I have a proposition for you. It's called Proposition 209. All you have to do is stop discriminating in favor of women and racial minorities, and your perpetual problems of race and gender discrimination will finally disappear. If this Proposition sounds too good to be true ... well, you know how the saying goes. In law, as in life, the seductiveness of a proposition owes as much to its disregard of established norms as to its underlying content. Eliminate the affront to social convention, and a proposition promises about as much excitement as a routine liaison with one's spouse. But add the allure of forbidden temptation, and a proposition acquires a naughty fascination that can make it seem irresistibly compelling. Propositions are also socially precocious. They intimate a liberated enlightenment that trumps the social inhibitions to which most of us remain unwittingly captive. To be sure, indignant disapproval is the appropriate response to an indecent proposal in polite society. But beneath the surface of such indignation, can there truly be anyone who is not secretly drawn to the thrill of a proposition?
47 Duke L.J. 187 (1997-98)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Spann, Girardeau A., "Proposition 209" (1997). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 1930.
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