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The Man And Legend Essay, Research Paper
Can We Attain an Equal America?
Can we really achieve equality? I do believe it is possible but it is obvious that there is no single answer to such a question. Everyone has their own opinion in regards to this question, however those opinions are useless unless they are actually carried out. According to W.E.B. DuBois racial equality can be achieved through the talented tenth, an African American elite that would be leaders and role models for the rest of the black community. In The Future of the Race, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Cornel West address the topic of Dubois 1903 essay The Talented Tenth. When it comes to achieving equality among all races I don t particularly agree with DuBois idea of a Talented Tenth. I believe that equality must be attained through a group effort and every individual should make decisions and choices on their own. Often this is hard because people often have the same beliefs that their parents have. And much too often these beliefs go against what is required for this nation to achieve equality. Furthermore, in order to achieve equality I believe that a greater effort must be given by those in the majority, since the majority has control over many more things than minorities. West agrees when he states that every major institution in American society-churches, universities, courts, academies of science, governments, economies, newspapers, magazines, television, film, and others-attempted to exclude black people from the human family in the name of white supramissit ideology, say West. This being the case I can understand why we have trouble moving forward towards equality. Above all, I believe that violent measures only cause separation and should never happen in an effort for equality. Racism has been fought for hundreds of years in this country and we have obviously made great progressions through civil rights movements but I do not believe that it can be fully eliminated by any means.(pg. 80)
People like Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X have made critical contributions to the civil rights movement, and their thoughts should be used as a road map reward. For most of his life Malcolm X believed that the way to achieve equality in America was to preach separatism between blacks and whites. These ideas of black supremacy led many to believe that Malcolm X was an extremist. He believed that non-violence was a trick by the whites to keep blacks in their places. In a speech he gave in 1963, Malcolm X tells people that violence is key in achieving equality. Malcolm X declares that if it is right for America to draft us and teach us how to be violent in defense of the country, then isn t right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country. (89) Consequently, he believed that only through revolution and force could blacks attain their rightful place in society. In one of his speeches Malcolm X encouraged blacks to hate whites and to revolt against them. He claims that revolution is bloody, revolution is hostile, revolution knows no compromise, revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in it way. However, when he later broke free from the black Muslim movement began emphasizing unity and change through black pride and respect for oneself rather than through hate and revenge. He told blacks that if they had any chance of blacks attaining equality, then their first priority would be to gain self-respect and join together in a group effort to combat racist views. (253)
I believe that there is one main problem that hinders the idea of having a group effort to achieve equality. That is that our minds seem to support and defend our own reasoning and actions, whether they are right or wrong. We have to learn how to admit being wrong. I simply can t believe that people find racism as a way of life. However, it all comes down to what you learn when you re a child. Generations of the future must be taught how to accept people for what they are and not what they look like. Some people have the preconceived idea that everyone is out to get them. In the Autobiography of Butch Jones, Jones states:
Our forefathers went through hell on those boats, you know, crossin the Atlantic, sleepin in their own filth, then enduring all that bullshit throughout slavery. So now, those of us who are decendants of that misery, are strong. We re bitter and strong and able to withstand all kinds of pressure that otherwise the average human would not be able to stand…you gotta give it to the white man though for usin his genius to break us down and tryin to create the illusion that we are weak, but they were only able to do that because they had the marketin tools to create the illusion. Like how they created pool and made it where the object of the game is to take the white pool ball and once you take the white pool ball and shoot the black one in the hole, the game is over (pg. 55-56, Y.B.I.)
These kinds of statements only reinforce and idea of inequality. Instead of looking at the world as white and black there must be a way to merge all people into one category.
Cornel West s take on this matter is that the sheer absurdity of being a black human being whose black body is viewed as an abomination, whose black thoughts and ideas are perceived as debased, and whose black pain and grief are rendered invisible on the human and moral scale is the New World context in which black culture emerged. (59) In other words West believes that when it comes to achieving equality blacks receive the short end of the stick because they are already viewed as less than other people. This is simply because of the mere fact that their skin color happens to be black. To eliminate racism we must first attempt to eliminate prejudiced ideas about skin color. I believe that the media plays a large role in making people incorporate black with evil. The media seems to brainwash society with such absurd ideas. For example, black males more than whites seem to play the role of the bad guy, more often in movies. Of course others may disagree with this theory however, I do believe the media should not give the wrong messages about being black. (pg. 81 Future of the Race)
The bottom line is that racial equality can be achieved in America. Keep in mind there are many different opinions and debates on how we should tackle this issue. However I believe the key to succeeded is working together to achieve a common goal. This goal will ultimatley make the world a better place to live in for all races. We must also stop looking at the world as black and white and start realizing that we are all human beings. The right path to peace is through non-violent demonstrations that will help the cause. Finally, we must teach future generations that life is too short to hate everyone who doesn t look like you. And love is the key to happiness and success.
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