Tuesday, April 9, 2013

America in Black and White: One Nation Indivisible

Surveying the current state of racial discourse in America, Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom conclude, ? at present we argue without a common language.? Part of a growth number of scholars who were sympathetic to the cause of civil rights for filthy Americans in the 1960?s but who have since recoiled at the misapplication of the intentions of that movement, the Thernstroms count that the language of fact and reason will provide a firmer foundation for black and white relations in the linked States. Committed to race-neutral policies, the measuring stick by which they judge directly?s racial policies, they counter the lack of intellectual asperity in popularly held explanations of racial disparities by using sociological studies and some seventy tables to bolster their contention that American corporation has changed in revolutionary ways. They also criticize the misuse of statistics to win policies at odds with the original intentions of civil rights legislation.

The book has triple parts. Part 1 traces the history of African Americans from the Jim Crow epoch through the triumphs and subsequent divisions in the Civil Rights movement. Part 2 traces social, economic, and political trends since the 1960?s, focusing on various misconceptions about the manipulation of race in them. Part 3 analyzes the use of advantageous policies.

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Part 2 contains chapters on the rise of the black heart class, the changing relationship between city and suburb, poverty, crime, and politics. It is particularly worthful for isolating various misconceptions about race and tracing their defamatory consequences for black progress and racial relations. One misconception is that poverty defines black America. Whereas racial activists have a vested interest in such(prenominal) a definition because it allows them to blame racism for poverty, the Thernstroms remind readers that close to poor people in America are non black and the majority of blacks are not...

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