Forty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act and fifty years after the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision, members of racial minority groups are still disproportionately disadvantaged in American society. Despite official civic integration, despite a massive shift in the terms of public discourse, despite a publicly avowed moral and cognitive reorientation on the part of a significant number of whites, neighborhoods and schools are more segregated than ever, whites still control an overwhelming percentage of this country's wealth and hold a virtual monopoly on elite corporate and governmental positions, the distribution of income and health care is still dramatically unequal, and a disproportionate number of people of color live in poverty. Something is wrong. But what, exactly?

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Copyright © 2008, Fordham University Press. This book chapter first appeared in Difficulties of the Ethical Life.

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