Author: Johnny Quevedo
Race has always been a main topic of our American History. It’s something that we created, but we are afraid to talk about. It has so much hatred and has affected so many people in negative ways. It’s a subject that follows a group of people daily lives and some who do not know much about it; it’s a subject that is sensitive for many people, but there are some who don’t care for it; and it’s a subject that many people die for and others just sit and watch. This is our society with race.
Racism started with slavery, according to “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.” On The Birth of Slavery (paragraph 4) it says “American Indians were considered unsuitable as slaves because Native tribes were clearly in position to fight back… European immigrants were also deemed poor candidates for slavery, not because of race, but rather because they were in short supply… Plantation owners thus viewed Africans who were relatively powerless, as the ideal slaves.” Since then making people believe black are less than others. Having the thought on your mind that people literally picked who is a better candidate to be a slave is sickening and disgusting. People believing that black people are less of a human than anyone else and are better of as servants, that word was used instead of slaves, is a terrible thought. People are putting their own species below them. During slavery, everyone was going against blacks. It didn’t matter how economically well you were doing if you were white you were treated better than blacks. Poor while people were still streamed better than black, they had a personal stake in the existence of a race-based system of slavery. Even during the death of slavery, whites still felt more superior than blacks. On paragraph 3 of “The Death of Slavery” it says “…the lowliest white person at least possessed his or her white skin – a badge of superiority over even the most skilled slave or prosperous free African American.” Whites had the mentality that no matter how less skillful or less smart they are than blacks, they will still consider themselves better. They were very prideful of their race and if that meant treating blacks terribly they would do it everyday, or so they did. Towards the end of slavery, there was a bit of a political uprising for blacks. They were getting to be able to gain some sort of control. On paragraph 11 of “the Death of Slavery” it mentions that “African Americans began to vote in large numbers and seize control in some areas, of the local political apparatus… Educated blacks began to populate legislatures, open schools, and imitate successful business.” This was starting to look like a beginning of black people. But people found ways to prevent for black people to actually have some type of power. Some situations made African Americans to take their cases to federal courts and blacks did not have enough money to sue to enforce their civil rights. People were preventing blacks from getting the rights they deserve, even after slavery. Many political people and just anyone who was against black having equality were doing the best to prevent any type of equal freedom. Towards the 1940s segregation laws started occurring. On “the Birth of Jim Crow” paragraph 12 it says “segregation laws were proposed as part of a deliberate effort to drive a wedge between poor whites and African Americans. These discriminatory barriers were designed to encourage lower-class whites to retain a sense of superiority over blacks, making it far less likely that they would sustain interracial political alliances aimed at topping the white elite.” These laws separated blacks and whites in every area. It separates them from schools, restaurants, water fountains, bathrooms, public transportation, and etc. It was a moment history where it didn’t matter your IQ or how much money you had, if you were black you didn’t have respect. It divided everything, and whites started believing even more that blacks were nothing. Today, people still have that mindset, specifically because of this moment in history. This is the time where black people started wanting to have change, they had enough of everything they have been put through in the past decades, and are using their voice. This is when movements started happening, and some sort of change was occurring. Now, we have more people wanting to use their voice to support black people. We are living through a movement right now, and more people are getting involved. But some people still don’t see the need to support if it doesn’t affect them.
There are many different types of race that are supporting the Black Lives Matter movement or any other inequality movement that is happening right now. Our society is getting more accepting and open minded, but there’s still that 25 to 35% that believe if it doesn’t affect them they shouldn’t try and make a change or if they can’t use it to defend themselves it shouldn’t be a problem to them. People still are saying black people don’t deserve equality, and that’s a sad case. A lot of people still don’t see a problem with race, especially white people. Some might say they are more normal than others. On “The Development of White Identity” a lady said “I’m just normal!… she did not identify with any particular ethnic heritage, and that she was a lot like the other people who lived in her very homogeneous white middle-class community.” Later on she said, “I am thirty-five years old and I never really started thinking about race too much until now, and that makes me feel uncomfortable.” The real questions is with this is, why does she feel normal? Is it because she is white, and has not dealt with any type of discrimination? Is it because she does not know what it feels like to still be beaten because of your skin even though it’s 2016? Why does race make her uncomfortable? Is it because she doesn’t feel like she has the right to talk about it? People need to stop with this mindset of being scared to talk about race. Speak up for others, and teach yourself about it. Teach yourself the history of racism and why it’s one of the worst concept a human has created. We all should be equal.
Before Jim Crow and during Jim Crow our society was a terrible way of living. People treated others so disgustingly just because of their skin, and that’s something they can’t control. People would beat, hang, verbally and physically abuse people, and it was a time where living wasn’t good. Now, some of this stuff is still occurring and it’s so insane and upsetting that this is happening; but right now we can change it. We can change people’s outlooks, we can open people’s minds, and give them knowledge We need to stop being afraid of speaking up. We need to better this society for our children’s children, and for the next 10 generations. We need to be at peace with each other and stop hate.