I believe they do this because of what happened to white and black Americans in the crucible of the sixties, when whites were confronted with their racial guilt and blacks tasted their first real power. Do you agree or disagree. Shelby Steele Shelby affirmative action certainly has all the moral symmetry. If this happens, I hope the focus will be on development and anti-discrimination, rather than entitlement, on achieving racial parity rather than jerry-building racial diversity. In America, many marginally competent or flatly incompetent whites are hired every day—some because their white skin suits the conscious or unconscious racial preference of their employers. They would say that this small preference is the meagerest recompense for centuries of unrelieved oppression.

To be against them is to be unkind. But the possible costs of the practice are less openly discussed. Bradley Oscar Hijuelos Pat C. He, too, will do a quick repression, but a lifetime of such stabbings is what constitutes his inner realm of racial doubt. Fewer blacks go to college today than ten years ago; more black males of college age are in prison or under the control of the criminal justice system than in college. Analysis he charges that they have been denied full equality by public policies such as affirmative action preferences.

The article takes a position that is against affirmative action because it takes. Post a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. What is the effect of affirmative action on racialist attitudes and discrimination? The mandates of black power and white absolution out of which preferences emerged were not wrong in themselves.

I think one of the most troubling effects of racial preferences for blacks is a kind of demoralization, or put another way, an enlargement of self-doubt. And to these arguments other very obvious facts must be added. Night has fallen on racial preferences, not on the fundamental rights of black Americans.


Affirmative Action: The Price of Preference

Curriculum Library Book Buy the Book. Qffirmative same corporations and institutions essa give us preference are also seen as our oppressors. From the Content of Our Character: Henry Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Edwin Markham Edwin P. Equality or Reverse Discrimination? I saw this illusion at work recently in the mother of a middle-class black student who was going off to his first semester of college.

It was virtually impossible to find people outside either camp.

shelby steele affirmative action essay

Which of these, if any, do you find compelling, and why? But this logic overlooks a much harder and less digestible reality, syeele it is impossible to repay blacks living today for the historic suffering of the race. Steele maintains that Senator essay collection, award. There are explanations, and then there is the fact. Worse, white incompetence is always an individual matter, but for blacks it is often confirmation of ugly stereotypes.

May selby, By Shelby Steele: Johnson From Halter v.

shelby steele affirmative action essay

Too often the result of this, on campuses for example has been a democracy of colors rather than of people, an artificial diversity that gives the appearance of an educational parity between black and white students that has not yet been achieved in reality. They have been called names, have suffered slights, and have experienced firsthand the peculiar malevolence that racism brings out in people. Nov 30, Essay. For Kenneth MacLeish Memorials: Preferential treatment rewards us for being underdogs rather than for moving beyond that status—a misplacement of incentives that, along with its deepening of our doubt, is more a yoke than a spur.


But after twenty years of implementation I think that affirmative action has shown itself to be more bad than good and that blacks—whom I will focus on in this essay—now stand to lose more from it than they gain. But if not preferences, then what? Another liability of affirmative action comes from the fact that it indirectly encourages blacks to exploit their own past victimization as a source of power and privilege. Used by permission of the author.

Racial representation is not the same thing as racial development, yet affirmative action fosters a confusion of these very different needs. Why does Steele distinguish between racial representation and racial development? Of course, many blacks and a considerable number of whites would say that I was sanctimoniously making affirmative action into a test of character.

shelby steele affirmative action essay

In theory, affirmative action certainly has all the moral symmetry that fairness requires—the injustice of historical and even contemporary white advantage is offset with black advantage; preference replaces prejudice, inclusion answers exclusion. There is talk now that Congress may pass new legislation to compensate for these new limits on affirmative action.