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Discrimination Discrimination The struggle for social and economic equality of Black people in America has been long and slow. It is sometimes amazing that any progress has been made in the racial equality arena at all; every tentative step forward seems to be diluted by losses elsewhere. For every Stacey Koons that is convicted, there seems to be a Texaco executive waiting to send Blacks back to the past. Throughout the struggle for equal rights, there have been courageous Black leaders at the forefront of each discrete movement. From early activists such as Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B.

DuBois, to 1960s civil rights leaders and radicals such as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and the Black Panthers, the progress that has been made toward full equality has resulted from the visionary leadership of these brave individuals. This does not imply, however, that there has ever been widespread agreement within the Black community on strategy or that the actions of prominent Black leaders have met with strong support from those who would benefit from these actions. This report will examine the influence of two early era Black activists: Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. Through an analysis of the ideological differences between these two men, the writer will argue that, although they disagreed over the direction of the struggle for equality, the differences between these two men actually enhanced the status of Black Americans in the struggle for racial equality.

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We will look specifically at the events leading to and surrounding the Atlanta Compromise in 1895. In order to understand the differences in the philosophies of Washington and Dubois, it is useful to know something about their backgrounds. Booker T. Washington, born a slave in 1856 in Franklin County, Virginia, could be described as a pragmatist. He was only able to attend school three months out of the year, with the remaining nine months spent working in coal mines. He developed the idea of Blacks becoming skilled tradesmen as a useful stepping-stone toward respect by the white majority and eventual full equality.

Washington worked his way through Hampton Institute and helped found the Tuskeegee Institute, a trade school for blacks. His essential strategy for the advancement of American Blacks was for them to achieve enhanced status as skilled tradesmen for the present, then using this status as a platform from which to reach for full equality later. Significantly, he argued for submission to the white majority so as not to offend the power elite. Though he preached appeasement and a hands off attitude toward politics, Washington has been accused of wielding imperious power over his people and of consorting with the white elite. William Edward Burghardt DuBois, on the other hand, was more of an idealist.

DuBois was born in Massachusetts in 1868, just after the end of the Civil War and the official end of slavery. A gifted scholar, formal education played a much greater role in DuBois’s life than it did in Washington’s. After becoming a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Fisk and Harvard, he was the first Black to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1895. DuBois wrote over 20 books and more than 100 scholarly articles on the historical and sociological nature of the Black experience.

He argued that an educated Black elite should lead Blacks to liberation by advancing a philosophical and intellectual offensive against racial discrimination. DuBois forwarded the argument that The Negro problem was not and could not be kept distinct from other reform movements. . . DuBois favored immediate social and political integration and the higher education of a Talented Tenth of the black population.

His main interest was in the education of the group leader, the man who sets the ideas of the community where he lives. . .’ To this end, he organized the Niagara movement, a meeting of 29 Black business and professional men, which led to the formation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The crux of the struggle for the ideological center of the racial equality movement is perhaps best exemplified in Mr. DuBois’s influential The Souls of Black Folk.

In it, he makes an impassioned argument for his vision of an educated Black elite. DuBois also describes his opposition to Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Compromise as follows: Mr. Washington represents in Negro thought the old attitude of adjustment and submission.. According to DuBois, Washington broke the mold set by his predecessors: Here, led by Remond, Nell, Wells- Brown, and Douglass, a new period of self-assertion and self- development dawned…

But Booker T. Washington arose as essentially the leader not of one race but of two–a compromiser between the South, the North, and the Negro. DuBois reported that Blacks resented, at first bitterly, signs of compromise which surrendered their civil and political rights, even though this was to be exchanged for larger chances of economic development. DuBois’s point and, according to him, the collective opinion of the majority of the Black community, was that self- respect was more important than any potential future economic benefits. Before Washington’s conciliatory stance gained a foothold, the assertion of the manhood rights of the Negro by himself was the main reliance.

In other words, DuBois resented what he saw as Washington selling Black pride: ..Mr. Washington’s programme naturally takes an economic cast, becoming a gospel of Work and Money to such an extent as apparently almost completely to overshadow the higher aims of life. The compromise included, in DuBois’s words, that black people give up, at least for the present, three things,– First, political power, Second, insistence on civil rights, Third, higher education of Negro youth,–and concentrate all their energies on industrial education, the accumulation of wealth, and the conciliation of the South. The final point comprised the centerpiece both of Washington’s strategy for the ultimate redemption of Black Americans and of DuBois’s condemnation of that strategy. Indeed, Washington backed up his assertions by founding the Tuskeegee Institute as a trade school for young Black men. DuBois could not abide this type of appeasement.

