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Race: The Power of Illusion

After all, it was only a few generations ago that the FHA was discriminating against black applicants. Schools are still highly segregated. Race in many ways determines access to social and cultural capital, as well as financial capital. Throughout successive generations, it has been difficult if not downright impossible for the sons and daughters of non-white individuals to achieve social and economic parity with whites. The government could do things like infuse large amounts of money into predominantly poor, black communities. The residents of these communities need to have the opportunity to start their own businesses rather than work for a distant (white-owned) corporation that does not give back to the community. When black communities become more self-sustaining economically, it will be easier for them to improve infrastructure. The results will take time but would be totally feasible and no one would be affected adversely.

In light of the consequences of past racial discrimination on the present, do race-neutral or color-blind policies really make sense or do they just ignore the problem? Does it make sense to continue using affirmative action or do affirmative action programs make things worse? Why do you feel this way?

Affirmative action still has a place in certain situations, in which racial bias was not realized to be a problem.

For example, some businesses and schools might have inadvertently overlooked black applicants for acceptance or promotions. Only with affirmative action can underlying or unconscious biases be overcome. Moreover, it is important to have more minorities in positions of power, to change attitudes and offer role models for youth.

If racial inequality can be traced to systemic issues such as housing practices, who is to blame for racial inequality and who (if anyone) should bear the burdens of correcting those injustices (i.e., who would pay for the programs? Who would have to make sacrifices? Who would be hurt?)?

Placing blame is not as important as finding and implementing effective solutions. I believe that a program of small business development for minorities is one of the best ways to improve the economy for everyone, and to uplift the nations most disenfranchised people..

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