I was doing my usual news surfing on the net and came across this article talking about issues most of us thought were over. Civil rights, and racism. Racism is over right, I mean there are no more lynches, no more sittings on the back of the bus for people of color, no more separate but equal laws, and no more segregation. Well we as Americans like to think that we are not racist and somehow better than our ancestors. Well in some ways definitely. But in the ways we choose to ignore, we are almost the same. NMBY is becoming a famous term these days. Not in my backyard. As long as its not happening here it doesn't effect me so therefore I don;t have to deal with it attitude. But thats where we are wrong. Everything our neighbors, cousins, friends, and fellow citizens do reflects on our own ethnicities as well as creates a chain reaction of events that will eventually stare us straight in the face.
This great land of opportunity was created on the basis of slavery. The laws that stemmed from that society were built upon
segregation, unequal rights, and the rich vs the poor. "All men are created equal." Its very beautiful, and it means so much today. Lincoln was a visionary. He saw beyond what was put in front of him, that the future would be one of equality. However he was driven can be questioned. Maybe it was political, maybe it was altruistic, maybe it was just because the south was trying to secede from the union which is against the constitution, then using the slaves against the plantation owners in the South . In any case he helped create the chain reaction that led to the civil rights movement.
It took a while and believe me the whites (not all of them obviously) in this country tried everything they could to slow the process. Separate but equal laws, tried to pass an amendment (1948) that gave US citizens the right to segregate themselves from others ect. My constitutional law class asks a great question when looking at old text. Yes think of what the interpretation means now, but also analyze what the interpretation meant then. This is what our supreme court does. I won't touch Lincoln, but think of before him and what "all men" meant. did that include women? nope they didn't start to become equal
until the 20th century. Was it Latinos, or maybe our next door neighbors the Mexicans? Nope, they were apart of the segregated, and were used as scape goats for the reason
people were smoking marijuana in the early 20th century. OK maybe African Americans were apart of "all men?" Nope, remember 3/5ths of a man. Its right there in our
constitution. Yes it was amended, but you are forgetting that the system is based upon what we are trying to change. Could it be that racism, and segregation have been so
ingrained in our way of life that we can't see it. Since the civil rights movement we think that just a few words and a few changed laws are going to make things equal. But how
can hundreds of years of thinking and society building be changed in 50 years. It can't, but we like to think of ourselves as so different from the ways our ancestors thought.
But were not, yes there are differences, but we still share a common history, we still share the same system. The system has changed, but just because policy is changed, the
outcome of the policy forgotten is still effecting us today.
How many people of color did u learn about in school. And if you did, did u also learn about their hardships, what they had to go through and how unjust society was. Did u hear
another type of perspective besides they helped make this nation what it is today. Well yea their slave labor helped zillionaires by todays standards (white land owners) be
able to cut and form this nation. Aww how nice of them, and did it without being told what to do. What about illegitimate children, the raping of women who couldn't say no, the demoralization that has been passed down from generation to generation. All black people in this country besides the ones that immigrated in the more recent past are connected to the dehumanization, demoralization, enslaved past. Why can't they trace back their roots, because it wasn't a concern to keep records for 3/5ths of a man.
There are many great white philosophers and symbols in our history, but there are just as many people of color that might paint a different view of what happened. Why can't we have an equal balance of both?
If you go down to the plantations in the South that are turned into museums, you hear about the white wealthy land owner and how we should take pride in him because they helped shape our country. But you won;t hear that he had hundreds of slaves in which he beat, whipped, raped, through food scraps to ect.. Not all did this of course, but a huge overwhelming majority did. But we have this beautiful romantic story of a plantation owner that was a good person and helped make this country into what it is today. A land full of people who think they are not racist.
What does the museum of tolerance teach you. That not one of us is clean of racism. It is apart of us because it is a part of our society. No longer do u hear most people speaking openly about how they hate black people. But I bet you have heard I'm glad there aren't people like that in my neighborhood. Or blacks are just good at basketball, (blacks and whites fall into this one, its so ingrained that black people are helping the racism), What do u think I'm black?, or this is a good one, why don't they just pick themselves up off their feet, I did it, so anyone can. Who is saying that. Show me a person of color that was not born into luxery saying that and I'll shut up. Bill Cosby yes had some powerful words recently to wards the black community of America. But his conclusion to black people was that complaining about the
life we are given has not worked in all these years. The only way to pull ourselves out of the gutters is to have to work harder , do more, and get ourselves out there. He was essentially saying complaining hasn't worked, we have to beat the system that is installed to keep us down. These are very wise words, but ask yourself, if you are a white person, is there any history in which white people have been pushed aside and then laws created to keep them there? Maybe a bit, but does it affect any of us today? most likely not, but thats the difference. people of color in this country are reminded everyday that they aren't white because of the past. If you are white, when was the last time u felt white.
The irish had a bad wrap when they came to this country, but what color is their skin? As soon as they had children in this land they started to lose their Irish ethnicity and blend into being US American, exactly what our ancestors wanted. And even an Irish immigrant on the street, If they didn't speak, and they were wearing clothing that fit the time period, "white n@##%^" the term that was given to them would never be thought of in the whites US American minds that passed them on the street.
This recent hurricane has brought the poor and racism back onto the table. Why are people shooting at aid workers, well they are so poor that they are using their animal instincts of survival to try and get as much as they can to try and survive, protect
their families ect.. When you are poor, u feel like the world has forgotten u, and when your a person of color and poor, u feel that the world doesn't care about you. Remember the American modo, be an individual, don't help others, but if u want to help others go ahead, but don;t force me to have to. Well think of these people as being individuals.
