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TAKING SIDES: CLASHING VIEWS IN RACE AND ETHNICITY, 6/e presents current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. Each issue is thoughtfully framed with an issue summary, an issue introduction, and a postscript. An instructor’s manual with testing material is available for each volume. USING TAKING SIDES IN THE CLASSROOM is also an excellent instructor resource with practical suggestions on incorporating this effective approach in ...
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TAKING SIDES: CLASHING VIEWS IN RACE AND ETHNICITY, 6/e presents current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. Each issue is thoughtfully framed with an issue summary, an issue introduction, and a postscript. An instructor’s manual with testing material is available for each volume. USING TAKING SIDES IN THE CLASSROOM is also an excellent instructor resource with practical suggestions on incorporating this effective approach in the classroom. Each TAKING SIDES reader features an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites and is supported by our student website, www.mhcls.com/online.
PART 1. Classical Issues in Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration ISSUE 1. Do Americans Need a Common Identity? YES: Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., from The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society (W.W. Norton Co., 1992) NO: Michael Walzer, from “What Does It Mean to Be an ‘American’?” Social Research (Fall 1990)
Arthur Schlesinger Jr., historian, asserts that America needs a common identity. In that context, he views multiculturalism as an attack on the basic values that have made America what it is today. For him, Western-rooted values, whether we like it or not, form the fabric of American society. The values of democracy, freedom, rule of law, human rights and so forth are unfairly unchallenged under the guise of multiculturalism. He makes the argument for continuing the assimilation creed. Michael Walzer, professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, makes the pluralist argument that America cannot avoid its multicultural identity. He explores the ways in which citizenship and nationality are compatible with the preservation of one’s ethnic identity, culture, and community.ISSUE 2. Does Immigration Contribute to a Better America? YES: John Cassidy, from “Alien Nation,” The New Yorker (April 10, 2006) NO: Peter Brimelow, from Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster (Random House, 1995)
John Cassidy, writer for The New Yorker, views much of the criticism of current immigration as alarmist and offers an assessment of the significant contributions immigrants are making to American economic well-being. Peter Brimelow, senior editor at Forbes and the National Review magazines, argues that the United States is being overrun by a growing tide of aliens who are changing the character and composition of the nation in manners that are threatening and destructive to it’s well-being and prospects for future advancement.ISSUE 3. Race Relations in the Nineteenth Century: Will Accommodation Insure Progress? YES: Booker T. Washington, from “The Atlanta Exposition Address,” Atlanta Letter (September 18, 1895) NO: W.E.B. DuBois, from Souls of Black Folk (Fawcett, 1968)
Booker T. Washington, the premier black leader of the period 1896-1915, argues that with the embrace of significant norms of the white culture, the pursuit of an economic program featuring vocational education, practical labor, and the ownership of land and other property, the assumption of a non-threatening approach to the development of race relations, the race could make progress in the American South. W.E.B. DuBois, the leading black intellectual and progressive social activist of the first half of the twentieth century, viewed Washington’s program as too limited and emphasized the need for blacks to vigorously pursue voting rights and political empowerment, civil rights, and higher education as bases for black progress in the United States.ISSUE 4. Do Recent Immigration Trends Challenge Existing Ideas of America’s White Identity? YES: Charles A. Gallagher, from “Racial Redistricting: Expanding the Boundaries of Whiteness,” in Heather M. Dalmage, ed., The Politics of Multiracialism: Challenging Racial Thinking (State University of New York Press, 2004) NO: Ellis Cose, from “What’s White, Anyway?” Newsweek (September 18, 2000)
Charles A. Gallagher, author and sociology professor at Georgia State University, argues that America is currently undergoing a "racial redistricting" in which the boundaries of whiteness are expanding to include lighter-skinned people of color (i.e., Asians and some Latinos). Ellis Cose, an African American journalist, argues that the traditional boundaries that determine race and skin color are not what they once were. Although he does not specifically cite ethnicity, Cose furthers the claim that American identity today is an expanding category. The boundaries of whiteness have expanded and are no longer hard and fast.ISSUE 5. Is Race Prejudice a Product of Group Position? YES: Herbert Blumer, from “Race Prejudice as a Sense of Group Position,” The Pacific Sociological Review (Spring 1958) NO: Gordon W. Allport, from The Nature of Prejudice (Perseus Books, 1979)
Herbert Blumer, a sociologist, asserts that prejudice exists in a sense of group position rather than as an attitude based on individual feelings. The collective process by which a group comes to define other racial groups is the focus of Blumer’s position. Gordon Allport, a psychologist, makes the case that prejudice is the result of a three-stage learning process.PART 2. Race Still Matters: Prejudice, Discrimination, and Racial Minorities ISSUE 6. Do Minorities and Whites Engage in Self-Segregation? YES: Beverly Daniel Tatum, from Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (Basic Books, 1977) NO: Peter Beinart, from “Degree of Separation at Yale,” The New Republic (November 3, 1997)
