Chapter 18 Essay Questions
1. What is white privilege? Provide some examples. In your opinion, what special moral obligations do those who benefit from white privilege have? Explain and defend your answer.
2. What is the difference between de jure equality of opportunity and de facto equality of opportunity? Illustrate each concept with an example. Which concept is at play in the Equal Opportunity Argument? Why might ensuring de jure equality of opportunity not be enough to correct for systematic oppression?
3. Does the U.S. government owe reparations to any groups? Which ones? How can we determine what kind of reparations are owed and to whom? Can we answer these questions even if we cannot answer counterfactual questions with certainty? Defend your answers.
4. In your own words, state and defend the Principle of Morally Just Acquisitions and Transfers. What are the strongest considerations in favor of this principle? What are the strongest considerations against it? Is this principle true? Explain the significance of your answer for the question of whether reparations are morally owed to Native Americans.
5. What does Hausman mean by “rectification”? How is it different from “reparation”? Why might someone think that preferential hiring and admissions is justified as a form of rectification? What problems does Hausman have with this view? Do you agree with his criticisms? Why or why not?
6. Briefly explain the four stages of integration. According to Anderson, what three types of goods can only be achieved with integration? Do you think that any of these goods could be achieved without integration? Why or why not?
7. Explain Anderson’s critique of the right’s approach to integration. How do you think a conservative should respond to her critique? Ultimately, who do you think is right? Explain and defend your response.
8. Shelby invokes the Rawlsian notion of the duty of justice. What does this duty require? To what extent does Shelby think the ghetto poor have this duty? In what ways does Shelby think the ghetto poor have different obligations with respect to the duty of justice than, for example, affluent white people? Do you agree with Shelby’s assessment? Defend your answer.
9. Which common criticisms of the ghetto poor does Shelby think are inappropriate, and why? Which common criticisms of the ghetto poor does Shelby think are appropriate, and why? In your answer, make clear what role self-respect plays in Shelby’s evaluation of these criticisms.
10. According to Lebron, why is the idea of black radicalism is alarming to many Americans? Why does he think it’s a mistake to treat radicalism as a dangerous doctrine? Do you agree with his assessment? Why or why not?