They are doing whatever means they have necessary to survive. New Orleans has a majority population of African Americans. And yet when you go to the streets that our beloved sex fest immature young men and women go to, the scenery is of mostly whites. Sounds a bit like segregation. yes there are poor white neighborhoods, But is it possible that with our history the poor black neighborhoods get created because of a system that gives them no one to relate to, and tells them they were once slaves, and yet now equal without the same opportunities as white people. I know what most will say, anyone can go get a better job. Yea maybe, but how much better is that job, and with todays standards of living, will any of those jobs help you improve your situation. Life seems to be about networking. How many jobs have u found in your life by just getting out there. I bet there were a few great ones that u heard about from someone on the street, a friend, family member, or just someone you interacted with. Life these days is about networking. If you don;t have the connections, you won't get very far. If you do, you defied all the odds against you. How about "white flight?" After ww2 white people fled from the cities
into tight little white suburban communities leaving the people of color behind. There is no way I'm raising my child around those people mentality. This has created large all
one race communities and a feeling that we should look for these type of communities when moving. Instead of living among each other, we choose to flee. The outcome is today we
are trying to live among each other and yet feel like there are so many differences. WELL there are, but in the past 50 years we have created more differences. Its like we are
trying to separate cultures. We are different, (people of color vs white people) there is no denying that. But we have a lot more in common than what we think. And a lot of the
differences that have been created are due to segregating ourselves from each other. Once again, we are the riches nation, and yet we know the littlest about the people we live
among. Yes I believe that there should be a common identity that is a US American. Not because its right, but because the world we live in is not ready for just a human
society.(a society where we care about our fellow man and woman before our own ethnicity, race, what have you) The common identity should not have you shed your entire skin.
You are what your family and environment had made you. You should not be stripped of your identity. But respecting the country, and its fellow citizens is a must. One doesn't
have to like its leader though. Just cause they respect the country as a whole doesn't mean they can't dislike or even hate its leaders. Especially if those leader do not
represent them. "No taxation without representation" (I'm white and rich, and u can't tell me what to do in a land that I control because of my money) This is what the wealthy
land owners were thinking, but it also means the people need to be properly represented if they are going to be taxed. Well I feel that I'm not represented whatsoever right
now. I believe in preserving the environment, living susstainably, global warming, the right of privacy in ones home or any possession they own, the right of property that
can't be taken away (aww all of u that think I'm just a communist, I believe in private property), the right to do whatever one wants to their own body, helping others, doing
whats best for society as aposed to a few select individuals, evolution, and I believe that our country should not be run by a man of pure faith.
Morals don't matter because the man who says he's guided by god (Bush) has no problem killing, or letting his own citizens die who live in extreme poverty. A man or woman that believes in science, human decency, and a fair life for all is what we need. With all the differences in religion anyway, it would be best if we had none of the religions in power. After all separation
of church and state. If you want to believe in tradition, go for it, but do not tell me I have to, and do not tell me I'm going to hell either. Prove it!!!!! Exactly its all
about faith, keep your faith, and if your right, congratulations, put in a good word for me will ya. =) But what if you were wrong.
Back to the South, Why is the aid not going to the poorest hardest hit area. They just happen to be black communities. Maybe its harder to get supplies into them? What does
that say about our rescue efforts. Did we choose to not help the most poor. We have all this sophisticated technology, and yet we don't dare use it to help our fellow country
men in the most need, we help the ones easiest to help (probably the cheapest) (All about maintaining profit) and leave the others to pillage for themselves for a while. (What
about RMA weapons? We take so much pride in our military machine but don't use the same technology to better ourselves, just kill others) This is why aid workers are being
shot. These people are losing their children in front of their eyes. They have turned to any means necessary to help themselves because no one has been helping them. They have
been taught well by society that society doesn't care about them. I have heard people lash out at these poor communities. "How could they shoot the aid workers? Did u ask
yourself maybe they can't afford the aid. They can't afford antiseptic, clean cloth's for wounds that all of us take for granted. Here's a good ignorant one " they were told
well in advance, they had time to get out" Who is saying this. Did u have a car to get out? did u have money to pay for the high gas prices? did u have money to pay for the
insurance that u must have to drive a car? There is no savings account, there is no comfort in these peoples lives like so many of us take for granted. When one lives in a poor
community, society forgets them because they are not adding to the capitalistic machine, only leaching on it. Leaching on it because that is the only means they can survive in
this society. No politician cares about the poor because they don;t vote. The elderly are the biggest turn out always so lets make sure we keep them as dopped up as possible.
I know this article I have posted is a bit on the liberal side and I'm sorry for that. This is a very important issue and I don;t want peoples differences to get in the way of
that, but this issue needs to be dealt with and taught to our youth so we will possibly start up again where we left off in the 1970's. A few words, amendments and acts are not going to wipe away hundreds of years. White people don't need to apologize, but they do need to learn about all the atrocities, why they happened,
why they shouldn't happen again, and what are the next steps to truly make this a place of equality, if thats what we all want. We take on the attitude that we are somehow
miraculously already there. We have made a lot of advances yes, Clarence Thomas =) (even though not the best candidate) is on the supreme court, Condoliza Rice and Collin
Powell back to back African American secretaries of state (also another woman in high status position) (Collin Powell I believe is a great man, condoliza I'm not too sure about.) What she has said about south American countries the Caribbean and Latin America has gotten me a bit startled. It seems were going back to the if you don;t listen to us mentality were going to either get rid of u, or put enough pressure around u that u will either be ousted or have to do what we say. (like a trip back to the communist days)
Also many women have now taken on high status positions, even though they still make 75 cents to every dollar a man makes. (average)
Anyway remember to think of others, and always question where peoples motives come from, as well as keep the fight for the dream that one day maybe this country will live up to the image it tries to project.