Liberty and Justice for all?
“He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face” (B., Gates, & Oliver 1999 11). W.E.B. Dubois speaks about the dream of true equality for black people. That a person of color can be their true-selves without the preconceived judgements that started when African people were stolen and put on boats to the New World. That the “Negro” is an American concept created to keep people of color seen as less than human. A consistent rejection for people of color’s lives to improve based off the color of their skin and stripping them of their humanity.
White supremacy is one of the key enablers of racism. It continues to keep marginalized groups oppressed. White supremacy perpetuates social advantage for white people while leaving marginalized racial groups in a disadvantaged position. Racism benefits white people on several levels such as institutionally, culturally, and interpersonally. Many people believe that we live in a post-racial society especially since President Barack Obama became the first black president. However, this is not the case since minority groups are racially discriminated against in education, health care, criminal sentencing, and employment. The dis-illusioned idea that we live in a post-racial society is why we are struggling to make progress for equality in our society. Racism is alive in our society and people who are extremely privileged can pretend that racism no longer exists.
The socialization of accepting the hegemonic wealthy white image being the ideal American representation is just one of the issues dealing with social oppression. The idea that higher education is a racial enterprise. The fact that faculty from higher institutions are not supportive to their disabled students and make them enter through the back of buildings. Racism in its many forms of overt-racism, structural racism, and the ludicrous theory of reversed racism. Although overt-racism is still an issue in America, we must begin to disassemble the structural racism that is the bigger problem in America. The battle for people of color to help educate the privilege while needing to keep up a strong base for self-care. The fact that solidarity comes from what you choose to do when no one is looking.
There is still the issue of segregation in our society. I grew up in a neighborhood where majority of the people living there were of color. On the other hand, I went to a school with majority white kids. I had to take a bus to get to school every day. It was an hour ride there and back each day. White classmates from my school did not want to come to my house for playdates because they did not believe it was “safe”. I grew up in this neighborhood and I never felt in danger. As kids were taught to have these certain prejudices about minority groups. This generation we need to break these assumptions about people outside of our own race.
Social justice is a full and equal participation of all groups of society. No one member from a certain community or race cannot begin to make a change by themselves. No great leader in our history has made change by themselves. There was always a strong support system behind great social justice activists. There was always people who believed that change could come. It is our society’s social responsibility to actively seek out equality for all. There is no room for exclusion when it comes to improving our society for each diverse member in a country of immigrants.