Debate: Implicit Race Bias and the 2008 Presidential Election: Much Ado About Nothing?
posted by University of Pennsylvania Law Review
Dr. Gregory Park and Professor Jeffrey Rachlinksi debate Professor Richard Epstein on the implications of President Obama’s election on race-based policies such as affirmative action and antidiscrimination laws. Dismissing claims that a “post-racial America” has arrived, Parks and Rachlinski argue that the presidential campaign simply demonstrated that modern racism “operates not as an absolute barrier, but as a kind of tax on members of racial minorities.” Because a typical minority job applicant does not have access to the “enormous resources” available to Obama, affirmative action and antidiscrimination laws are still necessary. Epstein, on the other hand, argues that while Parks’ and Rachlinski’s analysis of the campaign is flawed, the debate itself is a “sideshow.” Instead, “any private individual or firm can hire a person for good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all” and the market, not public force, should end unsavory hiring practices.