Wednesday, May 4, 2011

50 Years Later

Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the Freedom Rides during the time of Jim Crow segregation in the South. I grew up both in North Carolina and in New York. I remember the "Colored" and "Whites Only" signs over water fountains, bathrooms, waiting rooms, etc. I remember adult African American men being called "boy' and African American women being called "gal". I remember Woolworth's 5 & dime stores with their segregated lunch counters. I remember being ignored waiting to pay for something at the cashier if there was a white person standing there also. I definitely remember sitting in the back of the bus when in NC but sitting anywhere in NY.

The Freedom Riders, who were white, Black and Jewish, brought to light what was the remnants of an awful time in American history, left over from slavery. God bless them all.

Now, let's hope that we are not moving backward into that same darkness. We have an African American President and some still insist on calling him "boy". How? By not respecting him or his office. By not placing his title before his name, whether in print or verbally. White presidents were not disrespected like this. By demanding to see his birth certificate, which basically says that he is lying about his nationality. By demanding to see his grades in college even though he graduated from a top notch college and was the first African American editor of the Harvard Review.

Racism is unfortunately still alive and well in the US.

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