In his mind, this step was tantamount to the Black community telling the white community that, henceforth, Blacks would cease pretending to be equal to whites as human beings; rather, they would accept an overtly inferior social status as being worthy of maintaining the white majority’s physical world, but unworthy of true equality, of conducting socio-cultural discourse with the mainstream society. The paradox must have been maddening for both men, especially Mr. Washington. He no doubt understood that, as a group, Blacks could never hope to progress to the point of equality from their position of abject poverty. Moreover, without skills, their hopes of escaping their economic inferiority were indeed scant. Washington’s plan for blacks to at least become skilled artisans and tradesmen must have seemed logical to him from the standpoint of improving the economic lot of the average Black man. At the same time, he must have realized that, by accepting inferiority as a de- facto condition for the entire race, he may have broken the black spirit forever. In considering this matter, the writer is reminded of more recent events in American history–the affirmative action flap that occurred after Clarence Thomas’s appointment to the U.S.

Supreme Court, for example. Mr. Thomas, clearly a beneficiary of affirmative action, announced that he was nonetheless opposed to it. His argument was that if he had not been eligible for benefits under affirmative action programs, he would have still achieved his current position in the inner circle of this society’s white power elite. Similarly, Booker T. Washington enjoyed access to the power elite of his time, but one must wonder whether President Roosevelt, for example, in his interactions with Mr.

Washington, was not merely using the situation for public relations value. [Mr. Washington] was intimate’ with Roosevelt from 1901 to 1908. On the day Roosevelt took office, he invited Washington to the White House to advise him on political appointments of Negroes in the south. After all, he did not become a popular president by being oblivious to such political maneuvering.

Perhaps Mr. DuBois was the more prescient visionary. Perhaps he understood what Mr. Washington did not, that after the critical historical momentum toward social acceptance that had been established prior to the late nineteenth century, if political pressure were not maintained, the cause of true equality would be lost forever. Moreover, DuBois understood that equality would not be earned through appeasement. From our perspective of over 100 years, we must admit that he may have been right.

For example, in the aftermath of the Atlanta Massacre of September 22, 1906 and a similar incident in Springfield, Illinois, it was clear to almost all the players that the tide was running strongly in favor of protest and militancy. For six days in August, 1908, a white mob, made up, the press said, of many of the town’s best citizens,’ surged through the streets of Springfield, Illinois, killing and wounding scores of Blacks and driving hundreds from the city. However, it later turned out that DuBois was considered to be too extreme in the other direction. For example, as the NAACP became more mainstream, it became increasingly conservative, and this did not please DuBois, who left the organization in 1934. He returned later but was eventually shunned by Black leadership both inside and outside of the NAACP, especially after he voiced admiration for the USSR.

In the political climate of the late 1940s and 1950s, any hint of a pro-communist attitude–black or white–was unwelcome in any group with a national political agenda. We can see, then, that neither Washington’s strategy of appeasement nor DuBois’s plan for an elite Black intelligentsia was to become wholly successful in elevating American Blacks to a position of equality. However, perhaps it was more than the leadership of any one Black man that encouraged African Americans to demand a full measure of social and economic equality. Perhaps the fact that there was a public dialogue in itself did more to encourage Black equality than the philosophy of any one prominent Black man. After all, concepts such as equality are exactly that: concepts. As such, it up to each of us to decide how we see ourselves in relation to others; superior or inferior, equal or not equal, the choice is ultimately our own.


Discrimination Discrimination Anthony Koroush Position Paper 13 December 2000 Discrimination IntroductionDiscrimination is going on around the world everyday. Discrimination in any way is wrong. I. It contradicts the Constitution A. The Constitution states, All men are created equal.

1. In the 1700s, blacks were slaves. 2. Three Fifths Compromise: 5 blacks=3whites 3. Hitler killing the Jews 4. Catholics persecuted in Maryland because of religion 5.

