Today, (Aug.28) commemorates the march in Washington and the speech of Martin Luther King, at the Lincoln Memorial. I remember that day quite well. President Kennedy, said he had an opportunity to watch some speeches on television, on and off, during the day.
There are those who say there has been small progress of the purpose of the Civil Rights movement of that era. These people are not as familiar with history as they should be, at least, in the legal sense.
I got interested in the Civil Rights movement from near the beginning. I remember buying a paperback book that Dr. King wrote about the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott of the fifties. The book, Stride Toward Freedom, had it’s first printing in 1960. I paid 50 cents for the book. This book still rests in our office at home. I get it down and browse through it from time to time. It has valuable insights to the origin of the movement.
So, I have been a supporter of the Civil Rights movement for a long time and have seen it rise from base and wide-spread legal discrimination to freedom and social acceptance among the general population. I know there remains pockets of bigotry and discriminations , but they are fewer and fewer, with little legal basis.
As I grew up, there were separate water fountains in public buildings, and all sorts of segregation from education to transportation. Jackie Robinson was making the transition from the Negro Leagues to the Major League. Today the President of the United States, is of first generation African blood. You tell me that is not progress in 60 or so years! Those who say we are at a standstill in legal race relations, need more history.
It is true, the overall culture and economic status of the minority populations is lower on the scale. Some may argue that marriage and children born out of wedlock is even more depressing since the fifty’s among minorities. They do have statistics to help prove their point. But, there is very few legal barriers and this is how we differ from 1950.
Some of the young, minority male population is more prone to social degeneracy than other demographics of society. That shows up in crime, family factors, and welfare statistics. That is why Bloomberg in New York focuses his resources on those most likely to commit a crime, rather than equal administering to little white-haired women. Bloomberg claims that is just common sense.
While there will always be preferences, as long as there remains freedom to make such choices; they should and I trust not be codified.
The fact that select minorities from everywhere can find America a place of opportunity to change their cultural and economic status, is a powerful and true testimony. The fact that there remains numerous exceptions to any statistical trend gives further evidence of opportunity in America.
What I hear now from Civil Rights spokesmen is economic freedom. Economically, what has been happening has effected all races and most income brackets indiscriminately. The erosion of the middle class affects a broad diversity of the population. It is true, that essential items such as food and energy, especially gasoline, affect the lower end of the economic scale more drastically, and there are more minorities at that end.
However, we are in an economic malaise. You can blame it on “trickle-down” economics, which now apply to the Federal Reserve; globalization, technology, or any number of factors that tend to inflict harm on the working population.
But, claiming a wide spread discrimination of minorities, by historical standards, that can be legally remedied, is a hard case to make.