Focus Questions D'Souza Chaps 4,5,6 Spring 2013



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Jan 9, 2024





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Focus Questions: What’s So Great About America (Chapters 4,5, &6) 1) According to D’Souza, does racism against Black Americans still exist and if so does it prevent them from achieving the American Dream? No it does not exist and it does not stop them from achieving the American dream 2) Does D’Souza criticize the Founders for not abolishing slavery? Why, Why Not? D’souza does not criticize the founding fathers for not abolishing slavery because the founders exercised wisdom and prudence in producing a charter for a society immeasurably better than the one in which they found themselves. For this D’Souza believes we owe the founding fathers gratitude. 3) How does D’Souza explain the disparity between the scholastic performance of Black Americans and Latinos on the one hand and Asian American students for example on the other? D’souza explains the contrast in African-American and Latino school performance as more cavalier about the effects of poor scholastic performance, devote less time to studies and less likely attribute to their success to hard work. As apposed to Asian-Americans which are complete opposite. Also the number of single parent households significantly increase in African-American households. 4) Does D’Souza believe that government programs such as Affirmative Action and the expansion of public assistance have helped or hurt the black community? How? D’souza believes government programs such as affirmative action and the expansion of public assistance has hindered the progression of black community in being competitive with other groups based on merit and blames such programs for the disintegration for black families in recent years. 5) (Chapter Five) This is probably the toughest chapter of the book. The key word for this chapter is D’Souza’s conception of “authenticity.” To understand the importance of this chapter, you must be able to answer: What was D’Souza trying to illustrate when he discussed Howard Stern, Madonna and Dennis Rodman? Authenticity and self-fulfillment represent an ongoing pursuit and there is constant anxiety from the knowledge that this pursuit can fail. D’Souza illustrates the importance American society grants to the “artist”. Using examples such as Dennis rodman, Howard stern, Madonna he shows the great prestige our society attaches to the quest of authenticity even though it might take controversial or strange forms.
6) (Chapter Six) Does D”Souza believe that generally speaking, the US has been a force for good in the world? D’Souza believes the US has been a force for good in the world giving prime examples of the US saving the world once from Nazi threat in WWII and second from Soviet totalitarianism. Then US helping rebuild those nations of Germany and Japan after the war. 7) (Chapter Six)How does he defend America’s practice of supporting oppressive dictatorships, and even Osama bin Laden, in the past? D’souza defends the US practice of supporting oppressive dictatorships by pointing out a couple of principles from the American foreign policy and also stating the America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interest. The first principle he highlights is that of the lesser evil meaning one is usually justified in allying with a bad guy in order to oppose a regime that is even more terrible. The second principle his highlights is the critical understanding of foreign policy is that of situational logic pointing out it would be foolish to hold US liable for inconsistently changing its policy when the underlying situation that justified the original policy has changed. He also points out that the US lacked certain information about Bin laden and Hussein when they were supported by the US. No written submission is required. You will have your second on line quiz Blackboard— dates will be announced in class and on Blackboard I will also include some questions from recently covered in-class material as well as from previously assigned chapters from D’Souza’s and Lowen’s book. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me immediately!
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