Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How far have we come?

Image result for civil rights race in america imagesThe Field Negro education and enlightenment series continues.

"Progress is an essential tenet of America’s civic religion. As someone born and raised in England, where “not bad” is a compliment and “could be worse” is positively upbeat, this strikes me as an endearing national characteristic. But as with any religion, when faith is pitted against experience, faith generally wins. And at that point, optimism begins to look suspiciously like delusion.

Since 1977, when Gallup started asking people if they thought they’d be better off the following year, a huge majority have said yes. A 2005 poll revealed that even though only 2 percent of Americans describe themselves as rich, 31 percent thought it very likely or somewhat likely that they would “ever be rich.” And as in most religions, those who have the least are the most devout. Despite entrenched and growing inequality, the poorer people are, the more optimistic they are likely to be about their future financial health.

The sixtieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court decision that struck down school segregation, offers yet another chance to gauge the progress toward racial equality in America. During this bumper period of civil rights commemorations—the current decade presents a litany of markers, from the uprisings in Birmingham to Martin Luther King’s assassination—the official mantra rarely changes: we have come a long way, but we have further to go. “To dismiss the magnitude of this progress…dishonors the courage and the sacrifice of those who paid the price to march in those years,” said Barack Obama, celebrating the March on Washington last year at the Lincoln Memorial. “But we would dishonor those heroes as well to suggest that the work of this nation is somehow complete.”

Who could argue with that? Half a century ago, America was officially an apartheid state, with black people denied the basic rights of citizenship in large swaths of the country. Then the signs came down; the laws were overturned; the doors to the polling stations were prized open. The notion that the work is proceeding perpetuates the myth: America has no reverse gear—we just keep going forward.

But the awkward truth is that when it comes to the goals laid down by the civil rights movement in general and Brown in particular, America is actually going backward. Schools are resegregating, legislation is being gutted, it’s getting harder to vote, large numbers are being deprived of their basic rights through incarceration, and the economic disparities between black and white are growing. In many areas, America is becoming more separate and less equal.

According to research recently conducted by ProPublica, “black children across the South now attend majority-black schools at levels not seen in four decades.” A recent Nation article illustrated how this trend is largely by design. In suburbs across the region, wealthier whites have been seceding from their inner- city school districts and setting up academic laagers of their own. The result is a concentration of race and class disadvantage in a system with far fewer resources. In a 2012 report, UCLA’s Civil Rights Project noted: “Nationwide, the typical black student is now in a school where almost two out of every three classmates (64%) are low-income.”

The discrepancy between black and white unemployment is the same as it was in 1963. According to the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University, between 1984 and 2007 the black-white wealth gap quadrupled. The Supreme Court is dismantling affirmative action and gutting voting rights. Meanwhile, incarceration disparities are higher than they were in the 1960s. And as Michelle Alexander points out in The New Jim Crow: “Once you’re labeled a felon, the old forms of discrimination—employment discrimination, housing discrimination, denial of the right to vote, denial of educational opportunity, denial of food stamps and other public benefits, and exclusion from jury service—are suddenly legal. As a criminal, you have scarcely more rights, and arguably less respect, than a black man living in Alabama at the height of Jim Crow. We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”

This is not to say that we have literally reverted to a bygone era. “No man ever steps in the same river twice,” goes the proverb. “For it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” We have a black president, a black attorney general and a black editor of The New York Times; there’s a growing trend to interracial relationships; suburbs are becoming more diverse. If the civil rights movement had been about getting black faces in new and high places, its work would now be done. But it wasn’t. It was about equality. And the problem is not that we still have a great deal of progress to be made or that progress is too slow—it’s that we are regressing.

This is not the first time this has happened. After the abolition of slavery, there was a brief period during Reconstruction when African-Americans made great strides, followed by a full-scale retrenchment in the South with the advent of Jim Crow. “The slave went free,” wrote W.E.B. Du Bois. “Stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery.” In his speech, Obama acknowledged that “we’ll suffer the occasional setback.”

