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French Color Blindness in Perspective

The Controversy over "Statistiques Ethniques"

Daniel Sabbagh and Shanny Peer

In the United States, while some race-based policies such as affirmative action have faced often successful political and legal challenges over the last quartercentury, historically, the very principle of official racial classification has met with much less resistance. The Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, according to which “no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” was not originally intended to incorporate a general rule of “color blindness.” And when in California, in 2003, the “Racial Privacy Initiative” led to a referendum on a measure—Proposition 54—demanding that “the state shall not classify any individual by race, ethnicity, color or national origin,” this restriction was meant to apply exclusively to the operation of public education, public contracting or public employment, that is, the three sites where affirmative action was once in effect and might be reinstated at some point, or so the proponents of that initiative feared. In any case, that measure was roundly defeated at the polls.

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Index to Volume 25 (2007)

Index to Volume 25 (2007)

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Introduction: The Denk ich an Deutschland Television Film Series

Margit Sinka

Intended to provoke contemplation and discussion about collective

identity in unified Germany, the Denk ich an Deutschland (When I think

about Germany) television film series was commissioned by Bayerischer

Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting, BR) and Westdeutscher Rundfunk

(West German Broadcasting, WDR) and was produced from 1997 to 2004

by megaherz gmbh. The complete series consists of twelve documentary

films ranging from forty-five to sixty minutes1 with the first five (see

Table 2) having been launched on BR and WDR as a set in October 1998.

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The Adenauer Era: Anxieties and Traumas of Violence in the Postwar Period

Jost Dülffer

Researching and writing contemporary history move forward in a

certain rhythm. Today, the 1960s are the decade of major interest,

whereas the 1970s increasingly are becoming the testing ground of

new approaches and reinterpretations. By contrast, the 1950s seem

of little interest—with most of the issues solved and most sources

accessible. But this could be a false impression, especially if one

takes into account the dominant views on this period that have

become popular in the last years. After 1989/90, with the fall of the

Berlin Wall, the unification of Germany, and the end of the Cold

War, many historians developed and corroborated an interpretation

of the postwar decades—a now widely accepted master narrative of

the “German question.” With the benefit of hindsight, they claimed

that Konrad Adenauer’s policy of Western integration was a necessary

and inevitable course, which facilitated eventual reunification.

Other political options would have rendered the Federal Republic of

Germany (FRG) dangerously open to stronger communist pressure or

even would have presented the Soviet Union with the opportunity to

expand its empire to Germany as a whole.

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