Beverly Daniel Tatum, an African American psychologist, examines identity development among adolescents, especially black youths, and the behavioral outcomes of this phenomenon. She argues that black adolescents’ tendency to view themselves in racial terms is due to the totality of personal and environmental responses that they receive from the larger society. Peter Beinart, senior editor for The New Republic, examines the complexity of the issues of multiculturalism and diversity on the nation’s campuses, and he asserts that one examine how a broad spectrum of groups responds to the challenges of identity and "fitting in" within increasingly multicultural and diverse communities.ISSUE 7. Are Asian Americans a Model Minority? YES: David A. Bell, from “America’s Greatest Success Story: The Triumph of Asian-Americans,” The New Republic (July 15 & 22, 1985) NO: Frank H. Wu, from Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White (Basic Books, 2002)
David A. Bell, journalist and historian, agrees that Asian Americans are a "model minority" and expresses a great appreciation for the progress and prominence they have achieved within the nation. Frank H. Wu, Howard University law professor, rejects the characterization of Asian Americans as a "model minority" based on the belief that this characterization tends to obscure problems facing Asians in America.ISSUE 8. Did Hurricane Katrina Expose Racism in New Orleans? YES: Adolph Reed and Stephen Steinberg, from “Liberal Bad Faith in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina,” The Black Commentator (May 4, 2006) NO: Shelby Steele, from “Witness: Blacks, Whites, and the Politics of Shame in America,” The Wall Street Journal (October 26, 2005)
Adolph Reed, professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, and Stephen Steinberg, professor of sociology at Queens College in New York City, challenge the tendency of policy makers and other commentators to focus on blacks as the source of the problems faced by New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and emphasize the need to address race and poverty concerns effectively. Shelby Steele, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and political commentator, argues that blacks of New Orleans along with other blacks should focus on meaningful methods for overcoming their underdevelopment as revealed by Hurricane Katrina rather than emphasizing the shame of white racism as the cause of their plight.ISSUE 9. Is the Emphasis on a Color-Blind Society an Answer to Racism? YES: Ward Connerly, from “Don’t Box Me In,” National Review (April 16, 2001) NO: Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, from Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003)
Ward Connerly is a strong critic of all attempts at racial classification and believes that in order to achieve a racially egalitarian, unified American society, the government and private citizens must stop assigning people to categories delineated by race. To achieve this goal, Mr. Connerly is supporting the enactment of a "Racial Privacy Initiative." Eduardo Bonilla-Silva argues that "regardless of whites’ sincere fictions, racial considerations shade almost everything in America" and, therefore, color-blind ideology is a cover for the racism and inequality that persist within contemporary American society.PART 3. Social and Political Issues of Education and Multiculturalism ISSUE 10. Are America’s Schools and Neighborhoods Resegregating? YES: Gary Orfield and Susan E. Eaton, from Dismantling Desegregation (The New Press, 1996) NO: Ingrid Gould Ellen, from “Welcome Neighbors?” The Brookings Review (Winter 1997)
Gary Orfield, professor of education and social policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Susan E. Eaton, author, demonstrate that America’s public schools are resegregating. Their argument is based on a series of legal decisions beginning in the 1970s that have successfully reversed the historic Brown decision. Ingrid Gould Ellen, writer for The Brookings Review, argues that neighborhood racial integration is increasing. She thinks researchers must balance their pessimistic findings of resegregation with increased integration.ISSUE 11. Should Race Be Included Among the Many Factors Considered for Admission to Selective Colleges? YES: William G. Bowen and Neil L. Rudenstine, from “Race-Sensitive Admissions: Back to Basics,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (February 7, 2003) NO: Roger Clegg, from “Time Has Not Favored Racial Preferences,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (January 14, 2005)
William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton University, and Neil L. Rudenstine, former president of Harvard University, make the case for race-sensitive admissions in higher education. With a focus on selective colleges, they cite empirical data that demonstrate the success of beneficiaries of race-sensitive admission policies. In their opinion, both public and private selective colleges should continue such policies. Roger Clegg, general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity in Sterling, Virginia and contributor to The Chronicle of Higher Education, argues that universities should put racial groupings aside and give "individualized consideration" to all applicants. His center serves as a place where students can file complaints about illegal racially approved programs.ISSUE 12. Is Affirmative Action Necessary to Achieve Racial Equality in the United States Today? YES: Robert Staples, from “Black Deprivation-White Privilege: The Assault on Affirmative Action,” The Black Scholar (Summer 1995) NO: Roger Clegg, from “Faculty Hiring Preferences and the Law,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (May 19, 2006)
