Why have most of the advances in civil rights come through the federal courts and not through our legislatures? What does this say about our democratic system? Which would you rather have: judges who believe in judicial restraint when it comes to civil rights orjudges who are activists? Thirty-five years ago, most people assumed that we were "all the same underneath"; that is, everyone wanted to assimilate and become part of a homogeneous group. Today, we talk about valuing differences and searching for diversity. What differences can minorities bring to the workplace? To politics? Are there any disadvantages to diversity? Do you think you are able to accept people who are different? Some white males today claim that "reverse discrimination" has kept them from getting jobs for which they were qualified. Yet, when ABC's PrimeTime Live ("The Fairer Sex," 10/7/93) sent both a man and a woman to apply for ajob, the man was offered the management position while the woman was offered ajob as a receptionist. The reporters also discovered that women were charged more for having a suit cleaned than were men, the man got a tee time at a golf course when the woman was told there were no openings, and the man was quoted a lower price for a new car than the woman. How serious a problem is reverse discrimination? What has been your experience with discrimination? The college admissions lawsuits have brought out another form of discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans who have been restricted entry because of a quota system at some highly ranked schools. Substitute "Jews" for "Asians" and "Asian Americans" and you replicate a policy that was common in many universities only a few decades ago. Why have these two groups been restricted entry? Should universities try to build their student bodies on the basis of proportionate representation? Does that mean that if 10 percent of Americans are of Scandinavian extraction, they should have 10 percent of the slots at competitive schools? Is there ever any basis for schools to discriminate in enrollment? If so, what are legitimate discriminating factors? Age? Standardized test scores? Quality of high school attended? Letters of recommendation? In Pasadena, California, in 1985, the Armenian American population (about 13,000 out of a population of 130,000) requested that the city council designate them a protected class under Pasadena's affirmative action policies. The council agreed that Armenians had been subject to discrimination and voted to include, not only them, but any immigrant who had lived in the United States for less than fifteen years. Do you believe immigrants should be entitled to affirmative action protection? All immigrants? If not, which immigrants?
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