Segregration “The Past, Present, And Future…””Know ye not why We created yo al from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since we have created you all from the same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth, and dwell in the same land…”
Would God categorize his children? That is a question that I believe most would give a simple and direct answer: No. Would the United States categorize her children? Although the Amendment suggests that all men and women are created equal, the fact is that the citizens of the United States are constantly being classified by race, gender, and/or ethnicity. So, if indeed the United States is one nation under God, why do we continue to sort ourselves though unreasonable and unethical factors. The misinterpretation of race has shattered the American society and for all that it stands for. We should correct America’s immoral actions and assumptions that separate God’s children in hope of reforming the United States toward equality.
Race has always been an American issue. When the Europeans landed on the New World and saw an indigenous person he immediately him or her a savage. In time, the original “savages” or inhabitants of the land were made an inferiority to the white men and later wiped out. But later on, a more deeper insatisfaction of race took place. The African-Americans were brought into the “free” America as slaves. They too were considered an inferiority race. The idea of “race” is a human creation (Hacker, 4). People of the world have given themselves names like Caucasian, Anglo, Hispanic, Asian, and African-American. The names “Black” and “White” are quite exaggerated. It is obvious that no skin color even comes close to “Black” or to “White.” Now character is a distinction between people. Lack of smart character is what led us to a history too ugly to ever repeat itself.
I would say racism started when Christopher Columbus called the indian a “savage.” Later on, it evolved when the African-Americans came to America. They were treated with much inferiority and humiliation. They were bought and sold like old furniture. It would take years before a man with the right power and courage would stand up for these e people. This man was Abraham Lincoln. Little did he know this would divide our nation. Soon after the election of Abraham Lincoln in November, 1860, the state of South Carolina passed an ordinance of secession. The Civil War began shortly. The Union, of course, was victorious. This as the first step for the African-America towards equal treatment. Surprisingly, throughout the years, after the Civil War, blacks were still an inferiority. Segregation took place on more serious platform.
Segregation can occur in almost any area of life. It is particularly evident in housing, education, an employment. Almost all systems of segregation discourage marriage between person of different racial, religious,or social groups. Segregation has not been limited to the United States, nor has discrimination against minorities. It has been practiced in various forms in many countries throughout history. The United States has ben sometimes described as a “Huge Melting Pot.” This means that races and cultures intermingle and live in peace.
Segregation, as defined by man, is usually the result of a long period of group conflict, with one group having more influence than another. Segregation comes to be seen as “right”—particularly by the dominant group—and as the only way society should be organized. Racial segregation in the modern American form started in the late 1800’s. Eventhough slavery existed in the United States for more than 200 years before the Civil War. After the war, the freed Negroes suffered widespread discrimination, especially in the South.
Jim Crow laws were adopted by many Southern states in the late 1800’s. Jim Crow is the system of laws and customs that enforced racial segregation and discrimination throughout the United States, especially the South from the late nineteenth century to the 1960’s. These segregation laws required that Whites and Negroes use separate public facilities. Even water fountain were separated for Blacks and Whites (World Book, 673). Many courts provided separate Bibles for swearing in witnesses. Imagine, a black God and a white God. The rapid spread of segregation laws through the South was supported by a series of decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. Other Jim Crow laws did not specifically mention race but were written and applied in way that discriminated against African Americans. Literacy tests and poll taxes, administered with informal loopholes and trick questions, kept nearly all African Americans from voting.
Jim Crow extended to deny private as well as public, or civil, rights to African Americans. Businesses routinely refused to serve blacks, and man white homeowner would not rent or sell property to African Americans. For over fifty years, Supreme courts favored “separate but equal” rules to segregate the races in public schools, and the use of transportation, recreation, sleeping, and eating facilities.
Fifty years ago, all black students attended all black schools. Schools ere the primary source of segregation. Even private college did not let black students enroll. Eventhough these students have already entered school that once did not allow past antecedents to enroll, recent studies show they are still unhappy. A study entitled “Blacks in College” surveyed several thousand black undergraduates in both Northern and Southern states/ According to the author, Jacqueline Fleming, most of these attending pubic, “liberal” colleges felt “abandoned by the institution, rebuffed by fellow students, and inhibited from taking part in any but all black organization activities.” Many diverted their disappointment “into less constructive outlets,” including attacking the school’s administration or its curriculum. Forty-six years ago the Supreme Court reached its decision in the Brown v. Board of Education case. This decision stated that states and localities could no longer maintain school systems that separated students by race.
There is something about a college setting that make race a visible issue. Campus tend be like small portion of society—more like small communities. Since professors and students have a lot of free time, they ten to focus on local events. The colleges that are more liberal are the ones that receive the most attention. It only takes one sentence or bad expression to set off an entire campus. Brown University, part of the Ivy League, expelled a student or shouting “nigger” (). Eventhough, times have changed is segregation really a portion of history already. The United is supposed to be a nation for equal beings, yet the government, companies, and orgnization in American use race in questionnaires and forms. College Admissions forms ask to check on the boxes that correspond to your ethnicity. The question of race in general should not be of any concern especially for filing purposes. Therefore , the question of our ethnicity should no longer exist regarding any person for recording purposes such as forms or applications. Especially university applications.
Not only have black students been victims of segregation, but African-American women also. In more recent years, despite almost total annihilation from society, black women have increased to a majority as working women. Black women take the place of having higher employment than white women. A survey conducted by the US Census in 1990 showed that 51% of total employment held by black women is more than 45% employment held by white women. Studies also have shown that black women, like all women, are perceived as being less assertive and more accommodating. This makes them eligible to find better jobs.
Education, the stage for segregation—black women, proven successful after many hardships. When will segregation end? How can we be equal in America, yet be judged by the color of our skin? The questions are endless. Martin Luther King asked them nearly fifty years ago. I as a Hispanic am asking them now. This research proved worthwhile, because the data I gathered not only showed the negative effects of segregation, but the positive effects. A millionth of it being positive, but then again we are seeing colored faces where we never thought we would have. Years ago black people weren’t allowed to play on major leagues; today, we have black people on the highest paying salaries in American sports. We have influential black politicians leading our country.
The history of the United States is one of duality. In the words of the Declaration of Independence, our nation was founded on the principles of equality in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
1.www.bounty.bca.org/ret/race_unity/online/The-Version-of- Race-Unity. html
3.Hacker, Andrew. Two Nations
4.Hutchinson, Earl Ofari. The Crisis in Black and Black.
5.Fleming, Jacqueline. “Black in College”
2.United States Census, 1990
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