Robert Staples, an African-American sociologist, views affirmative action as a positive policy designed to provide equal economic opportunities for women and other minorities. Roger Clegg, general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity in Sterling, Virginia and contributor to The Chronicle of Higher Education, argues against affirmative action, citing the 2003 Supreme Court decision. He makes the case for universities to hire the best-qualified faculty.ISSUE 13. Is Multiculturalism Compatible with Democratic Values? YES: Wilson Carey McWilliams, from “Democratic Multiculturalism,” in Arthur M. Melzer, Jerry Weinberger, and M. Richard Zinman, eds., Multiculturalism and American Democracy (University Press of Kansas, 1998) NO: Dinesh D’Souza, from The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society (Free Press, 1995)
Wilson Carey McWilliams, political scientist, author, and essayist, argues that democratic multiculturalists need to connect citizens to their government. He claims that The Federalist impact on the U.S. Constitution was to promote a diverse republic. Dinesh D’Souza, John M. Ohlin scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, argues that multiculturalism is a denial of all Western claims to truth. For him, multiculturalists express a form of American ethnocentrism.PART 4. Issues for the Twenty-First Century ISSUE 14. Is Today’s Immigration Debate Anti-Latino (Racist)? YES: Carlos Fuentes, from “Huntington and the Mask of Racism,” trans. Thomas D. Morin, New Perspectives Quarterly (Spring 2004) NO: Samuel P. Huntington, from The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (Simon & Schuster, 1996)
Carlos Fuentes, prominent Mexican writer and social commentator, argues that much of the current immigration debate is racist. For example, he criticizes Samuel Huntington’s assessment that Mexican immigrants exploit the United States and represent an unjust burden to the nation. This "mask" of racism appears under the guise of a concern with American national unity. Samuel Huntington, political scientist and Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor at Harvard University, expresses the concern that Mexican immigrants and, by implication other Latinos, are creating significant problems for America, specifically with reference to assimilation, as their numbers continue to increase within the population. In general, he believes that Latino immigration is a threat to America’s national unity.ISSUE 15. Does White Skin Privilege Still Exist in American Society? YES: Paul Kivel, from Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice (New Society, 1996) NO: Tim Wise, from “The Absurdity (and Consistency) of White Denial: What Kind of Card Is Race?” (April 24, 2006)
Paul Kivel, a teacher, writer, and anti-violence/anti-racist activist, asserts that many benefits accrue to whites based solely on skin color. These benefits range from economic to political advantages and so often include better residential choice, police protection, and education opportunities. Tim Wise, an author of two books on race, argues that whites do not acknowledge privilege. Instead, whites are often convinced that the race card is "played" by blacks to gain their own privilege, something that whites cannot do. Hence, whites simply do not see discrimination and do not attach privilege to their skin color.ISSUE 16. Is Racism a Permanent Feature of American Society? YES: Derrick Bell, from Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism (Basic Books, 1992) NO: Dinesh D’Souza, from The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society (Free Press 1995)
Derrick Bell, a prominent African-American scholar and authority on civil rights and constitutional law, argues that the prospects for achieving racial equality in the United States are "illusory" for blacks. Dinesh D’Souza, John M. Ohlin scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, believes that racial discrimination against blacks has substantially eroded within American society and that lagging progress among them is due to other factors, such as culture, rather than racism.ISSUE 17. Is Now the Time for Reparations for African Americans? YES: Robert L. Allen, from “Past Due: The African American Quest for Reparations,” The Black Scholar (Summer 1998) NO: The Economist, from “Slavery and the Law: Time and Punishment,” The Economist (April 13, 2002)
Robert L. Allen, professor and senior editor of The Black Scholar, argues that reparations for African Americans are necessary to achieve an economically just society within the United States. Staff writers from The Economist oppose reparations and question whether such a policy is appropriate in a nation where the victims of slavery are difficult to identify and the perpetrators of past racial oppressions are no longer among us.ISSUE 18. Is Racial Profiling Defensible Public Policy? YES: Scott Johnson, from “Better Unsafe than (Occasionally) Sorry?” The American Enterprise (January/February 2003) NO: David A. Harris, from Profiles in Injustice: Why Police Profiling Cannot Work (The New Press, 2002)
Scott Johnson, conservative journalist, argues in favor of racial profiling. He claims that racial profiling does not exist "on the nation’s highways and streets." Johnson accuses David Harris of distorting the data on crimes committed and victimization according to race. For him, law enforcement needs to engage in profiling under certain circumstances in order to be effective. David A. Harris, law professor and leading authority on racial profiling, argues that racial profiling is ineffective and damaging to our diverse nation. He believes it hinders effective law enforcement.