"If the moderates of the white South fail to act now, history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." -Martin Luther King, Jr., (circa 1958)
I consider myself in-the-know. I consider myself up-to-date on current events. I have the knowledge to know, or at this point believe to know that America has changed drastically since the 60's. (And I also know that I'm 18 and still have a lot to learn)
But now, let's think back for a minute here. 1960's. A time where America, namely the South, was undergoing a large revolution and change in terms of race. What was accepted? What wasn't accepted? What was justice? Colored. Whites. Rosa Parks. Martin Luther King, Jr. Malcolm X. KKK. The list of "memories" can go on and on.
Slowly but surely, after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, America would begin one of its biggest changes in recent history.
And after the Hippies and acid trippers, the Beatles and the Who, the punk rock revolution and the rock revolution, and N'Sync and the Backstreet Boys, you'd think that America people would have a new character and persona from nearly have a century ago.
But, sadly, hate still lingers in America, and will likely remain for all of time. Discrimination. Racism. While "lower", there are still patches of all of these throughout America, and the world.
I'd like to direct you to an article that I stumbled upon this morning.
Coming from the Post (www.nypost.com - #2 article under Top Stories), Madonna Constantine, an African-American woman professor at Columbia University, arrived to her classroom, only to find a noose pinned at the door.
While no arrests as of print, police are looking into a white professor as a possible suspect and a petty dispute over "the work she did." Murray Weiss, author of the article, added that there are no security cameras in the building, something that is clearly unacceptable in this day and age.
Immediately after receiving information, CU students sent out mass e-mails to one another titled, "Jena at Columbia".
One student blogger typed up that, "This is same Columbia that let a murder[er] and racist [speak] in a public forum and the crowd cheered him. It begs the question: Is Columbia not encouraging this type of behavior?"
I'm going to say no.
I don't think that the main problem is Columbia University; we as an American people have justnot completely "evolved", and I doubt we ever will, to wholly accept all peoples, of all colors, of all nationalities, of all race.
Straying a bit off-topic, I'm a bit divided on different aspects of Columbia allowing Ahmadinejad to speak, but I do think that it was very bold of them.
A quick search on Wikipedia yields endless hate crimes in recent years.
For those of us in Houston, lest we forget the black family awakening to a cross burning in their front lawn? And just weeks ago, the public outcry and support of over a quarter-thousand people rallying together in Jena, Louisiana over the now-infamous "Jena Six."
And come on, how many of us, when driving for example, have never used phrases such as "stupid Asians," or "God! Go back to Mexico, immigrante?" I know I have, and I'm Hispanic for 'chrissakes'.
It will be interesting to see what comes of the noose story in the coming weeks, but it won't be anything we have not seen before.
Talking heads can preach all they want over how we're completely different from the days of MLK and Malcolm X, but we're not.
Granted, we have changed a great deal, but not completely.
Wake up America and get real.
Joseph "J-Lo" Lopez is a Senior at Clear Lake High School (Houston, Texas); Lake Reflections (high school newspaper) Staff Writer and freelance writer; On-Air Personality, Producer and Reporter for 89.7 KACC-FM (Houston, Texas); and Lead Anchor, Reporter and Temp Editor for CLHS's morning news program, Falcon Four.
WORLD - AN EDGE IN MY VOICE
Copyright © 2010 Joseph "J-Lo"
"Jena at Columbia!"
Copyright © 2010 Joseph "J-Lo"
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