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Rosa Parks riding on bus with whites II. It is selfish A. Sept. 22, 1862: Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation 1. to free slaves of the Confederacy B.

During 1800s, whites bought slaves to do their work. 1. Worked on plantations: hard labor, cruel discipline, isolation C. Families broke up by sale D. Against the law to teach enslaved persons to read E. Southerners argue 1.

Necessary to provide an adequate labor supply and was a positive good F. Putting down handicap to higher own self-esteem III. It creates tension between groups and/or nations A. Gang violence 1. Whites, blacks, Hispanics 2. Belief in God: teen shot at Columbine High School B.

Indians persecuted because of their race 1. Reservations provided for Indians C. Employers and employees: gays and lesbians in the workplace 1. As of mid-1996, Americans legally fired because of sexual orientation in 41 states. 2. Average household income: Homosexuals: $55,430; National Average: $32,286/yr 3. Percent College Graduates: Homosexuals: 60%; National Average: 18%.

ConclusionDiscrimination throughout the world today occurs to many extremes. From one extreme to another, it is in any way wrong. Anthony Koroush Position Paper 13 December 2000 Discrimination Today, many forms of discrimination are seen throughout the world. Of all of the forms seen, there are some that stand out. Including gangs, slavery, and discrimination in the workplace. Negativity is the basis of discrimination.

The negativity leads to tension and future problems. Discrimination in any way is wrong. Discrimination is wrong because it contradicts the Constitution. The Constitution states, All men are created equal. Yet, during the 1700s, there was slavery of blacks in the south. Also, the Three Fifths Compromise was ratified in favor of white people, in that it states that five blacks equal three whites, which is used for representation. Hitler killed Jews because of their religion and beliefs. Catholics were also persecuted in Maryland because of their religion and beliefs.

During the Revolutionary War, Americans were forced to house British soldiers at any time by Great Britain. They had no choice. It was either house the redcoats, or else they would die. And many redcoats would invite themselves into one household at one time. Sometimes, six or seven redcoats would demand food, shelter, and protection from one family. Another form of discrimination is not allowing equal rights to blacks.

For example, Rosa Parks, a black woman, could not sit with whites on a bus. This led to the Civil Rights Act, but it was not passed until protest and boycotts were such big problems that something had to be done. Instead of All men are created equal, the Constitution should have stated, Some white men who are a certain religion are created equal. Discrimination is wrong because it is selfish. During the 1800s, whites bought slaves to do their work on plantations.

White people were too lazy and greedy to do their own work, so they bought slaves. The slaves were treated very cruelly, including hard labor, cruel discipline, and isolation. Families were broke up by sale because of the slave trade and Americans buying slaves to work on their plantations. In September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves of the Confederacy. Before this, it was against the law to teach enslaved persons to read.

Also, southerners argued that slaves were necessary to provide an adequate labor supply and was a positive good. Putting down handicap to higher own self-esteem is wrong. People today put down others to make themselves feel better. Discrimination is wrong because it creates tension between groups and/or nations. Gangs are beating up one another. Gangs are a danger in schools and communities. Whites, blacks, and Hispanics are involved in gangs around the U.S.

today. When the tragic shooting at Columbine High School took place, a teen girl was shot because she believed in God. Indians were persecuted because of her race. Reservations are provided for Indians today. Indians and whites fought over land and land rights. Discrimination in the workplace is wrong. As of mid-1996, Americans could be legally fired because of their sexual orientation in forty-one states. The single most important thing (gay and lesbian) people can do is to come out, and one of the obstacles to coming out is the fear that youre gonna lose your job. –Representative Barney Frank (D-MA).

The average household income of a homosexual is $55,430/yr., whereas the national average income is $32,286/yr. This shows that gays and lesbians are being fired and they are making more money than the average American. Anyone can see that it is wrong to fire these people. The percentage of college homosexual graduates is 60%, compared to the national college graduate is 18%. Gays and lesbians are graduating college on average more than average Americans. A study by Dr.

Lee Badgett of the University of Maryland showed that gays earn from eleven to twenty-seven percent less and lesbians earn five to fourteen percent less than the national average. This shows that gays and lesbians are discriminated against in their gross earnings just because they love a man or a woman. It is labeled and judged by people today as wrong to love a person of the same sex, but who is to judge whom someone loves or in their case, does not love. Discrimination is happening and happened all over the world. It is happening today for many reasons.

