Monday, October 30, 2006

Civil Rights, Then and Now

If only all history could be taught as engagingly as this story is told, about the silent lunch counter protests in Wichita, Kansas, in 1958. I encourage my readers to read that story in its entirety, and then explain to me how we live in a "racist" society. Granted, we live in a racially-charged society, but that's far more the fault of the American Left than it is of the right. That story talks about true racism.

This is what I don't understand about the race-mongers of today. How is it the white man's fault that a fourth of young black men in this country are currently involved in the criminal justice system? Was it that way in 1958, when blacks couldn't eat at the same lunch counters or drink from the same drinking fountains in some places? Even given substandard schools back then, were the academic problems of blacks back then as bad as they are now? If schools are helping to create or perpetuate inequities today, is it because of all of those racist white teachers in our classrooms today who obviously don't care about dark-skinned kids?

I don't see it. You can choose to see it that way if you want to, but that doesn't make it fact. And the fact that I don't see it that way doesn't make me "blind to reality". Remember, lefties--to me, it's you who are blind to reality. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's try to have a constructive dialogue on the topic.

To this day I marvel at the events of the Civil Rights Movement. I marvel at the courage and inner strength of people--like the ones in the story above--who stood against injustice. They didn't gather on a street corner with signs and speak vile things about a country that brought their forefathers here in chains; no, they worked with dignity to ensure that the American Dream could truly be open to all.

And too many of their successors today have pissed it away. That's just how I see it.

The Wichita story was "civil rights then", now let's read about "civil rights now". The ACLU has dropped its lawsuit against the Patriot Act. Apparently, they now recognize that the law isn't un-American or unconstitutional. Welcome to club, ACLU.

How our standards have dropped so much since 1958, when people worked towards true justice.

14 comments:

allen said...

The unacknowledged "hero" in this story is good, old capitalism.

When the cost of supporting an artificial distinction between people has to be voluntarily born the cost quickly becomes prohibitive. Only legal prohibition can cause people to maintain a "united" front.

It's not well known but the owners of the bus on which Rosa Parks stepped into the history books were strongly opposed to the law that Rosa Parks broke. There was no good to come from a law like that for the bus company but the people who made the law weren't worried about any damage the bus company might suffer. That was not a luxury the bus company could afford since profits and bigotry aren't comfortable companions.

When the owner of the drug store chain had to bear the cost of upholding bigotry, the color of customer's money quickly overtook the importance of the color of the customer's skin.

"Serve them. I'm losing too much money." It ought to be on that plaque.

Anonymous said...

Indeed. Anyone who listends to talk radio is constantly bombarded with PSA about racism, as if! Often the spots are played back-to-back to take up air time and settle FCC requirements, I guess. It's obnoxious.

Where was all this *courage and forthrightness* 50 years ago? It is SO not hard to make these stands now. Not so easy then.

Tyler said...

The whole argument that the reason black kids and hispanics don't perform as well on the SAT's and don't get into harvard etc. is because of racism is one of the few liberal arguments I don't buy. This may sound bad of me, but, for some reason I have yet to grasp, blacks and latinos as a society are simply not as academically talented. That's not to say there are no individuals in those groups who aren't outstanding, becuase anyone who says that is a nut. Just look at MLK or Fredrik Douglass etc. etc. But this is one area I agree with you. Today's African Americans have, in some ways, caused their own negative image and stereotype The crime statistics don't lie. As a group, blacks are more likely to commit murder. Wow, that was conservative of me.

Jell-O Bob said...

Well, Darren, in spite of the conservative myth of a color blind society, we live in a country where race still matters.

In my community, a third grade teacher recently gave her two-week-notice because she had too many black boys. That is a fact.

As to your bigger question, the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s and 70’s failed because it sought political and social equality, not economic equality. Of course, having your key leaders assassinated doesn’t help either.

The gay community, in contrast, achieved remarkable autonomy and economic superiority through tremendous purchasing power comparative to their percentage in the population. Not having children helps. They still have a way to go with regard to political equality, but they have disposable income in a political system that accepts Cash, Master Card, and Visa. Their time will come.

