Less than Equal
The initial Status of Blacks in the Unites States
Government Period 3
December 18, 2000
Less than Equal
The initial status of blacks in the United States
For much of black America life seems suspended. In the bleakness of filth and of the inner cities our people go through motions of living. On the street corners jobless men still wait, among the garbage and rats children still play. There are some features to the scene City blocks are ravaged by the riot, the bums and blocked buildings, the empty lots still stand like silent witnesses to their futile anger(Lusane C ,1994, p.135).
Historically African American have endured a large amount of economic distress. Exploitation for labor for 400 years brought about turmoil. There was no land for the black people. They were not allowed voting privileges now nor then. There was a lot mind manipulation that took place. Lack of self worth was one of their main concerns. The slave owners made divisions between the black people by favoring light over dark blacks put a wedge between the African community as a whole. Black people were also ousted from the community due to their dark skin and discrimination towards them. Black people are weakened by their own distrust and jealousies of each other by our factionalism and feuding(Natanson ,1992, p. 56). Black people today are no better politically, economicly, or socially than they were before despite the numerous efforts that they have made.
Problems with social equity existed in the preceding years with African American. More than two blacks were prohibited to congregate at on time because there were laws that hindered it. Also there were Jim Crow laws that were very oppressive to the African American community. Rejection from bathrooms and drinking fountains and restaurants forced blacks to segregate from the community. Schools were also segregated but not equal. This was said to be unconstitutional in the Brown vs Board trial. In the 1960s, African American demanded their own school boards with the power to hire and fire principles and teachers and to construct a curriculum that would be relevant to the special needs and culture of the ghetto youth. This would allow blacks to have a say in the curriculum that was being taught to the children. Police brutality is another main concern in the community. There has been a growing recognition that the law enforcement is particularly crucial in maintaining the status of blacks in America. Police include the highest proportion of individual racists. In the 1960s African Americans were hosed when protesting the injustices of society. Their demands and peaceful marches were looked upon as uprisings against the government and the police arrested them and used the water hose to stop their cause.
Furthermore, a political set back to the African Americans was the grandfather clause that prevented any male whose grandfather could not vote, not to vote either.. Money and ownership of property was the economic tool that allowed for political status ;yet the blacks were neglected the right to own or buy anything thus meaning their voice was nonexistent. Also the government intimidation with strong black political leaders forced them to kill the people that blacks looked up to and respected. Dr King believed that the issue of war and justice are not separate and that we must fight against both. For the struggle we rage is not of race alone but of human justice, and we cannot solve the issue of race without dealing with the issue of justice (Swain C, 1995 ,p 257). Martin Luther King became the example for blacks to watch. He advocated peace and unity yet his beliefs were too much for people to accept. Malcolm X on the other was an extremist he believed in taking action getting revenge on the people who hurt African Americans. His forceful and radical methods were the cause of his assignation. The southern based nonviolent civil right movement died a victim of the US racism which sparked the first urban rebellions in the northern black ghettoes.
In present day America the social barriers still exist for many African Americans. African Americans are denied from jobs that they are truly qualified for. Often blacks and Latinos are forced to compete for insufficient and inadequate resources in education, health social service employment and economic development an housing There is also a lot discrimination. Since 1995, the revocation of the affirmative action bill, the number of African Americans being accepted into the prestigious colleges has been reduced. (Mitchel P , 1996, p 342)African Americans also suffer from illiteracy and the poor education that they receive in the public schooling systems. Oakland school Board attempted to help the African American student by proposing a bill that educated the teachers on the format of the Ebonics language but that was denied. Another barrier would be the racial profiling. Racial profiling allows for police to pull over African American males that are driving for no logical reason; except for that fact that they are black. Also, the government has lowered the standards for felonies amd the crimes that have to be committed for blacks to go to jail. A lot of women are raising their kids by themselves. Broken homes are not beneficial especially when the mother is sole provider when the dad is locked up. Because of the pressure and stress usually allows the kid to live in a mentally abusive household.
Favoritism in the political community still remains to this day. African Americans representation is minimal in Congress so how much could their voice really count. Racial apportionment within the districts allows for the African voice not to count regardless if the population in a particular area is of a great number. A black politician named Edward Brooke is senator of Massachusetts, talked proper. He was fair skinned and still put in the generalization of African American and this narrow-minded idea is brought about by the white and black community. In addition his political and moral ideas derived from the African community so if any injustices occur in Massachusetts he is the first person there to bring about resolution.
