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...
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