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The Legacy of Civil Rights: Is America better than it was Pre-Civil Rights?

Short answer: Yes, obviously. If you really look back and you see that our time is the same or worse, you have been highly misled. It’s easy to see why; at the State of the Union, the entire Black Caucus stayed seated as Trump said that black unemployment was at an all time low. That is a fact. The problem is people want to see racial injustice in every single issue.

I don’t want to speak totally for Martin Luther King Jr., who is a personal hero of mine, but I think he would be highly pleased with the progress we’ve made since his time. People started seeing that treating people of color like garbage (while most of them peacefully protested injustice) was completely out of line. These are people who worked hard labor, they had gone to war to fight for this country, they proved they could give back but society hadn’t given them a fair shake.

Those times are far over.

Racism still exists, but it has taken different forms. The KKK is still hanging around in the brambles, hoping someday to rise up and cleanse their nation. The Alt-Right has come onto the scene claiming this land for “white posterity”. These are very fringe and not a lot of people join up with these silly groups. However, racism has now been thrown back into the faces of whites who were born in 1980 and who had something to do with past racism. They can say whatever racist garbage or slur they want to because in the past, their ancestors did the same thing. I understand their actions; I’ve seen videos of people getting blasted with water cannons, I’ve heard so many stories of the splitting up of families and slave treatment and that makes me sad. However, that America isn’t the same America that’s around today. Blacks have historically discriminated fiercely as well. Both sides can do a better of treating every person on an individual basis instead of making these huge generalizations based of ancestry or simply other people they’ve encountered. Our problem no longer lies in the system of holding people back. It lies in the hearts of individuals who will justify any action based on historical injustice.

I’ve seen multiple people tweet that white people shouldn’t be allowed to see a movie being releasing in a few days called Black Panther. It’s a movie I’m personally excited for because Black Panther has been one of my favorite heroes for 14 years. His suit and everything is awesome and I’ve been a huge fan of Chadwick Boseman and his work. Unfortunately, putting the spotlight on a character like this brings people who have never given a care to comics before now flocking to this character. This doesn’t mention that Wakanda doesn’t even really exist, so their culture is only a shadow of true African culture, or the fact that Black Panther usually operates with the overwhelmingly white Avengers. Their argument boils down to the simple fact that because a character is black, it is theirs. It’s an awful collectivist mindset that will only cause division wherever it goes. John Kani went even so far to say, “This movie will prove to the colonialists that if they had not interfered with Africa, we’d be so far advance.” I’ve seen a lot of dumb hot takes, but this one might be the dumbest. Not only is the country made up, but so is the substance that makes them so rich (it’s vibranium, the stuff that makes Cap’s shield, just for your information).

Is there any true heritage to this movie? No. Does it actually reveal what African life is like? Of course not. Are some of the people celebrating this movie for it’s “diversity” in having black actors just playing a game that no one else wants to play? Absolutely.

I would like to say that if Martin Luther King was around in our time, he’d be pleased with the change. White and black couples are seen as attractive to most (except for white and black purists), opportunities for the black communities who are even given special schooling opportunities because of Affirmative Action, black Americans able to show off their talents from being astronauts to being small time entrepreneurs. The only problem arises in this; we fail to acknowledge there should be no oppressor. The tables are trying to flip to paint white people today of deserving the punishment of their ancestors. I will keep pushing against this because I believe in true equality, as I believe most people are. It’s those on the fringe who want to push apart and separate us. The thing is, there is no legislation that can fix these problems. We’ve done all we can on that part; now it takes every one of us to make conscious efforts to be good to people and to all mankind. Now this isn’t just for the sake of Martin Luther King, but for the sake of understanding intrinsic value in every human life. Every person deserves that opportunity. So, is America better than it was? That is a resounding yes. If your answer is no, I want you to name one country that is better for black people than where we are right now. Which one gives more opportunities or gives them the better lives than what they have here. Things could be done better; absolutely. But to claim that this place is inherently racist, a place where a black man can be voted president by a white majority, your victim mentality is showing. Get educated, work hard and be thankful you’re in a place where you thrive in ways you can’t anywhere else on the planet.

 

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Alex Newman

Alex Newman is studying History in Tampa, Florida. His dream is to be a teacher so that he can inspire and empower the next generation to truly think for themselves, to build off of the successes and to fix the failures. If you would like to contact Alex, please reach out to him on Twitter @_alpha_flight_.

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