It Was All About Changing Laws And Not About Equality
”The movement of the 60’s was about changing laws in large part. Most of that work was accomplished. Most of the barriers we face right now are put up by individual private enterprises and persons, ourselves, and institutional practices ignorant to cultural biases. I’m into pointing out institutional and individual biases, but our main focus as black people has to be ourselves. I can’t make IBM be sensitive to my cultural issues or force some conservative to be open to hiring some of my ‘delinquents’ despite the totally incongruent way they may have been treated by the system. But what I CAN do is get the young people I work with to see that if they have a dream, they don’t have to wait for barriers to be lifted. Sure it’s going to be harder for them to get some things done than their white age mates. But they are the minority population in this country. Whites would be having the same problems we do if there were fewer of them than us-it’s intrinsic.” – Carlton
The purpose of the civil rights era was equality for people of color. The goal wasn’t to change laws. Changing laws was one of the steps in the long road towards true equality. When the civil rights laws passed, the leaders of the movement didn’t hang up their hat and started patting themselves on the back and telling each other job well done. Again, you chose to follow the most simplistic interpretation to the study of black history.
The barriers the black community faces today are the same barriers our ancestors and elders faced more than a generation ago. That barrier is people from the dominant community who refuse to accept black people as an equal in the national community because of racial and cultural biases. These are the same racial biases that cause the collective of people who share them to work in unison to suppress opportunity for people in the black community. This is the foundation for the condition you wish to ignore or pretend doesn’t exist and label as The Great White Conspiracy. You see, you really do understand even though you try to act like you don’t. You appear to be suffering from a serious case of self imposed denial.
You alone may not be able to inspire IBM to be more sensitive to black community issues, especially when you refuse to even try. However, if black people were to work as a community of people with a common interest, our combined effort could have more of an impact for change. That’s how our ancestors and elders were able to break the segregationist policies of the Montgomery, Alabama bus company. One person cannot affect change on their own. A community of people can. By refusing to teach our youth the complete picture of race relations in America people like you are actually removing our single best counter to the removal of social barriers, a well aware black community.
A lot of people like to point to a single successful black person as proof that we can overcome the obstacles that keep the majority of black people from participating as true equals. Now that we have a black President we want to tell our black children that any black person can be the next President. But according to Bureau of Justice Statistics, the reality is that the same system that Mr. Obama managed to maneuver to become our country’s first black President is the same system that in 2002 alone accounted for nearly six hundred thousand new black inmates in our state and federal prison systems. If we were to give our black children the complete picture we would be saying that you could believe in yourself and become President one day, but in all honesty you are nearly sixty million percent more likely to become another statistic of our prison system.
” Whites would be having the same problems we do if there were fewer of them than us…” – Carlton
What fiction is this statement based on? What point does would of, should of, or could of arguments play in these discussions about the reality of our situation? If white people were from Krypton and black people were made of kryptonite then we wouldn’t have this problem. But nobody is from Krypton and nobody is made of kryptonite. Similarly, white people are not the minority here and white people are not having the same problem as people in the black community.
However, if you look at what happened in South Africa, you cannot simply say that white people in the minority would be victimized. The same thing happened in a number of Caribbean Islands. A minority of white people took advantage of an ill prepared native population. It has happened all over the world. Stop pulling useless arguments based on conjecture and imagination out of the air to support your position. It is not humanly instrinsic that a racial minority must suffer the wrath of a larger majority.