50 years after MLK speech.. where we are now

We recently passed the 50th anniversary of the “march on Washington” where Dr King made his famous “I have a Dream” speech.

I just attended a day and half symposium on the civil rights movement from the civil war to today. Included among the speakers were Julian Bond and many social activists. It was quite eye opening and informative.

To most Americans especially non-blacks or hispanics, it appears that we have come a long ways and things are just fine and dandy. Many are ready to dismantle the trappings of affirmative action, welfare, food stamps and many other social benefits aimed at making life for people of color more tolerable.

On the surface that may seem true, BUT the reality is that many things have changed, but many other things have not. Superficially, some attitudes are better but racism and prejudice are still heavily embedded in our society.

Consider that unemployment among blacks is at just over 13% while unemployment among others is around 7%. And among blacks under 30 the rate is over 40%.
Also consider that while drug use is about the same across all races, enforcement and imprisonment for drug use is much heavier among blacks and hispanics to the point that today there are more blacks in jail or prison today for drug use than there were slaves in 1850 !

When Reagan started his war on drugs, drug use in the US was actually in decline. His war on drugs has actually exasperated the drug problem and driven many blacks onto the unemployment roles and ultimately into our prisons. Jobs for black America in the 50s and 60s were much more available than they are today. Back then at least we had a thriving auto industry and manufacturing sector for low and middle paid americans. Now we have neither. While this was not intentional nor foreseeable, it still made the problem what it is today.

I’m not black so for me learning about what was going on in the black community was an eye opening experience. We hear about a few things in the media but for the most part it is fairly watered down. While I thought that things were much better, in many cases things are not better but even worse.

While there are no separate drinking fountains or seats at the back of the bus. Racism has gone undercover and blacks still find themselves grossly unemployed or under employed. Some few have made it out (such as Obama) but the vast majority are still fighting the same fight they did 50 years ago. We have come a long way, but we are very far from making America, a far and just society for all.

First, I appreciate your insight. Anyway, racism will always exist, but black people are much better off today. I don’t think it’s the same fight like 50 years ago. Spirituality and economically, America is probably in decline, but we are much better off today when it comes to equal opportunities for black people. Not everything is perfect, but America is a just and fair society for all.

this is the biggest pot of garbage that hate wants Americans to believe is that blacks in America are still being persecuted and held down by others namely whites in America.

It just does not hold any truth to how those politicians and talking heads want others to believe it, ever start by asking where those statistics come from and how they obtained those statistics ? One can just look around and see the days of segregation are far beyond over, what makes things worse is when the " first black president " steps forward on MLK day to proclaim that the dream still has a ways if not a long ways to go. If anything is ramping up in our country now is reverse racism. Where a crime between a white and black is slammed up on front page news first even more so if the white person has the upper hand versus black on black crime, but then if one wants to get into who is to blame for black on black crime eventually it comes back to blaming whites.

If all three governments had not one single black person in it, if segregation was still going on to this very day, and if blacks were not allowed to vote , then I would be more than happy to jump on the oh poor " minorities " racism bandwagon. Even the word minority is moronic at this stage in our nation, you cant walk five steps in South Florida with out walking into someone who is Hispanic and guess what if you cant speak at least a little Spanish in South Florida you are going to have a very hard time getting around. We have in our country communities of every faith an race, and all are taxed just as messed up across the board . But if race is not bad enough to debate about, we are lead to believe the next big problem is sexism being rampant, then one has to ask where are all these claims coming from, they come from only one party out of our two party regime that has a choke hold on our current freedoms.

Is this country sexist and racist free, no, but is it at the level those who complain about it want everyone to believe, not even close. An who is making it worse, the government, one party playing every angle against the other all for keeping the power that they have, and not one person could give two beans about how our government keeps pushing their lies upon everyone. Women and every race is allowed to work and vote in this country there is no way of getting around it and in fact our government goes out of their way to solicit people they claim are minorities and women if not create loop holes for them to vote as many times as possible come election time, also if one just has a feeling that some guy looked at her wrong, or some employer wont hire them based on their sex or race, there are more lawyers you can shake a stick at ready and foaming at the mouth to bring that allegation to a court, be it true or completely false !

You think this is a racist , sexist country try doing half of the things that are allowed here in the middle east, or heck North Korea, see how wonderful they are living.