In addition, this last election between Bush and vice president Gore served as a great example of injustice on the voice African Americans. In Miami hundereds of people were pushed away from the polls. Not only that but the issues that were presented in the election were not to help minorities. The issues were to help upper and middle class america. The Republicans of today have clearly decided that our vote is expendable, on the other hand the Democrats take blacks for granted assuming that they have no where else to go they can forget about blacks.
The Economic status of blacks today is no better than how it was 20 years. Inflation has caused money to devalue meaning it might appear as if African Americans are doing better, compare these numbers to those of United States as whole and people will see the gap. The financial gap between blacks and whites has not closed by that much. In 1998 the average income for blacks was 25,352 dollars and 42, 431 for white Americans.(Swain C 1995, p 76)
There are many solutions needed to face this endeavor in our society. Voter Empoerment for the community would be successful in allowing oppurtunities for more political status.: advocating that blacks today still have a voice. The black census allows for poor communities to get representation, more money, and medical benefits. Black unity in campaign organization is essential yet with black unity alone we will not win. Black people must look for the areas that are broader which encompass issues of white majority so we can get something accomplished.The government is showing that they slightly care about our needs. Also our black community is building business and becoming entrepreneurs. For example Magic Johnson has opened more starbuckss coffee shops in the black community
Social improvements have been transpired through the NAACP is a minority group that supports African American progress usually the most beneficial way would be the scholarships. The NAACP, founded in 1909, has given contributions including landmarks policies most notable, the enforcement of civil right statutes and the creation of socio economic progress directed at the elimination of poverty. The Urban League is used to promote Black elites. The group gives the youth more scholarships to increase education in politics. In 1995 the million-man march would increase the social structure of African American males.
The economic solution is blacks are using economic power to influence change. W.E.B Du Bois stated that without the economic basis there is no political status. The need for political status is imperative for change within the black community. African Americans need to understand the economic system. They need to recognize the nature of the capitalistic economic system. Dealing with both exploitation and racial oppression will enable much maturing and growth. The goal of African Americans would be for economic success people need to buy more property and pass it on to their grand kids. We need to buy property so that our people can have money left on the family after our relatives die. So there will be inheritance left.
Our goal for social success will be to allow the black people to understand that they are not inferior and that black people are smart. Mind manipulation has caused inferiority problems to bring solidarity between the races. Web Du Bois states that Negro leadership therefore sought from the first rid the race of this awful incubus that it might make way for survival of the fittest Class matters that there is a battle for economic fairness will be the future determinant of Afro- American politics Black people need to win in the sense that it is their right to have some kind of victory in this long fight of solitude Blacks must thrive for survival but in order to do so blacks and whites must work together( Mitchel P 1996, p 54).
African Americans as a community have struggled and will continue to struggle to make a voice for themselves in society. Empowerment from blacks will come when they understand that the fight will keep existing until they reach a compromise or propose a plan that will both benefit blacks as well as white people. The hardships endured by the black people as they have been ousted from communities has made their hearts heavy and the race alone has household messes; meaning that we have a lot of emotional baggage. It is time all of us recapture that glimpse of common destiny. As blacks organize not just to protest but to plan their leadership develops.
Jackson M. Blacks in Politics During Reconstruction-World African New . Google. Retrieved 11/15/00
Linn K. Many Blacks still encounter Politics of Exclusion. Google. Retrieved 11/15/00 www.pacificnews.org/jinn/stories/6.16/000807-many.html
Lusane C. (1994) African American At the Crossroad :The Reconstruction of Black Leaders and the 1992 Elections.Hunter Publishing
Nelson W. (August 2000) Black Atlantic Politics : Dilemnas of Political Empowerment in Boston and Liverpool (Suny Series in African Studies). Washington Publishing
Swain C. (December 1995) Black Faces, Black Interests : The representation of African Americans in Congress. Brown Publishing
Natanson N. (August 1992) The Black Image in the New Deal: The Politics of FSA Photography. Fredrickson Publishing Corporation
Mitchel P. (1996) Cuban Interests Section, Washington DC- Celebrating the Role Black Politics. New York TimesPeter R.( 1993) Blacks
Blaimer R (1972) Racial Opression in the United States, Blackwell Publishing Company