affirmative action

Views on Affirmative Action

In this assignment, you will analyze three viewpoints on affirmative action. All three are from African American writers and intellectuals.

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The first, an article written by Kimberly Reyes, favors affirmative action as an answer to historic inequality and racial injustices.

The second, an article concerning the viewpoint of Jason Riley, argues that affirmative action hurts African Americans.

The third, a video lecture from Shelby Steele, argues that affirmative action is a response to white guilt rather than an advocacy of black advancement.

There are six questions to answer: two from each source. Be sure to cite specific details from the sources to support each of your answers.

Source 1

Read the article “Affirmative Action Shouldn’t Be About Diversity,” by Kimberly Reyes (The Atlantic, 2018) (Links to an external site.)

Then answer the following questions:

1. Why does Reyes argue that affirmative action is important?

2. Why does she believe that the message of diversity is problematic as a justification for affirmative action policies?

Source 2

Read the article “When You Harm Those You Mean to Help, You Should Stop Immediately,” published in 2014 on, which discusses the views expressed by black author Jason Riley in his book Please Stop Helping Us:How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed (Encounter Books, 2014). (Links to an external site.)

Then answer the following questions:

3. Why does Riley argue that educational policies and minimum wage policies have disparaged blacks, hindered their progress, and worsened inequalities?

4. Why does Riley point to Asian Americans as an example of what the academic and economic possibilities can be when the government doesn’t victimize and provide for people based on their race?

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