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Freedom, Justice, and Racism Courts

That does not mean that a person who supports the right to burn the flag supports the burning of the flag. As an American, I think the idea of someone desecrating a flag, and, by extension, desecrating America, would be a very disturbing one. However, political speech is going to deserve to at least a portion of the audience.

5. Most laws prevent employers from refusing to hire people because of their race, but employers can take race into account in more subtle ways. Have you ever encountered any serious forms of discrimination that were not illegal?

I have not personally encountered any serious forms of discrimination that were not illegal. I can imagine how that discrimination might occur. For example, I have heard stories of people having their resumes ignored because they have ethnic-sounding names. It would be difficult to prove discrimination in such a case, but that discrimination would still be illegal. I could imagine an employer looking at information on a resume or job application in order to glean information about race and using that information to help narrow down a decision without ever seeing an applicants race. Neighborhood, schools attended, current address, volunteer history, and job history can all provide insight into an applicants racial background. It is not illegal for an employer to consider those when looking at an applicant.

6. Decades after the integration of U.S. schools, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that “race cannot be a factor in the assignment of children to public schools.” However, the decision was a controversial one, not likely to end with this decision as opponents of the decision argue that it represents a possible move toward resegregation of schools. Divided court rejects school diversity plans.

It has been well over a century since African-Americans were promised equal protection under the law, and, one thing that has become abundantly clear is that there is still a tremendous amount of overt racism. However, there is also a tremendous amount of covert racism. Furthermore, because wealth travels in generations and America is only two generations removed from the Civil Rights movement, there continues to be a tremendous economic disparity between whites and non-whites.

However, de-facto segregation is not necessarily the same as legally enforced segregation. As long as resources are appropriately allocated between schools that a schools population is mostly minority does not carry the same negative consequences as when inferior resources are allocated to schools. The problem is going to be to ensure that schools receive equal funding.

7. Boxill opposes what he calls the “Responsibility Criterion” for deciding what factors we can justifiably (and legally) take into account in hiring people. For example, in deciding which person not to hire, it would be wrong to make the judgment on the basis of race or sex, but I could refuse to hire someone because he is lazy or is a drug addict. The Responsibility Criterion justifies this by saying that people are not responsible for their race or sex — they are just born that way– but we can hold them responsible for their laziness and immoral behavior because that is something under their control. Why does Boxill think the Responsibility Criterion is not a good basis for eliminating discrimination based on race or sex?

Boxill thinks the Responsibility Criterion is not a good basis for eliminating discrimination based on race of sex because, if take literally, that position would prohibit people from discriminating based on any inherent characteristic. Not only would this result in a color-blind society, but also a talent-blind society. Some people are naturally more intelligent or more dexterous than others, and it would be ridiculous to prohibit preferring or discriminating against people because of innate characteristics in certain situations. Part of Boxills argument is that he does not believe in an egalitarian distribution of goods, partially because people do not contribute in an equal manner. Therefore, Boxills proposal involves a restricting of what society sees as valuable, so that perhaps being a white male would not be seen as the same type of natural.

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