unique collection of essays analyzes the impact of state policies on minority communities in the United States and the perpetuation of an underclass in American society. The editors and contributors begin with the premise that there was a resurgence of racism and disadvantage during the Reagan years, not only in the United States, but also in the world. They contend that a major revision of policy toward the American underclass is urgently needed because of a failure to understand underlying social and economic changes.

Drawing heavily upon diverse sources for data and theoretical perspectives, the studies in this important volume attempt to integrate underclass analysis with policy formulation. The elaboration of the human rights of the underclass under both international and domestic law is presented by Peter Weiss. Gregory Kellam Scott argues forcefully for a shift in the basis of civil rights jurisprudence that would allow the state to assist the underclass by removing past remnants of discrimination. David Penna and Jose Blas Lorenzo discuss the legality and desirability of state attempts to restrict racist speech, given the exploitative nature of the underclass relationship. John Grove and Jiping Wu reassess the perception of Asian-Americans as a model minority and discuss uncertain prospects for the future integration of new Asian immigrants into mainstream America. Debra Kreisberg Voss, Joy Sobrepena, and Peter W. Van Arsdale demonstrate how the immigration process can marginalize immigrants. George E. Tinker and Loring Bush discuss the difficulties in determining Native American unemployment rates and document the underestimation of the problem and its impact on policy toward Native Americans. The politics and hidden agenda of the English Only movement and the policy implications for linguistic minorities are revealed by Priscilla Falcon and Patricia J. Campbell. Finally, George W. Shepherd, Jr. and David Penna present a challenging agenda for state policy toward the underclass for the 1990s. This provocative volume should be read by everyone interested in ethnic and minority studies.

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Resurgence of Racism
The Human Rights of the Underclass

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About the author (1991)

GEORGE W. SHEPHERD, JR. is Professor of International Relations and Director of the Consortium on Human Rights Development at the Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver.

DAVID PENNA is director of publications at the Center on Rights Development and adjunct professor of Political Science at the University of Denver Graduate School of International Studies.

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