But hey as long and hard as MLK and others fought to have the freedoms they wanted equally as the white population at that time, now we have a government working hard to take away our right to bare arms, and our freedom of religion, where are the minorities and the percentages to how they feel about that, where is their voice on those two major issues and an administration that forced a health care plan into law and a republican party that did next to nothing to stop it while a good portion of the population cried loud against it but didn’t fight to stop it.

No worries though we get to vote again for bad or worse in a few years and debate the same stupid thing over again I am sure at a later time .

Is there any particularly compelling reason to believe this is due to prejudice/hate/discrimination and not simply because of the demographic characteristics of blacks? For instance blacks trail every other race in every measure of educational attainment – higher dropout rates (both high school and college), lower GPA, lower standardized test scores, etc. This is despite the bar being effectively lowered through rampant affirmative action and the more-or-less total collapse in educational standards nationwide. Academic incompetence is not generally conducive to economic productivity.

Well, with due respect, duh. The slave population in 1850 was less than one-tenth the current black population today. Do you deny, too, that blacks are disproportionately imprisoned for all crimes, not merely drug use? For instance they make up over half the population of imprisoned murderers despite representing less than 13% of the population of US citizens.

Re: different rates of drug usage, ignoring the fact that the evidence is more mixed than you let on, I can think of plenty of possible reasons why blacks might be incarcerated at higher rates for drug-related charges. For instance, blacks are more likely in general to commit crimes other than drug use/possession, hence are more likely in general to be arrested while high/possessing. Conversely, perhaps it’s the case that the nature of drug use is different, e.g., blacks prefer heroine, whites prefer Prozac, such that blacks’ drug of choice is more conducive to the sort of behavior that gets one imprisoned rather than merely, say, sent to rehab.

Have you learned much, too, about American blacks subculture and its many, numerous, profound defects? For instance, its celebration of violence and sexual degeneracy, its fetishization of criminality, its stigmatization of educational achievement, etc.?

My husband’s family do none of these things. Him, his parents, and sisters have went to college. While he went to a smaller state university, both of his sisters graduated from SEC schools. His mom is working on her doctorate and his oldest sister has her masters. None are criminals. My husband will tell you that his parents sell drugs, but it is because they are in the pharmaceutical industry. They aren’t violent or over sexualized.
No group is perfect. We have come a long way from the 60’s, but we still have some ways to go.

We’re talking about average, trends, and norms. Not universal laws of nature.

Its easy for white america to say that everything is just fine and dandy when the rich (aka whites) grow richer and the poor gets poorer. 43 million americans are below the poverty line. Getting a job at the minimum wage still leaves you below the poverty line.

We no longer lynch blacks folks at a rate of one every 2 days and we no longer cheer the the murderers on. Yes that’s a huge step in the right direction. Folks were ‘guaranteed’ the right to vote with the voting rights act but we still see some locales trying to limit voting with burdensome restrictions… in some cases shot down, but in others withheld.

IF we are going to enforce drug laws then they need to be enforced equally across the board. It’s questionable to jail folks for non-violence drug use anyway especially when the judges and lawyers kids are using just as much or more. It’s the rich kids in the suburbs who have the disposable money to buy drugs anyway. Blacks can’t afford the high dollar heroin and cocaine, they’re more likely to use marijuana. Its a lot cheaper to send someone to school than it is to keep them in prison. PLUS once they get a record, they become cronically unemployed because they can no longer get a job. It’s a vicious circle, because crime becomes their only alternative.

Obviously the endless cycle of unemployment, drugs and jail cycle is not working. It’s a cop out to say that everyone is now on an equal footing. Job discrimination may be illegal, but in practice blacks still have a tougher road to find jobs. There is no survey or evidence that shows that employment is higher among blacks than whites. The numbers are just not there to indicate this. Our prisons are disproportionately full of blacks and hispanics, and it’s totally bogus to say that they are there simply because they commit more crimes.

While we’re spending billions blowing up arabs and sending arms to various dictatorships, would it not be far wiser to educate and provide more jobs for folks here in the states.


Could it be that whites have much more money to hire lawyers to get them off the hook ??? OJ is a prime example of money talks and so is the TRayvon Martin killer.

Your attitude simply proves my point. Your first preception is that blacks somehow are more criminally inclined or somehow inferior to other races. That simply is not true. They can be as noble or devious as anyone else, and they can be as intelligent or ignorant as anyone else. Look in the mirror you’ll see my point !!

