What wrongs does Affirmative Action actually make right?



The second reading for this week, “What is wrong with Affirmative Action?” by Shelby Steele, explores the problems that affirmative action creates. He explores the idea that affirmative action is white people’s way of trying to right discrimination that has been inflicted on blacks. However, he believes that this is also somehow offensive because it makes some assumption that blacks are inferior and could not have competed with white students without the help of affirmative action. He also believes that affirmative action does more for whites by making them believe that they are being more fair to black people and in so allowing them to maintain some feeling of “innocence” when it comes to racism. 

I felt that this reading spiraled into more of a rant on racism rather than discussing affirmative action. The author bases many of his points on what black people think that white people think of them, which does not seem like a very strong argument since I could not find any studies confirming any race being particularly adept at mind-reading. Also this reading is very specifically focused on African-American students, and fails to look into the effects of affirmative action on any other race or ethnicity. All and all I could understand some of his points but I did not agree with how they were stated.



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