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This book describes how institutional racism arose in Hawaii, why it arose, what kept it going, and how it can be dismantled. The book is unique in describing the history, statistical patterns, ideological disputation, and political underpinnings of institutional racism in a particular state, indeed one often thought to be relatively free from virulent forms of racism. The book specifically focuses on racial problems in regard to education, employment, health care delivery, and public accomodations.
The book concludes that White-constructed institutional racist policies, practices, and procedures persisted even when political power shifted after statehood in 1959 to affluent Japanese-Americans, who used the same forms of institutional racism to hold back Whites and poorer non-White ethnic groups. Although affirmative action is often improperly thought to involve quotas and reverse discrimination, the case of Hawaii shows that institutional racism can be dismantled through affirmative action without lowering standards of education, employment qualifications, and health care, instead, standards actually improved the benefit to all.
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