Tuesday, February 24, 2009


In the 60s, Governor George Wallace of Alabama (on the left in this picture, between the two hard-hats),did everything he could to resist the integration of schools and the rest of society in his state.

In those days, his rallying cry was, "Separate but Equal," meaning that he thought blacks should have the same educational resources (buildings, labs, football fields, etc.), but should be kept separate from whites.

After all, "they" had separate drinking fountains, separate restaurant areas, separate entrances to buildings, why not separate schools?

Of course the fly in that ointment was that schools were not, and had no hope of ever being, equal.

I have maintained for centuries that we went about integration all wrong, and should have started with kindergarten and first grade. In twelve years we would have had a graduating class that never knew any other way.

Instead the good old U.S. government decided to integrate the schools all at once, which led to a decade of agony and unnecessary stress on all citizens, black and white, not to mention the extraordinary expense of busing kids all over at all times of the day and night.

Just another example of how, when the government gets involved things will be accomplished in the least effective manner possible...yet you continue to "trust them" to handle more and more of societies' woes.

It is interesting that, after Eric Holder accused us of being a nation of cowards when it comes to race relations, some of the nation's most elite universities, such as Vanderbilt, Stanford and the University of California, have yielded to black student demands for separate graduation ceremonies and separate "celebratory events."

Are we now saying that Governor Wallace was correct?

Not in my book, he wasn't.

In my book, the process of integration should have been handled entirely differently.

It would have taken longer, in my book, but the process would have been better served through appropriate assimilation: the proper education of both the white and the black community (blacks did not become "African-Americans" until years later), the gradual raising of the economic status of the black community as a whole, the dissolution of discriminatory laws and rules and the eventual assimilation of blacks into all communities.

Nevertheless, we are where we are, and one thing is clear: no African-American has any place to hide any more.

We have elected an African-American to the nation's highest office.

I want to make it abundantly clear that I do not support President BO's agenda...none of it.

But let me take an opportunity to point out that he is living proof that if a person (regardless of skin color) will get a good education (which is possible as evidenced by Barack Obama), learn the English language (which is possible as evidenced by Barack Obama), work really, really hard (which is possible as evidenced by Barack Obama), make the right connections (which is possible as evidenced by Barack Obama), and do what it takes, there is no limit to how high he/she can rise (as evidenced by Barack Obama).

My suggestion to people of every color would be that they emulate the accomplishments of President BO (not his agenda, his self-directiveness), and become whatever it is they want to become, putting aside the excuse making and pressing on toward their life-goals.

It won't be easy, but it is possible as evidenced by Barack Obama.

Then maybe we won't have people trying to live out the "separate-but-equal" slogan.

Maybe then we can realize the dream of judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin and the "...all men are created equal..." clause of the Declaration of Independence.

Maybe then we can adjust the words of the infamous Rodney King and say, "Look...we really can just all get along."

1 comment:

shoprat said...

I'm not sure what to make of Wallace. In some ways he seems like he was a decent man, but his racist attitudes don't jive with the rest of him.