I was alive and lived in the south when MLK made that speech. I’ve seen the changes since those days–and believe me when I say that it is NOTHING now like it was then! I do not believe in continued affirmative action. Just as with native Americans, blacks in the past were treated horribly. BUT, just as in the case of native Americans, there is simply NO way to make it up to the people who were the ones actually hurt–as most of the ones hurt then are dead by now! Giving the state of Massachusetts to a young native American today in no way helps the native Americans who were moved off their land 100 years ago. What it does is create a young native American male who is supposed to live in today’s society but has no real values such as work! This is true for blacks as well.

YES, more young black men are in prison today than whites. Why? Because young black men as a rule commit more crimes than whites! It’s that simple! The answer is not to pour more welfare on them. The answer is to honestly ask WHY this is the case–why do young black men tend to commit crimes that land them in jail more often than their white counterparts? The answer–and this is the unpleasant truth–is the complete destruction of the family unit in the black community as well as the things that usually go along with a family unit such as adherence to religion and faith in God! Young black women are more likely to have out of wedlock babies and more of them than whites! When they do so and a child is raised without a father present, that child is more likely to become involved in criminal behavior, gangs and drugs. His unmarried mom is less likely to have enough education to support him–much less the other 5 kids she will most likely add to her brood–and they all end up living in tenements and depending on welfare! Now there are some facts!!

Jackson and all the rest of the current civil rights leaders do great harm to their “people”. They lie to them–encourage them to wallow in self pity, look for a hand out and not a hand and to continue to have offspring without responsibility and a family to grow up in. They discourage discipline and encourage irresponsible behavior. The worst part about Jackson et al, is that they do this for their own greed and wealth… You don’t see Jackson living in a tenement, sending his kids to an inner city school or having 15 baby mamas out there. He knows full well what’s wrong in black families but he makes his living on the backs of the people he pretends to want to help!

I don’t owe any young black out there anything. As a Christian, I WANT to help anyone less fortunate than I–though I’m not among the really fortunate myself. But helping someone and crippling them–only to feel sorry that they must walk with a crutch because I’ve crippled them isn’t Christian charity. It’s the old white slave owner mentality. Blacks and minorities today need to get some self control and values or within the next 200 years, we won’t need affirmative action anyway. They will drink themselves, shoot themselves, drug themselves, gang-bang themselves and above all ABORT themselves into extinction!:banghead:

It is precisely because of attitudes such as these that the civil rights movement has a long way to go.

Sw your views express the ideal kkk members view of the world. That is about the most bigoted racist perspective I have ever seen,

Congrats on voicing the white supremisists side

It’s attitudes such as this that led to whites viewing lynchings as a Sunday festival. Blacks are supposedly inferior so we can treat them like dirt. Shame on you !

Rich blacks achieve just as we’ll as any other race, Money and jobs are the equalizer for all groups. The south may have changed a lot but your statements speaks volumes about how much further it needs to go.

It’s ironic that the 40,000 kkk march in DC was the previous largest march on Washington.
Thousands more lined the streets supporting their ideas. It’s good that their numbers appear to be fewer. It’s sad to see that some of their basic views still prevail.

Stars you are wrong. The numbers do not support your statements suburban whites buy more drugs than blacks. They have much more money to do so. But blacks are more likely to be arrested. Plus whites are more likely to get off because their parents can afford good attorneys.

As far as abortions go whites are more likely to abort that is why the white population is declining while the black population continues to grow. Abortions are expensive most blacks can’t afford one.

Folks are not looking for retribution. You can not revive the hangings! This country needs true equal opportunities. Until the unemployment rates are similar and the income rates are similar. You do not have equality. Until views are changed you do not have social justice. I agree free handouts are not the answer. Equal access to jobs and equal pay is part of it. The other part is changing the view that folks are inferior based on the color of their skin. Neither one has been archived. based on the responses here we have a long way to go on the latter.

I’m certainly not saying everything is “just fine and dandy.” But the deterioration of the American economy is a separate issue from race relations. The boom in the American economy in the 50s and 60s was an artifact of the world situation at the time. All of our major economic competitors were ruined: Europe still recovering from WW2, Russia and China were communist basketcases still recovering from the slaughters they gratuitously inflicted on their own peoples for no good reason, etc. We excelled in this time frame only because our physical remoteness from the rest of the world spared us the devastation that befell our economic competitors, and we started falling behind the instant they got off their knees. And why wouldn’t we? We are less productive than the Germans, less intelligent than the Chinese, less efficient than the Japanese, and less creative than most everyone. Few serious scientific advances have been done since the 70s and 80s (no, shrinking processor cores and jamming more of them onto the same motherboard doesn’t much count). Etc.

