Reflection on Civil Rights Unit

by SlowSlothIsSlow on February 7, 2016 - 9:00pm

      Race equality has improved in America. Most equality has been on an upward trend in America. However improvement is not a finished solution to a problem. We still have plenty of issues to work through as a country, even if they aren’t quite as blatant as they might have been 100 years ago. While we are on the road to more equality, we haven’t quite figured out what exactly equality means, and what is socially and politically most correct. There are obvious inequalities and profiling instances today, that were clearly not just fixed up perfectly by the Civil Rights Movement.
      I think that the biggest race issue that Americans face today is that, whether consciously or unconsciously, we often pretend that racial equality has improved to a place where it no longer needs much effort to move forward. The trend of claiming to be color blind leaves societies just as prejudiced as ever, but with an easy way to hide it. The problem with this easy out is that we have a problem, and if we don’t talk about it, we can’t fix it. Race is a conversation that needs to be happening. Not talking about race, only enables racial issues to be swept under the rug or missed entirely. 
      My views have not changed a huge amount as a result of our unit on the Civil Rights Movement. I think that previously I had been less informed on the exact history of race relations in America, and I was definitely less familiar with the details of the civil rights movement, however, my personal opinions on race and racial issues today have not changed.
      I think that we should talk about race. That race should be a conversation in the workplace, in schools, and in homes. I think that refusing to talk about it only perpetuates a culture of misunderstanding and fear, whereas if we discuss it, people will be far more likely to commit acts of small bravery towards equality. I think that in some ways, we should embrace the fight for racial equality the same way that we approach the fight for gender equality. I can’t think of any gender equality campaigns that claim to be ‘gender-blind’ or want to stop people from acknowledging the differences between genders. In the fight for gender equality we seek to admire, and appreciate what makes different genders, and create equal rights for all, without negating differences. If America approached race the same way, and seeked to admire, and appreciate what makes different races, and create equal rights, even everyday rights, for all without negating differences, then we would be in a much better, and more equal place today.

Comments

You raise a good point that theres a universal problem which is not talking about racial inequaility. We pretend there isn't a problem because its easier to pretend there isn't a problem then to actually put in the effort to fix this problem. Its easy to say that we should talk about race but in reality its hard for many to open about this issue. Like you mentioned, not being open to discussions about race is a major component of this issue. Not being able to talk about this will result in bottled up feelings that will eventually be presented in a negative way. The first step to solving racial inequality is to talk about it, and to continue the conversations.

Being "color blind" is such a passive way to face racial inequality, not acknowledging problems only makes problems worse and I like how you stated the problems surrounding that statement. People not being open to talking about race is also a factor and that's a hurdle that America needs to get over. We have had increasing racial equality but increasing is not the same as complete, there is still more work to be done and you wrap that up.

Thank your for your comment. I liked your description of the color blind argument being passive, and I completely agree with that. I'm interested to hear what you, as a resident of a big city like Baltimore, think are the main issues that can be seen every day. I think it would be interesting to compare our experiences living in Vermont and Baltimore.

Your idea that racial inequality is brought about today by people refusing to talk about race. People need to talk about this and i do believe that people in the black lives matter movement and Ferguson racial inequality bring this issue more to the front of peoples attention. A lot of the time people are scared of these movements and therefore they do not know exactly what to expect from angry black people. this is called internalized racism and it is the biggest issue, IMO.

Your idea that racial inequality is brought about today by people refusing to talk about race. People need to talk about this and i do believe that people in the black lives matter movement and Ferguson racial inequality bring this issue more to the front of peoples attention. A lot of the time people are scared of these movements and therefore they do not know exactly what to expect from angry black people. this is called internalized racism and it is the biggest issue, IMO.

Hey!

I got super intrigued with the title of this post and as I read it, I caught myself nodding my head in agreement with everything you were saying. I agree that there is a lot of inequality in our society, especially when it comes to race. Racial discrimination is something a lot of people face everyday and half of the time, it is usually subtle. It is definitely an issue that needs more attention to get rid of.
However, the only thing I could not help but think about is intersectionality; this issue of racial and gendered discriminations and how they come together. Even though the two issues are separate, they usually intersect. Women of color get discriminated not only due to their race but as well as their gender, so much more than a man of color. There is no doubt that men of color do not get discriminated against but there is this notion of gendered discrimination on top of regular racial discrimination.
I still stand by my words that I agree completely with what you are saying but you call for equality in your post. My only question to you is how can equality be achieved in a domain such as race when gendered discrimination of all races still exists. I just find that if you add a gendered lens to your argument, it will make it a lot stronger and deal with more complex issues, strengthening your argument.
Here is a link to an article published by the United Nations that highlight in more detail what I am talking about; I hope you enjoy the article.

http://www.un.org/WCAR/e-kit/gender.htm

Hi Spiderman,

Thank you so much for your comment. I completely agree with your thoughts on intersectionality and how that adds to the complexity and intensity of the issue. I think that while difficult, the best possible solution to this is equality on all fronts. You mention gender, and gender is obviously a huge contributor. I thought that the article you sent me was very interesting; I was definitely previously aware of the way that gender and race combine to make discrimination far more common for people that fit into certain category combinations, but I didn't know much about the specifics that the article offered. I would be interested to see how people also identifying as LGBTQ might feature into similar statistics. I don't personally know any numbers, or much about how that adds to a combination, but I would guess that it would similarly intensify already present issues.

Amira