From 1962 to 1968, as a child I spent time in a very segregated mid-western town. My family moved from this Jim Crow controlled city to Fort Bragg/Pope Air Force Base. While there we lived among other African-Americans, English-American, German-Americans, Korean-Americans, Puerto Rican-Americans, and other hyphenated citizens. Sure, we had our occasional confrontation with an angry child spewing racial epithets, but for the most part everyone co-existed harmoniously. My best friend was a young white boy named David. We were inseparable until my older brother had a big fight with his best friend, another white boy named Mark. My older brother’s friendship troubles nearly derailed my rapport with David.
The point I’m making is that there was a remarkably high degree of peace in our community. As much as a surprise this was, my siblings and I were in for an even bigger shocker!
Our teachers were WONDERFUL! Whether white, black, or camouflage, they all cared about each student, whether white, black or camouflaged! And, each teacher demanded and expected all of their students to learn the same thing! I was inspired, encouraged, and challenged to learn. I began to love school! I was whisked up by this impartial educational system and groomed to become an all around much better student. Well spent tax dollars went into the Department of Defense schools!
After two years in Fort Bragg, we returned to our mid-western, albeit less Jim-Crow-controlled, city. To no surprise, we were TWO YEARS ahead of our school peers! On days when I forgot this school’s culture, usually out of sheer boredom, I would mindlessly give a full answer to a question or use too many BIG words. Later that same day, I would often get bullied by one or more fellow students because “I” embarrassed them!
As years passed, I went on to graduate from high school, go into the military, and after many years, entered a university to earn my undergrad degree in Journalism, with a minor in Government. I might be a bit naive, but I still believe it’s the media’s job to keep government honest and accountable!
I recently worked for a large telecom company, where I had the distinct pleasure of supporting the national press as they provided news coverage of our first African-American President, Barack Obama! We truly have come a long way since the Jim Crow days in the United States.
Yet, when resources get slim and limited, the United States has a bad habit of covertly regressing.
Based on this 2007 article, 13 young males with similar backgrounds were sent out to progressive companies in New York City to apply for jobs. Jump to the details of the next article “White Convicts As Likely to Be Hired As Blacks Without Criminal Records” and scan the details. You’ll see a significant disparity in interview and job offers between whites with records and blacks!
The Bureau of Labor, in Sep 2011, provided a study which showed the black unemployment rate at a staggering percentage, compared to whites!
What is the cause of this grave disparity? Discrimination, plain and simple! One can discriminate without being a racist! But, nearly ALL racist overtly or covertly discriminate!
This is truly a great country! We need to realize we are our brother’s keeper, and keep the true spirit of America alive, which can be summarized in these few words: Every one should have the freedom to secure Life, Liberty, and Happyness.