Challenges to Racial Integration in America
Challenges to Racial Integration in America
Citation of Article
To deal honestly with race in America, blacks must recapture their social moral claim, and the rest of the nation must honor it. An apt analogy is the Jewish concern when the word “Holocaust” is used to describe other acts of genocide or mass murder. Jews by no means want to diminish the tragedy and genocide of others. P5
An honest solution to the black racial integration problem in America is only possible by first categorized their plights as unique struggle. Blacks are the only group in America whose ancestors did not go there of their own free will. This makes their challenges significantly different from those of other minority immigrant populations in America. Most minorities immigrated to America in search of a better life for them and their children. Blacks on the other hand were involuntarily captured, enslaved and transported there. While other immigrants look to their ancestry with pride and gratitude, blacks cannot help but be grieved by the cruelty and inhumanity that define their past. Black history has both a lot of tragedy and victories and is responsible unappreciated contributions to the building of America.
There is a need to shift our perspectives on the historic and moral implications of black struggles and achievements in America. Society has done very little with regard to their successful integration. This has caused many blacks to lag behind the rest of the population including minority immigrants. Current black problems should therefore, not be viewed as inadequacies on their part but rather as part of their gradual progress towards betterment and success. Government came up with affirmative action with the aim of restoring balance to access equal opportunity. This compelled more organizations and institutions to make more racially conscious decisions to increase black inclusion. It has however done very little in improving black integration. It has also been argued by some as being a major setback to black white relations. This is because some affirmative action actively denies entitled whites opportunities to bestow on blacks.
For affirmative action to be effective in black integration, it should be equitable in its award of opportunities. Evolution from the traditional academic grading systems to a more aptitude-based system is required. Individual demonstrated performance should also be the conscious basis for potential evaluation and not race. This would ensure that both qualified blacks and whites equally benefit from available opportunities. This would curtail the influence that perceived discrimination and racial disparity have in day-to-day life. Decisions should be based on the greater good to the interests of both blacks and whites. Honesty about the pros and cons of affirmative action would also further understanding and increase their mutual respect and peaceful coexistence.
Racial issues take root in people’s homes. Here tolerance takes a back seat and is responsible for intolerance programming of children. Taking racial honesty to every living room is synonymous to tackling the problem at its root. Television advertising has the largest reach of all mass media and has the power to influence popular perception and trends greatly. Corporations spend a fortune in advertising to drive up sales and increase their products’ market share. With just a fraction of these monies, advertising could be used to educate the masses on integration issues. They would then better understand how much they hurt each other and how easy it is to avoid it.
The author proposes that having a portion of the advertising budgets as large corporations could further the integration agenda by taking the race issue to every living room (p. 8). If government can sponsor such initiatives, then the younger generation will grow up more tolerant and will ensure more integration.
Schaefer, Richard T. Racial and Ethnic Groups. Boston: Little, Brown, 1979. Print.
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