But there’s nothing “occasional” about this: the current reversals in the achievements of the civil rights era are akin to those after Reconstruction. That period lasted almost ninety years, and it took a mass movement to end it.

King saw this coming. After he was booed by young black men at a meeting in Chicago in 1966, he reflected, “For twelve years, I and others like me had held out radiant promises of progress, I had preached to them about my dream…. They were now hostile because they were watching the dream they had so readily accepted turn into a frustrating nightmare.” [Source]

29 comments:

PilotX:Freeing slaves from the Republican plantation since the 70's said...

Good read.

On another note who were those negroes standing behind the racist Sig Ep kid while he made his apology?

ctrl+halt+del said...

1977 also ushered in the Community Reinvestment Act which helped further widen the income gap creating conditions that lead to predatory lending and the dreaded housing bubble.
Racial equality has it's place but political and economic justice trump it every time.

Anonymous said...

I agree Field, Obama has made things much worse.

Time to walk right off that plantation.

Anonymous said...

"I agree Field, Obama has made things much worse."

I guess anon missed this part of the article

"According to the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University, between 1984 and 2007 the black-white wealth gap quadrupled."

Between Reagan and Bush. Barack wasn't even on the scene but we should have anticipated the "it's Obama's fault" troll. Ha!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mister Field,

I send crate of black quality market vodka to you mark "Bull Testicles for Soup" and you do not have big crazy dancing party with many womens, many smokes, broken furniture and romance explosions. In my village is disgrace if I have crate of vodka and not invite whole peoples except for Hazamov who is asshole. Everybody knows this. Yukanol starts to think that Field is Big Capitalist Sissy who sip wine, eat chocolate, read fashion propaganda and wear Cashmere sweater.

I tell this. Is not normal for a man with whole crate vodka to not have party so big it leave him vomiting on floor with many injuries and love diseases.

Sincerely,

Yukanol

Anonymous said...

VDARE is in modern parlance, a "White Identity" site. This article quoting comments in a Mexican newspaper were interesting - and troubling:

http://www.vdare.com/articles/memo-from-middle-america-the-coming-crack-up-in-black-hispanic-relations

I agree with the article. The country is definitely resegregating. Whites will take their kids out of public schools the moment "too many" black families move into a district. Blacks may have the freedom to live their and own property, but that doesn't mean the community is "integrated" or "diverse".

The solution doesn't lie in trying to gain the acceptance of whites or continuing down the path of integration. The only way forward is to make our own path that isn't dependent on other's measures of success.

Anonymous said...

Lord have mercy, when will this educational series on FN end?

Brother Field, don't you know you are driving away your base?

depressed negro

ctrl+halt+del said...

"...optimism begins to look suspiciously like delusion."

Fortunately for us, we remain a resilient people. If not for our belief in the inherent good of humankind, and if not for the sacrifice of those earthly angels black, white, red, yellow and brown, too numerous to name, who came before us and who set the course for social justice, and who refused to let our physical differences keep us divided, we could be declared delusional.

However, I remain optimistic, as I see time and time again that, there are plenty of good people that believe in working together, building new coalitions and replacing those archaic institutions, that prevent this country from realizing sustainable progress, with inclusive networks intent on establishing equal access to those inalienable rights established in and guaranteed by the Constitution.

Dr. King warned us about the check marked NSF. Former Pres. Eisenhower warned us about the Military-Industrial-Complex. Despite these warnings, the fact that these forces, along with a blatant disregard for justice, have combined and thrive in this country, hints at the underlying pathology.

Some folks will never, as W.E.B. Dubois says, get past the "color lines." I learned a long time ago that everyone is not open to change. I have learned how to better invest my time by being productive and interacting with other productive people, and not spending my time trying to convince others in the benefits of diversity.

That the media focuses on the worst in us, in all of us, and not the best gives me pause to say thanks for all you do to create and maintain this venue for dialogue and for allowing us the opportunity to share our thoughts.

