Civil Rights Movements in a Post-racial Society Essay Example
Civil Rights Movements in a Post-racial Society Essay Example

Civil Rights Movements in a Post-racial Society Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1497 words)
  • Published: July 21, 2021
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The problem with today’s world is that we live in a time where we think it is a post-racial society, where people do not “see” color or racism. Civil Rights Movements for African Americans is not something new to America. These movements started in 1919 and do not have an end in sight; it seems. To find that end though, we need to learn and realize that race is a figment of our imagination. It was created by a scientist and doctor named Samuel Morton as stated by author Elizabeth Kolbert, in an article from National Geographic titled “There’s No Scientific Basis for Race – It’s a Made-up Label.” How race was determined, was Samuel Morton collected skulls. With each skull he collected, he performed a procedure. His procedure started with filling the skulls with pepper seed – this was later switched to lead shot – which


he decanted to obtain the volume of the braincase in the skull. This procedure led Morton to believe that humans could be divided into five races.

As stated by Kolbert, “Morton’s “craniometry” showed, he claimed, that whites, or “Caucasians,” were the most intelligent of the races. East Asians—Morton used the term “Mongolian”—though “ingenious” and “susceptible of cultivation,” were one step down. Next came Southeast Asians, followed by Native Americans. Blacks, or “Ethiopians,” were at the bottom.” The truth of the matter is that the most recent fossil find suggests that homo sapiens originated in Africa and migrated from a there. Through our migrations, our genetics mutated and adapted to the surroundings around us, and that is how our skin color became different shades. When I bring forward the issu

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of racism or prejudice in the twenty-first century, some would say it doesn’t exist, or it is not as bad as it was back in the Jim Crow days. An explanation of what a post-racial America is by Patrick McGain states, “When I heard from someone that we live in a post-racial America, I had to consider what this truly meant. By definition, it suggests that we live in a country in which racial preference, prejudice, and discrimination do not exist; that we live in a country that treats everyone equally, offers every person the same opportunities, and does not judge an individual by the color of their skin,” (McGain). Although this sounds like the America we live in, we need to ask ourselves, “Is it really?” The reason we need to ask ourselves this is because the thought process of a post-racial America is what has made the racial issues thrive in our judicial systems.

Just as these thoughts did in 1955 with the Emmett Till murder trial of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milman. A trial where two white men, Roy Bryant, and J.W. Milman, were acquitted of the brutal slaying of the fourteen-year-old boy Emmett Till. In this era, it was common not to be convicted due to Jim Crow laws and segregation. The prejudices that surrounded the Emmett Till case pushed forth the Civil Rights Movements in the 1950s–1960s and influenced some leaders such as Rosa Parks to defy the segregation laws. Today’s Civil Rights Movement started due to the wrongful killings of young innocent African Americans. About sixty years after 1955 police officers shot and killed a young black man by the

name of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (Tyson 212). It was decided not to prosecute the officer. This sparked outrage across the country and started the protest where many cried, “Say his name! Emmett Till! Say his name! Emmett Till!” (Tyson 213). This resonates with a long list of names that creates the #BlackLivesMatter movement of the twenty-first century. '15 Black Lives Ended in Confrontations with Police. 3 Officers Convicted,” is the title from an article in the New York Times, which shows that it does not seem much as changed. The Black Lives Matter movement comes from the #AllLivesMatter movement. There have been other branch offs of this including #BlueLivesMatter, #NativeLivesMatter, and so on.

The movement started with just this hashtag - a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic – when a white man named George Zimmerman was acquitted of fatally shooting a young African American by the name of Trayvon Martin. It took to the street with protests in 2014 with Michael Brown’s death. Authors of '15 Black Lives Ended in Confrontations with Police. 3 Officers Convicted,” Jasmine C Lee and Haeyoun Park state, 'In some of the cases, the police offered an explanation for their actions, but many viewers of raw footage concluded that their actions were unjustified.' This quote relates to how America is killing Emmett Till over and over because we are visibly watching what others are doing each other. We are forced to see how 'minority race' is treated and how unfair it is. According to, “Nationwide, African American children

represent 32% of children who are arrested, 42% of children who are detained, and 52% of children whose cases a judicially waived to criminal court.” As humans in this day and age we stand up and speak out against this type of treatment, but when does it become equal and fair. When do we get to stop fighting the fight we all did not create? 'America is still killing Emmett Till, but often by means less direct than bludgeons and bullets' (Tyson 215). This is a point that needs emphasizing because if we have reached the post-racial society that is portrayed then why is a movement labeled with lives needed? Why “In Washington, D.C., the country’s capital, roughly 75 percent of young black men can anticipate serving time in prison, and the percentage is still higher in the city’s poorest neighborhoods,” (Tyson 216).

These numbers are nowhere near what is reported for white men expected to go to prison. Only 4.4% of white men are expected to serve a prison sentence according to statistics from The discrepancy is astonishing. Though I agree the variance is beyond what a post-racial America should have, I do have to acknowledge the fact that crimes are committed and people do have to go to prison for their crimes. Why does any of this information apply to anyone, and if anyone who does it apply to? That is what I bet you’re wondering, and the truth is, it applies to anyone and everyone. It applies to us, our children, our children’s children, and the many generations to come. 'Our strivings will unfold in a fallen world, among imperfect people who

have inherited a deeply tragic history (Tyson 217). Tyson is hoping that one day we won’t live in a world of hate, but that day is when our world will have fallen. I do hope we may see a time when these movements and fights no longer exist, and race isn’t a social dived, I can only hope. I want to note that with all my disagreements that we aren’t living in a post-racial society, I have come to terms with all the progress America has made in racial segregation. Now more than ever is the most accepting of times to live in. This seems to contradict because I have argued so vehemently that civil rights battles are as alive today as they have ever been. This may be the case, but also at this time anyone can sit anywhere they would like on a bus, anyone can attend whatever school they would like, we can speak to whomever we want. We can be free, but we are free with battles. With all the arguments that the world is still divided and more than just over the Dixie Line, I want to see if we can come to a compromise. We are all human, we all want acceptance and love. Let’s take that desire for acceptance and love and pass it to everyone. Not just to your friends or family, but to someone you don’t know. Possibly stand in the shoes of young African American and think about how you would feel when the world is a place set for far less social mobility than others.

Place yourself in front of a group of people to

be ridiculed and continuously judged by the color of your skin. Let’s take this fight from everyone and make it our own. When taking that fight and making it our own, let’s remember that we think we live in a post-racial America. Think about how hard it is to believe this when the facts are staring us in the face that race is not real and was constructed to satisfy Samuel Morton’s own prejudices. Finally, remember living in America we take the oath 'I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'

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