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The book Race Matters by Cornel West has many different views on African Americans from Nihilism to affirmative action and black sexuality as a taboo subject Nihilism is the belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility and this is the first topic West tackles West believes that blacks on the bottom of the social ladder divide into one of two groups First there are the ones that stress structural constraints These are certain things that might hinder a persons ability to succeed in doing something The topics discussed among these people are mainly poor education inadequate health care and high unemployment rates They usually call for more government money full employment child-care programs and various affirmative action practices The other group West describes of is the one who stresses behavioral restrictions which includes Protestant ethic such as hard work gratification and responsibility This group calls for self-help programs and black owned business expansion Both have had debates on the prospects for black America West has many views on this topic He believes institutions and values go hand in hand but are not determined by circumstances which can lead to greater living conditions Also culture is as much a structure as politics or economics Culture is involved in many institutions such as church family school and television Economic and politics also promote cultural ideals of The Good Life and Good Society West also speaks of blacks reaching a point beyond affirmative action and taking another step towards the goal of equality The direct problem of poverty among blacks is the distribution of wealth power and income This distribution has denied opportunities to many qualified black people for a while The role of American progressives has been to promote distribution in order to make the standard and quality of living higher
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