The funny thing about civil rights is how little they change things in a country. People get the notion that because a few laws change thing all of a sudden playing fields are leveled and mindsets change. The only thing that changes is the perceptions people have. For instance, some people actually think that the effects of the civil rights movement in the U.S. and of the anti-apartheid movements in South Africa have have put the disenfranchised people of both countries on equal footing with those who had the power under the previous laws.
Are people in power ever really jumping at the opportunity to just wildly give that away? The answer is no. People act like civil war was about slavery from the standpoint of moral obligation and anyone who looks at how the country was run at the time or quotes from anyone with any sort of power at the time know how much of a lie that is to make people feel better. Abolition of slavery just kept the south in line by destroying their work force.
What happened when slavery was officially over? A bunch of people who were working for free before had to find ways to sustain themselves, and who wanted to help them out? Not nobody. The north in this country is all high and mighty over that slavery game, but just the smallest bit of research shows that people up north wanted nothing to do with black people either. They had laws preventing the free blacks from moving into cities or states.
This happened all the way up until . . . .not too long ago. Afirmative Action exists for a reason. You may not like it, and it is by no means, a perfect system, but it is 100% needed. You watch what happens with people aren’t forced to select from smaller less fortunate groups of society. Know why the issue of crime popped up with black people in early America? Cause no one would allow for them to work. Niggas gotta eat, so they found a way to eat. Wasn’t like they weren’t being sent to jail on some old bull anyway.
Skipping a bunch of years up to the American Civil Rights movement, those had to happen for a reason, because not having rights is not cool. So only after a lot of hubbub laws were changed. (Note how it took a lot of comotion to get those laws changed. Wasn’t like people were just thrilled about the idea of lettin black dudes vote). Then the laws had to be changed again because people were going out of their way to make it hard on black people to survive.
So now we have all these laws that have changed all of a sudden. People that insist on things being peachy keen now are going off the notion that racism in all forms stopped immediately after civil rights laws were passed, like all of the people who hated niggers in 1964 all of a sudden were cool with them living next door in 1965. People with money and power were like, yeah, instead of hiring the white people I live near and know I’ll start hiring niggers to give them a hand up. Now that they’re allowed to play this sport or move into this house I’ll gladly let them live in our neighborhoods with very little hassle and no made up homeowners associations popping up with strange guidelines on how people in the neighborhood had to purport themselves.
It’s pretty apparent that on the whole people don’t want things to change, they just don’t want to think a bout it. Looking at issues that come out around civil rights movements isn’t fun. There’s a lot of chicanary that goes completely unreported. A lot more that’s just underreported for any number of reasons. Most of which have to do with the distribution of money and power. Have black people in the states come pretty far from when white people started snatching us up and bringing us over? Yeah, but it’s not nearly as far as most people will claim.
That leads us back to South Africa. Remember I had brought them up a little earlier? So Apartheid was this awful deal, people willingly recognize how bad an idea it is. What they don’t recognize is that really not much if anything has changed since Apartheid ended. What we have there is a small group of white people with ALL the money down there. Not most of it; ALL of it. So then the laws change and black people in South Africa have freedoms they didn’t previously possess. What didn’t change was the money and the access to it. The education didn’t magically get better, the jobs didn’t magically get better. Nothing magically got better. The people there are digging and scratching to make their way over there, with no real help from the white establishment. Then all of a sudden when South Africa has a chanced to be blessed with international attention and international money from the World Cup come all these stories about how far the country has come in fifteen years. Very similar to all the stories written here after Obama got elected president. (like that actually means anything. Also, look at articles written about him now. Note how the tone has changed so drastically). People are so willing to accept that changes have been made based on some choicely selected photos and prettily hacked up press releases.
Then the media all goes over there (a country most of them have never been to and don’t know the first thing about on a continent most of them have never been to and know nothing about) and are amazed that the black people there are all those starving savages all of us civilized people need to help like we see on TV. Clearly all the social good work that needed to be done there was done. We can all come back home and feel good about the world. This is what we do. We look for the faintest signs that things are perfect, and then we leave it alone because digging any deeper would force us to reflect on things we really don’t want to deal with.
This was really all brought up because I was looking at the golf scores and an article on Yahoo pointed out how the South African golfers had done historically at the British Open tournament. If you don’t know, I am not a golf guy. I find the sport to be terribly elitists in the bad way, and the institution of it is shady at best. Talk about your good old boy clubs. I follow it only in the hopes that Tiger is beating all the white people at their sport. Yes, that is the ONLY interest I have in golf. Watching this jungle man come in and beat the snot out of egalitarian trust fund babies.
Anyway, I was looking at all these South Africans and they had one thing in common. They were all white. The country only has 10% white people yet EVERY golfer of consequence from there is white. Why is that? Only one segment of that country has the money to play it. This isn’t something you’ll ever see golf writers write about though, because the story isn’t interesting to them. Just the hollowed ground of these courses and the amazing history of the white people who walk up and down these historic, vaguely religious, grass fields.
Just something to think about. Next time you feel like we’ve come so far and things are good just think a little harder.