Sunday, November 2, 2014

Between Barack and a Hard Place

Had there been no May 17, 1954, I’m not sure there would have been a Little Rock. I’m not sure there would have been a Martin Luther King Jr., or Rosa Parks, had it not been for May 17, 1954. It created an environment for us to push, for us to pull. We live in a different country, a better country, because of what happened here in 1954. And we must never forget it. We must tell the story again, over and over and over.”
U.S. Rep. John Lewis at a ceremony commemorating the 48th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education at Topeka’s First United Methodist Church

I thought this would be an interesting quote to start off with because I agree with it and disagree with it at the same time. I agree with it because today, African Americans do have much more rights and opportunities than they had before the Brown V Board of Education case, however, there is still no equality. There is still such a huge amount of stereotyping going on according to Tim Wise. He says that 6 out of 10 whites will acknowledge that they adhere to one of the following stereotypes about black folks:
·       black folks are perceived by white folks as generally less intelligent, generally more aggressive, prone to criminality, less patriotic, less hardworking,
·       early 2000’s survey - 75% of whites say that black folks just want to live on welfare and not work
        - HOWEVER: only 1 out of 7 black folks in America receive any kind of public assistance
  -  4 out of 10 democrats said they adhere to some of this while 6 out 10 said they will still vote for Obama

     Though these may be different stereotypes than there were in older times, they are still stereotypes that show how present racism is in America. As Wise said in the interview, people think racism has stopped after these major milestones such as – Brown V Board of Education, Plessy V Ferguson, and the election of Obama – but when did it stop? Where is the evidence that it has stopped, the fact above just prove to me that not much has changed. The biggest problem is that whites see African Americans like Obama whom happens to be very well educated and in a very powerful position in America, and they just think – well he’s doing great as an African American man so it must not be so bad for them anymore! That is absolutely not the case. Not every African American person in this world has the same credentials and background as Barack Obama does, resulting in not that many job options, and then when you add in the race factor there is even fewer jobs.
     So no, we are not a truly equal and better country. That will only happen when there are equal chances in jobs, education and housing. As Tim Wise says, “We need to keep our eye on the prize and remember how much work has to be done … We need to have the same attitude of those from 45 years ago.”


  1. Awesome use of powerful quotes. I also love the picture you chose! Great job discussing that while we have made improvements, we still have a ways to go.

  2. I enjoyed reading your blogpost! I focused on similar things! And I also agree with Lindsey, I really liked the picture you chose!

  3. I really enjoyed reading your blog. You also have good connections ! I really enjoyed your quotes