One being because parents have taught their children to believe and think the way they do. The only thing we can do about it is to raise our children to not discriminate against other people. It could lead to more tension and fighting within people and groups. According to this hypothesis, discrimination in any way is wrong. Works Cited The Civil War 1861-1865. History of a Free Nation.

Ed. Delbert A. Jurden & K. Austin Kerr. New York: New York. Mcgraw-Hill, 1998.

Employment Discrimination. empl.htm. New Standard Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. U.S.

A.: 1985. Acceptance Essays.


Janet Smith awoke early morning to prepare for her job interview at Britax Vision Systems. She started the coffeepot in the kitchen and returned to her bedroom to sort through her wardrobe. After careful consideration, she decided on a navy blue pantsuit with white trim and matching dress shoes.

After Janet had taken her shower, she dressed and went back to the kitchen to grab a bite to eat. Deciding on an English muffin, she sat down at the table to enjoy it along with her coffee. Janet finished her breakfast, brushed her teeth, and continued readying herself for the meeting.

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Once her morning ritual was complete, Janet got into her blue Escort and drove to Britax with the sound of Jimmy Buffet in her ears. Upon arrival, Janet parked her car in the guest parking lot and turned off the ignition. Giving herself another look over in the mirror, along with a few words of encouragement, she headed towards the main building. After she had entered through the double glass doors, she approached a nearby desk. Behind the desk sat a young, light-brown haired woman. The nameplate on her desk read Ashley. Ashley was an attractive girl with bright green eyes with blue speckles at the edges. She wore a cranberry vest along with a matching skirt that, to Janet, seemed much to short for an office job. After a few seconds of waiting, Ashley looked up at Janet questioningly.

“Hi, I’m here for my interview. My name is Janet Smith and I have an eleven o’clock appointment”, she said confidently. The young girl opened a small leather book at the right edge of her desk and began scanning the pages. A moment later she returned her attention to Janet and instructed her to be seated across from the door to her left. There were five seats lined against the wall, each with black backing and gray upholstery. A man with dark hair and eyes sat farthest to the left. He wore gold-rimmed glasses that had slipped down his nose in the course of his reading. A Time magazine lay open on his lap. He scanned the pages slowly, although Janet suspected that he wasn’t really reading at all, but rather trying to pass time.

Janet chose the middle seat and placed her purse on the chair beside her. She began thinking about her family. Her husband Mark had just had his 34th birthday, making him two years older than she. He was currently in college finishing up his master’s degree. She had finished college the previous year and was now an official computer programmer. Mark hadn’t worked in the past few months since he was so busy with his classes. Janet was okay with it though. There had been a time when she had been the one studying and he had been the one working. Janet had recently lost her job at a large automotive corporation due to the fact that they had been bought out. Half of the employees had lost their jobs, including Janet and two of her close friends. The job that Janet was at on this particular day was very much needed. The bills would be coming soon and with no income how could they pay them. Luckily, Janet’s four-year-old daughter, Emma, hadn’t noticed the tension in the house and wasn’t questioning her quite yet, but that too wouldn’t last.
Janet was snapped to attention as the secretary called her name and directed her to the door across from where she currently sat. She grabbed her purse and entered the room, closing the door behind her. At a large oak desk in the middle of the room sat a pleasant looking man. He looked to be in his late forties, with a round nose and gray, thinning hair. He instructed Janet to have a seat across from him and she gladly obeyed. The room had a comfortable atmosphere and she was at once pleased to be there.
He began by introducing himself as Alan Pelker and asking for her resume. The interview lasted a total of five minutes. He asked her questions such as, “Why do you think I should hire you?” and “What are your strengths?” They were usual questions and yet something unusual about the way he asked them. She began to feel uncomfortable as she sat before him trying to meet his eyes as they scanned her body. Once the questioning was through, he told her that he’d keep her in mind and would be giving her a call later in the week if she got the job.

As Janet left the office she heard the sound of papers tossed aside to be forgotten. Then, walking by the secretary she heard the intercom come to life and the sound of Mr. Pelker saying, “Please send in the next gentleman applicant,” making sure to put emphasis on gentleman.

Janet Smith never did get that job, but is sure in her own mind that the man to the left of her had.
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