When I was in 6th grade I had a black teacher. He was the only black teacher in the school and later became the principal. He talked about leaving the ghetto, (the word he used for where he grew up) going in the service and getting an education to become a teacher. He gave us more than lessons about science in 1966. He never had a problem with any of us and we respected him. He stressed how important it was to get an education and how we could do anything. He shared with us his efforts to get out of poverty and he genuinely cared about us. I have never forgotten him. He made a lasting impression on me.
I assumed for a long time that the 60's fixed everything for black people. I was wrong and it has been though friends I made when I lived in a predominantly black neighborhood in the 80's that I have learned how ignorant I was for so many years. We just ignore the problem and go on in our lives.
How do you convince a child that it is better to toil at an education to enter a market where their opportunities are less than their white counterparts and making a certain wage when the dealers on the streets make so much more? How do you convince a child that he can achieve and be respected when he and his family have to live a limited way because of their race? How can people get out of poverty when they have no hope that life can be different for them? It used to be that the rules of the 50's were that black people "knew their place", do you think the way they are treated now isn't to achieve the same end?
It is depressing that people get pulled over in this day and age for DWB. It just is outrageous what happens in our country. I remember on the news a black man convicted of a crime and he was working at the time with many witnesses of all colors. The court ignored his iron clad alibi because he looked similar to the culprit. I wonder what the statistics are of the crimes vs the punishments given to black people vs white people?
All people need to face that we need more change in this country when it comes to racism. It is not someone else's problem it is our problem. Until we change our society, these obstacles will be hard to over come.
I think the best thing that could happen is for Barack Obama to be elected president. If Barack can make it to be President of the United States, black children any where can believe they have a chance to become someone. Maybe, just maybe it may change the face of America! The man who is the most powerful leader in the world would have ties to both races. I believe there would be radical change in America. If he is elected it would say to the racists, this is the man Americans choose to be their leader. How could racists feel in the majority then? How could you continue your delusions of superiority then?
It may sound funny, but I believe every passing year more and more racists die and their numbers are lowering. It may take some time but I don't think the parents of today are quite like my parents generation where many were racist and were so wrong. I applaud the famous black people of yesterday for influencing my generation to reject what their parents taught them. I applaud the famous black people of today because they are in a position to be hero's to children of all races and change the attitude towards racism that is being passed down generation to generation.