What is the relevance of the African American struggle for readers who are not African American?
Racism is an attitude that one race or an individual shares with another race based on some attribute about them they dislike. America’s history is entangled in the harsh, insensitive environment in which unfortunately blacks were the victims. Blacks according to history were slaves and were treated as such or harsher. This past is very influential in today’s society and laws. The readings differ in opinions when it comes to discrimination or racism. The pieces from college students indicate that blacks should not be given extra privileges based on their color, but rather because of their hard work and dedication to education or on their class. The Stud Terkel piece is about a man who once belonged to the Ku Klux Klan and his change of mind towards his attitude, racism. The last piece is a letter from Martin Luther King in the Birmingham jail and his expectations from the church and his explanations of the way black people are being treated by the whites. Also, Cornel West will make a slight input on the subject. Basically all of these pieces deal with black people issues with the status quo system and their history. Most of these discussions do not affect some races. I believe that most races might not sympathize with the black people because someone at some point controlled the whole world. Also, they might not share a lot of experiences with the blacks in this scenario. Therefore it is possible that other groups might feel a little uncomfortable when discussing the topic because they won’t have a good input on the subject.
The reading diversity is essentialÃ¢Â?Â¦is a criticism paper against affirmative action and its potential to give more credits to a student for being black rather than achieving academic success. A black Michigan student wrote this paper. He is so opposing this system. In class we discussed the point of views of the student and the class’ individual opinion on the matter. Majorities of the class were against affirmative action and they believed extra privileges should be based on social class and educational backgrounds. ” Race has been a defining element of the American experienced the majority of students who each year arrive on campus like Michigan’s graduated from virtually all- white schools or all-black schools (Ballinger, 591).” This quote expresses the opinion of the student that no amount of effort placed on integration will work, so the schools should do the right thing and award benefits to students of lower classes or the intellectual or deserving. Non-blacks were somehow interested in the topic because it had to do with the school system and part of their rights. The message pertained more to blacks, but it was not dashing white people so the audience based on my opinion better received it.
In “but not at this costÃ¢Â?Â¦”Armstrong talks about why he is against affirmative action. He talks about how he was accepted to all prestigious colleges partly because of his academic record and mostly because he was black. This situation seems to be in his favor but Armstrong is not so quick to accept the offer, he believes people should be given privileges because of their academic record and lower social class, not because they are black. We had some interesting discussions in class about this reading. The majority of the class agreed with Armstrong and his believes. They believed social class is way more important to consider for admissions than race. ” Ã¢Â?Â¦They often benefit the children of middle- and upper class black Americans who have been conditioned to feel they are owned something. (Armstrong, 593).” This quote basically explains Armstrong feelings toward the status quo and their unfairness with affirmative action. As a matter of fact, this letter does not hold any relevance to non-blacks. It’s basically about how blacks should not feel they are owed something and how blacks should not be given privileges with affirmative action. I do believe non- blacks will not be very interested in his piece, but then again this piece is not bashing any other race so it might be well received or interesting to some.
The reading “how much diversity do you want from me” is one from Bacon, Perry Jr. He talks about how affirmative action puts an extra pressure on black student, because they are expected to always voice an opinion o black issues. We had some meaningful discussions in class about this topic. We talked and asked around if people felt it was their responsibility to voice out their opinions about their races. Most people answered no, that it depends on how you feel personally about the issue but no pressure is enforced on them to do so. ” It gives me and other underrepresented minority students an added burden: delivering diversity (Bacon 595).” This quote by Bacon is practically saying that affirmative action pressure to create more diversity in schools is pressurizing the minorities already present in the school to encourage their own kind. This adds a lot more to their responsibilities. This topic does not affect non-blacks in anyway. It only addresses how black feels from the point of view of a black student on a black issue. I believe non- blacks will not be interested in this topic, as it does not affect them in the least. The topic does not go against other races either; therefore I believe it might be an interest to some other people who are against affirmative action.
C.P. Ellis by Studs Terkel is a reading about a man who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He later changed his ways when he had to work with a black woman and he realized that blacks are human beings just like him. In class we talked about how we thought C.P. Ellis’ encounter with the black lady change his point of view. We came to a conclusion that was the stepping-stone to his open mindedness. “Ã¢Â?Â¦Until I met a black person eyeball to eyeball and I met a Jewish person eyeball to eyeball that I found they’re people just like me (C.P. Ellis 571)” This quote explains how C.P. Ellis felt after he had a change of mind about his racist behavior. This topic holds some significance to non-blacks because it’s a transformational story about a man who finally decided to do the right thing. It’s inspirational to all racist and emotional for blacks. I believe non-blacks will feel great about this pieceÃ¢Â?Â¦it’s a comfortable reading for all races.
In Martin Luther King’s Birmingham letter he address the church as disappointing and talks about his struggles as a freedom fighter. He talks about how his brothers and sisters despite of their non-violence protests are being mistreated by the police and the system. This letter is very important because it address’ Martin Luther’s efforts as a freedom fighter and it also shows how the church has mistreated them when they were suppose to be based on the truth. In this letter Martin Luther King talks about how black
people are just like Jesus and the church are like the high priests who crucified Jesus despite of his innocence. This letter is an important piece of history. It shows non- blacks what had to be done for blacks to get their rights in America. It’s an example of a passionate fight that had a successful outcome because one person led a group that believed and acted upon its beliefs. Cornel West in his reading had stated the importance of brotherhood and non-market involvement with each other. He had talked about the democracy about how we are all freedom fighter and we all need to stand up for what is right because its right not because the government says so. As a free country we need to use our freedoms effectively for good. Cornel West like Martin Luther King is an important voice in the society, who often pronounces change. This change is beneficiary to all people from every nation, race or class.
Racism is a disease that is life threatening to the society and to the individual that chooses to walk in its path. Affirmative action is one of the efforts that have been created to cure racism and increase diversity. It just so happens that it creates more problems than help according to a few readings. The diversity is essential reading talks about how points are given to students more because of their race than their grades.
“But not at this cost” reading talks about how privileges should be given because of social class or grades not because he student is black and they want more diversity in their schools. The ” How much Diversity do you want from me” piece talks about how its an additional burden for all blacks to deal with affirmative action pressurizing diversity. C.P. Ellis is a reading about a man who was once a racist and a Ku Klux Klan member who later realized that all people are the same including blacks. Martin Luther King’s letter from Birmingham talks about how the church is disappointing in its justice and promotion of truth. Cornel West talks about how we need to use our freedoms as a democratic country wisely and for good. We had some meaningful discussions in class and most of them dealt with opinions on each reading, which were well received. I believe justice in America has come a long way, which has created and improved. It is now more comfortable environment for everyone. I believe the society of non-blacks might not fight the readings emotional but they might find it inspirational. Love is key and freedom is the door we need to enter. The key to freedom is love and the door to love is freedom, so lets all work together to create freedom with one love.