It’s crazy how racism still exists in American society in 2015.

But it’s not really that unbelievable, when you consider the fact that Confederate flags still fly in the deep South where racism was bred and has been readily alive since the Civil War and as long ago as the dawn of the 19th century, according to the International Socialist Review.

The aforementioned war between the North and South began in 1861.

The win by the Union ended slavery once and for all, but has done little to eradicate the notion of racism shown by black Americans toward whites and white Americans toward blacks.

Instead, the Ku Klux Klan sprung up as a means to terrorize innocent black men and women, simply because of their skin color.

Why the need to do so though?

Well, African Americans were views as an inferior race, lacking the right to vote until the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870.

But that didn’t mean that everyone was in support of its passing, as eight states — Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, Oregon, California, Maryland, Kentucky and Tennessee — initially rejected its ratification.

Not to mention, the largest state in the Union at the time — New York — had a hard time of seeing the amendment through, rescinding its ratification of the then-controversial amendment in January of 1870.

It took until March for the state to re-ratify, a sign that the state wasn’t the most comfortable with the idea of all people – beside for women at the time – possessing the right to vote.

In so many words, over a quarter of the nation’s 28 states weren’t too down with the cause of granting all races the right to vote, which means to me that racism still readily existed.

And maybe the states weren’t too keen on giving black men the right to vote at the time because of the fact that the right hadn’t yet been extended to women of both the black and white race.

However, once women received the right to vote in 1920 via the 19th Amendment, racism wasn’t totally destroyed.

And how do I know this, you may ask?

Although I was born 70-plus years later, a simple look into American history gave me the grounds for proving that granting women the right to vote — which was a long-time coming — had no effect on ridding the U.S. of the ugly epidemic that is racism.

Shortly before the 20th Amendment was passed, World War I was fought, featuring troops of black and white men that fought separate from one another, although they were fighting for the same cause against the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria.

It was a sad trend that continued, as the nation entered into war with Nazi Germany and the Axis powers in 1941 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

African Americans fought in segregated units, such as the Tuskegee Airmen, which is a unit that helped break the color barrier in the American military.

Shortly after, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball with the then-Brooklyn Dodgers.

But that also wasn’t able to cure our nation’s race discrepancy, as a large gap in equality between blacks and whites continued to dominate the South until a 42-year-old Rosa Parks took a stand on December 1, 1955, aboard a Montgomery City bus. It led to a major boycott of the Montgomery bus system and of white rule in the Jim Crow-segregated South.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was the beginning of an era of large non-violent protests in support of civil rights, which is an initiative that you’d think would’ve been able to end racism once and for all.

However, the sad truth is that this monumental event for the rights of African Americans in the South also proved to be unable to gain the respect of their white counterparts.

In the North, racial tension was also high, as riots broke out in the city of Detroit in 1967 after the city’s police force — which was 95 percent white, according to The Detroit News — raided an unlicensed, after-hours bar then known as a “blind pig,” on the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard, which was formerly known as 12th Street.

The civil unrest that ensued, consisting of massive amounts of looting and arson, led to “1,189 injuries, 7,200 arrests, 2,000 ruined buildings and 43 deaths,” according to Mashable.com.

A massive exodus of residents from the city occurred in the following years, as more and more people moved into the suburbs as the city became increasingly unsafe.

The city is still recovering from this racially stirred act nearly 50 years later — a sign that racism is still a lively member of today’s society.

It’s a shame that Barack Obama’s presidential election four decades later didn’t cure the nation of its racist tendencies, either.

In fact, the nation has dealt with far too many racially-related incidents since Obama was elected, especially in his second term.

The three that come most to mind are the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., the chokehold death of Eric Garner by an NYPD officer and most recently, the massacre in Charleston, S.C.

While all of the deaths have happened on Obama’s watch, none of them are a result of any wrongdoing.

It’s just unfortunate that the first African American president in U.S. history couldn’t unite the nation more.

The next African American president, whether it be Republican nominee Ben Carson or someone else, will also encounter the challenge of ridding the nation of racism and will likely experience the same negative outcome.

It’s because racism is here to stay, folks.

If a trailblazer such as Obama couldn’t get the ball rolling in the right direction, then I have my doubts about anyone being able to do so in both the immediate and long-term future.

share on:

Reply