You are absolutely right that the poor get the short end of the stick here. To the extent the rich are getting richer it is not even particularly because of anything they’ve done, invented, sold, etc.; it’s just marketing schemes. It’ll blow up eventually and they’ll be badly impoverished, but it’s still an injustice. But its injustice has nothing to do with race.

I have no opinion on the utility of voter identification laws (full disclosure, I think democracy’s ****) but asking voters to show ID to verify that they are who they claim they are is not by any rational metric a “burdensome restriction.” Which is why everyone everywhere has always done it for everything except voting.

I don’t see the relevance of drugs here. Again, do you deny that blacks are jailed at a disproportionately high rate for all crimes, not just drug use?

If only there were schools that people could go to for free…

I agree, on average they do. What I’m saying is it’s not entirely not their fault.

Why is it “totally bogus”? It is exactly this I’m calling you out on; you don’t get to just summarily dismiss it. Putting someone in jail is not easy. You have to do investigations, collect evidence, make a case before a jury of one’s peers, etc.

You seem to be a liberal, which means you are committed to the view that there are absolutely zero differences between any group of people anywhere. I am disputing this greatly. It is clearly not true. Different groups are just that, different. They excel in some ways and trail in others. They do things (including graduate high school or commit murders) at different rates.

Of course I understand why you, as a liberal, are committed to the zero-differences hypothesis. It’s because you are also committed to the standard liberal view of the cult of the free and equal superman, totally liberated from all bonds of reason, morality, tradition, history, and God. This is an ignoble lie with evil consequences evidenced by history, so the zero-differences hypothesis is essentially a noble lie constructed to avert those consequences. I doubt you yourself really believe it, but you can’t not believe it, because it’s the only thing standing between you and the Nazis.

None of which does any good if you choose not to avail yourself of those services, which the disproportionately high dropout rate of American blacks evidences and which their cultural demonization of educational achievement encourages.

Ironically I think Trayvon Martin is a perfect example of what’s wrong with black culture but I doubt you see it that way. For that matter I doubt you know much about the case so there’s no use discussing it. Also ironically, OJ was a rich black guy who got away with murder which would, to an ordinary mind, be taken as a refutation of your hypothesis that blacks qua blacks are systematically unjustly discriminated against.

Yes, rich people have more money to hire lawyers. You seem to think this is relevant. Legal systems have always and everywhere had to deal with the fact that there are more incentives to sue/prosecute wealthier people than poor people – poor people might do it to get rich, unscrupulous politicians to advance their career, business enemies to shut down a competitor, etc. Differential lawyer quality is one way of accounting for this gap. If it weren’t this way, chaos would reign.

“Inclined” suggests some kind of internal disposition. I have no idea why American blacks are on average the way they are, I have no way of getting such information, and I have no interest in it anyway; I am simply describing the way they are.

I certainly don’t believe they’re “inferior.” That differences between people exist doesn’t mean these differences confer any ontological distinction. For instance I am taller than some people and shorter than others, but it would be ludicrous to argue that this makes me “better” or “worse” than any of them (except when it comes to reaching things on a high shelf).

The idea that acknowledging differences = racism is a lie invented by liberals for the ignoble reasons I mentioned above, and since I don’t share your presuppositions, there is no good in attributing to me the spurious rationalizations you’ve had to invent for your own sanity.

There’s nothing wrong with silence, you know, if you have nothing useful or interesting to say.

Obviously you have no idea what racism or discrimination is all about. When you pre judge people solely because their skin color is different from yours, that’s racism. Folks are individuals, each person has a range of possibilities all unto themselves. Their economics, ability to learn, life situation all goes into making that persons opportunities and potential what they are and what they can be.

Saying that black person starts off automatically as somewhat less is racism defined to a tee. That is defining that person as sub human or sub-white. Asians as a group perform much better academically than any other group, that does not mean we are super human or an alien species.

As I said it is precisely attitudes like yours that shows that america, white america still has a long way to go. Passing legislation to free the slaves, or give voting rights or civil rights did not end racism. You are living proof that this is the case. IT still exists because deep down you still believe that folks of color are sub human or at least sub white. Racism really ends when folks like you change their hearts and their attitudes.

Folks I know consider me quite a conservative, call me a liberal if you will, but at least I’m not a bigot !

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.