In spite of the progress we have made, we still have a long way to go in America. As long as the Republican Party denies that the problem even exists, they will always get 10% of the black vote.

Darren said...

Jell-O Bob, you can call it a myth all you want. That "myth" used to be the actual goal of the civil rights movement, before they switched gears and now want reverse discrimination.

As for that 10% of the vote, it's unfortunate, but of all the presidential elections in my lifetime (and that's after the Civil Rights Act of '64 was passed), the Republicans have won 7 and the Democrats 3. 7-3 may not get you to the national championship, but it'll get you to a Bowl Game near New Year's. And it'll get you much further than 3-7 will.

Darren said...

Tyler, if by "that was conservative of me" you mean that you looked at the evidence and drew a rational, logical conclusion from that evidence, then you're right--it was conservative of you.

=)

rightwingprof said...

"As long as the Republican Party denies that the problem even exists"

What you mean is, "As long as the Republican Party doesn't perpetuate our poverty by promising more handouts instead of the chance to make something of ourselves."

George said...

Jell-O-Bob,

Fact: African American boys are the lowest test-performers pretty much across the board.

Fact: Nobody is certain as to why.

Fact: Teachers are under more pressure than ever to raise standardized test scores (I'm one of them).

Opinion: Students are not distributed equitably amongst faculty (one of my colleagues once had 15 Spec. Ed. students in one class when others in the same subject had none).

Question: Is it possible that your colleague felt she was set up to fail?

Jell-O Bob said...

In response to the question, I don't see how. I do not work there, but I am told on good authority that her class was no different than any other on that grade level.

Jell-O Bob said...

“Jell-O Bob, you can call it a myth all you want. That "myth" used to be the actual goal of the civil rights movement, before they switched gears and now want reverse discrimination.

As for that 10% of the vote, it's unfortunate, but of all the presidential elections in my lifetime (and that's after the Civil Rights Act of '64 was passed), the Republicans have won 7 and the Democrats 3. 7-3 may not get you to the national championship, but it'll get you to a Bowl Game near New Year's. And it'll get you much further than 3-7 will.”

In spite of what Karl Rove would have you believe, there is much more to American society than simply winning elections. Minorities loose at the polls more often than not, and yet we continue.

A 7-3 record, eh? Well tell me this, honestly, do you think that we have become a more conservative or progressive country since 1964?

When you consider where gays, minorities, and other outcasts were in 1964 vs. today, I think there is no question that we are much better of in spite of the dark cloud that has plagued our halls of political power.

You right wing extremists have done a good job slowing down the rate of progress in our society, but you cannot stop it.

The era of white male christian hegemony will end in our lifetime.

Darren said...

Boo hoo, Jello-Bob.

You can thank the *Republicans* for the Civil Rights Movement. Your step-n-fetch-it betters won't tell you the votes for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, broken down by political party. I'd suggest you look it up.

And what Democrats are helping gays out? Howard Dean recently stated that marriage=one-man+one-woman was the plank of the Democrat Party. He was mistaken--it's not a plank--but the leader of the party thought it was. Even John F-bomb Kerry said during the 2004 election that there was no fundamental difference between his views and the President's when it came to gay marriage.

You can think that the Republicans are slowing "progress" if you want to. You can even classify me as a right-wing extremist, despite all the surveys I take that cast me just right of center. Hey, I support gays! So stick your stereotypes where I don't have to deal with them.

You left-wing extremists take every opportunity you have to screw this country up; I don't understand your self-loathing, but I'm happy to shove it in your face.

Darren said...

I retract my last clause--it's not civil at all, and I shouldn't have said it.

Carson said...

A little venting never hurt anyone, And the last clause isnt that bad compared to what Lefties say about conservatives.

rightwingprof said...

Jell-O-Brain Bob said:

"The era of white male christian hegemony will end in our lifetime."

Nutcase alert.