I'll never give up!

I'm out, Peace.

Señor Hector said...

The Purple Cow said...

"A lot of links for PurpleCow to go crickets over"

The links are shit, none of them back up what he was attempting to prove.

Bullshit. To much of a socialist cunt to admit you were wrong?

Thought so....

----

PilotX:Freeing slaves from the Republican plantation since the 70's said...

Why would those links interest you PC?


Why would anyone on the left be interested in reality?

The left often finds facts and truth to be racist. So it is easier to create a reality in which everyone else is wrong and racist but them.

Señor Hector said...

Oh field. We have so far to go.

Just yesterday a liberal rag called a Hispanic Senator "uppity".


I know you will post about this ugly incident soon. The New Yorker will surely make it on the HNOTD wall of shame.

Right?




Anonymous said...

Obama has been a disaster for everyone, even blacks. When it's all said and done, especially blacks.

Virginia said...

Field, how do you find time to crank out such thoughtful post day after day?!

"The solution doesn't lie in trying to gain the acceptance of whites or continuing down the path of integration. The only way forward is to make our own path that isn't dependent on other's measures of success."

I think I get what you're saying and agree with everything except the not integrating part. Being together understanding and appreciating similarities and differences is the only path worth taking.

6:48 ctrl+halt+del - I agree with you.
.

Anonymous said...

A black baby in 1965 received a pine cone for a Xmas gift. White Santa gave the white baby a bike and a private school scholarship.
In 1975 the 10 year old black kid received a used bike and used books. The white kid received a trust fund for college.

In 1985 the 20 year old black kid received a student loan for HBCU attendance. He doesn't vote drops out, joins the music biz and street game. The white kid, votes received a corp internship while in college, graduates joins a tech firm, works the system, but does cocaine on the weekends.

In 1995, at the beginning of the best fiscal years ever for HBCUs, the 30 year old black kid has a drug felony and children. Focuses on protest and the street game during the tech boom, The white kid goes to grad school, focuses on tech boom, finally get married.

In 2005 the 40 year old black kid is unqualified for tech. Focuses on police brutality, immigration, gay rights, marijuana legalization, The white kid focuses on IRS reform, global trade, Android, OS, and defense spending.

In 2015, Santa asks both 50 year olds has progress been made? The black says, Santa has been categorically unfair.

Complaining about what whites haven't done in the past 50 years is similar to a 50 year old complaining to his parents about the quality of Xmas gifts we received every year, for the past 50 years.

It is true, Santa was cruel, unfair and abusive for a long time, and residual tension exists, but at what point does the adult in us stop focusing on the parent.

I'm not a learned man like the author, but do Jews in Germany opine about racism as being the basis of all of their ills?

What exactly does the white man have to do with the black on black murder rate in Detroit, Chicago, E. St Louis?

What exactly does the white man have to do with level of marijuana usage and legalization support among young blacks despite crystal clear evidence it was the gateway to crack and the black incarceration rate?

What exactly does the white man have to do with declining black truancy & graduation rate, even if the schools are less than perfect?

What exactly does the white man have to do with the attrition rate at HBCU's?

Jewish people do not blame others at Brandeis Tulane or Yeshiva 70 years post Holocaust.

Is there a blame game going on at Howard, Morehouse, Spelman 50 years later?

Maybe, just maybe, we should look at other models on how to make the most of what we have instead of the considerable focus on what we don't.

If we had 50% voter turnout in every election, Ferguson does not happen.

If we had 50% voter turnout in every election, Houston, with 1 of the best economies, has a black mayor, with a national voice.

If we had 50% voter turnout in every election, Andrew Young may have been governor of Georgia, and blacks would have been connected to the global economy.

Instead, we sat at home, we say there were impediments greater than MLK faced, we say the evil invisible force of white men prevented us, it was some time of economic oppression, while we spent $500 weaves, $3000 rims, $2000 Louis bags, and have $400/month weed budgets but no 529 plans for the kids.

