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Is Racism a Permanent Feature of American Society Essay Sample

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Is Racism a Permanent Feature of American Society Essay Sample

Critical Essay Issue #9,

Bell, Derrick, from Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism (Basic Books, 1992), D’Souza, Denish, from The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society (Free Press, 1995) “Issue # 9: Is Racism a Permanent Feature of American Society?”

Racism is and has been a very critical issue in society, yet, on the same token it is one those topics that is somewhat of a social taboo, but for people like Derrick Bell and Dinesh D’Souza it is a topic that need to be addressed head on and dealt with. Derrick Bell believes that prospects for achieving racial equality in the united states are “illusory” for blacks, while Denish D’Souza believes that the discriminatory effects of racism has substantially eroded within the American society and that lagging progress among blacks is due to factors such as culture, rather than racism. Some may side with Bell and his theory but I side with D’Souza.

As I read Bell’s argument, I connected to some valid points it came off as too extreme while D’Souza’s argument really struck a chord with me. D’Souza made a clear point that the overall success of blacks is not contingent on racial discrimination but on the culture that we as a race have built. In simpler terms, racism is not an excuse. As harsh as that sounds, it is the truth. He states that even if racism were to disappear overnight, the worst problems facing black America would persist. Single parenthood, welfare dependency among the black underclass would not cease. Drugs and AIDS would still ravage the African American community, as well as black on black crime. As I continued to read, it was a bit heartbreaking because it is the truth, and my only question is that well if we know the problem why can’t we fix it? Or why isn’t this being addressed as it should and D’Souza simply says it is our doing.

He pulls information from African American scholars Jeff Howard and Ray Hammond that argues that if blacks as a group can show that they are capable of performing competitively in schools and the work force, and exercising
both the rights and the responsibilities of American citizenship then racism will be deprived of its foundation in experience. If blacks can close the civilization gap, the race problem in this country is likely to become insignificant. He goes on to talk about Rethinking Relativism and that because of that confronting the black cultural pathology is “blaming the victim”. Also that modern liberals are well aware of the differences in academics, economics, family and crime in the blacks and other groups and since these differences exist on all economic levels then an explanation for it must lie under these three things: genes, culture, and racial discrimination. And the group differences of black and other must the product of discrimination or genes and that if discrimination cannot fully explain why blacks do not perform as well as whites on various measures of performance, then the conclusion cannot be escaped: according to the liberal paradigm, blacks must be genetically inferior.’

I believe that this was included as way to point out how liberal are somewhat doing a runaround when it comes to confronting the real issues. His previous point segues into the liberal project that begins to offer an elaborate and shifting rationale for blacks incapacity. If African Americans don’t do well on tests that it’s because the tests are biased and because white society has deprived them of the necessary skills. If they have dropped out of school then it due to them being driven out by racism. The list goes on.

D’Souza would love for all the social issues to be eradicated, just like most individuals but he stresses that our (African Americans) fix for it is through a cultural reconstruction in which society plays a supporting role but which is carried out primarily by African Americans themselves. I don’t know if the term “the end of racism” will ever be established but I am hopeful for it even if it occurs after my existence.

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