[T]he number of blacks in professional, technical, and other high-level occupations more than doubled in the decade preceding the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In other occupations, gains by blacks were greater during the 1940s — when there was practically no civil rights legislation — than during the 1950s. In various skilled trades, the income of blacks relative to whites more than doubled between 1936 and 1959… Affirmative action hiring pressures make it costly to have no minority employees, but continuing affirmative action pressures at the promotion and discharge phases also make it costly to have minority employees who do not work out well. The net effect is to increase the demand for highly qualified minority employees while decreasing the demand for less qualified minority employees or for those without a sufficient track record to reassure employers.
– Thomas Sowell, Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?
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