I know, I know, it sounds 'Cosbyesque' and leading black voices sound better on CNN/MSNBC when they are effeminate, blaming the white man, and empathizing with buffoonery.

I just want the 50 year old to stop complaining about the quality of his Xmas gift.

Anonymous said...

The finer fight is an intellectual property fight. Be indispensably studious, give up drugs [legal or not], be spiritually aware and support profitable educational investments, even when it causes economic discomfort.

Ask Dubois.

Anonymous said...

President Obama, is the greatest American achievement and progress in the 21st century.

A larger symbol of American Exceptionalism than Lady Liberty or the Gateway Arch or Ronald Reagan.

You neanderthals are confused. Focus on walking upright at the kids table, and let the grown folks speak.


black angry cow said...

santa is racist. santa often racially profiles.

me?

i don't needs no old white man to give me shit. i can just punch them in the face and take whats i wants.

just asked their daughters.

Bill said...


White House Continues to Back Yemen as Model For Successful Counterterrorism
The White House continues to hail Yemen -- a country that is descending into chaos -- as a model for fighting extremism, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said today.
...
But today, the U.S. strategy in Yemen has virtually collapsed amid the fall of the American-backed government. The U.S. embassy in Yemen has been shut down and U.S. military personnel have been evacuated.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/white-house-continues-back-yemen-model-successful-counterterrorism/story?id=29901029

Mission accomplished.

And then they have to keep patting themselves on the back for their success.

Acknowledging their failures isn't something Bush or Obama believe in.

Teh stupid said...

There is a lot of racist stooopid here today. Stormfront must have sprung a leak.

Anonymous said...

Muss be cause teh stupid is here.

Bill said...


@donnabrazile
A Republican PR firm has been publicizing accounts that Bergdahl might have gone AWOL just to make the President look bad.
11:23 AM - 8 Jun 2014

https://twitter.com/donnabrazile/status/475704720280285184

A little over a year later and we find out a "Republican PR firm" had nothing to do with making the President look bad.

Yīshēng said...

@9:18, you lost me at "trust fund".

ANYONE, Black,White, or Purple, that starts off life as an adult with a trust fund, is VERY likely going to be MUCH better off 40 years later than someone without a financial "head start".

So all your post really illustrates is how much of an idiot you are, like so many other idiots in America that choose to be malevolently blind to the significant disadvantages of being born into poverty. In fact, ANYONE with half a brain understands how damn near impossible it is to overcome poverty without access to financial support and/or resources.

Anonymous said...

So the message is complain about the gifts Santa brought the other kid?

Or should the black kid make the most of the gift Santa brought?

PilotX:Freeing slaves from the Republican plantation since the 70's said...

That is true Doc. The rules are set up for the wealthy to prosper. Social mobility is better in numerous other nations. There was class warfare and the rich won.

Anonymous said...

You all should read "The Leopard's Spots". That is an education. It explains it all.

Sorry, Mr. Negro

field negro said...

Don't be sorry.

I never read it.

What am I missing?

Anonymous said...

Nothing's changed; nothing's going to change. I was born during WWII, the hatred's strong as ever, we're all moseying along. Same old orchestra, different orchestra leader. People are living together who never should have been living together. We should all be in our lands of origination. We're playing house in America, it's not working well.

Anonymous said...

"What am I missing?"

Too much for me to post. Just try and read some of it and you'll see how the negro can't adjust to Western Civilization. It's unfortunate because every other ethnicity can. It's really sad.

Sorry again Mr. Negro.

Limpbaugh said...

A lot of the blame goes to the media and the politicians who allowed it to be corrupted. We used to have a Fairness Doctrine. And politicians let the media consolidate under six corporations. When Fox News went to court and won the right to lie, the ruling applied to all news media. The media and government are fascist.

Anonymous said...

"God Bless the USA, shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere!"