Friday, November 7, 2008

Has the color barrier really been broken?

I have decided that I am forgoing the old method of numbering my posts, it just doesn’t seem worth it anymore…

Only three days ago America emerged onto the national scene with a new trend, with a new face, with a supposed less racist attitude. The country that 40 years earlier was torn apart with segregation, 140 years earlier had large scale slavery, and 240 years earlier was founded with the idea that a black person was only 3/5 of a person, had at last elected their 44th president, a black man named Barrack Hussein Obama. With only about 20% of the country saying that race was a factor, we had come a long, long way.

But, this then begged the question, are we out of the troubles? Are we finally done with racism in America (as done as you can be, when there is free thought)? Have we finally and fully integrated?

Let’s look at a different color barrier, and see when it was broken… When you start to look at sports and the color barriers, you immediately think of Jackie Robinson. Why nobody thinks of Eddie Kleep, the first player in the negro leagues who was white, I do not know. Anyways, people always think of Jackie Robinson, one of the best players of the game, and the first black man to play on an actual MLB team. That said, did Jackie actually break the color barrier?

With Mr. Robinson, you had the Dodgers picking him up due to an insane amount of skill. A good player, hell, a great player, who was black would never have been picked, only the best player of the times could have been included. This really does not show that the color barrier was broken, just that the loss of standing due to your skin color could be overrode by enough points in other areas. Robinson, however, throws this all off by retiring.

Then you move on to Bill Lucas, the first black General Manager in the MLB. Yes, it is arguable that there was one before him (drawing a blank on the name), but that was for one day and due to four sick managers above him. So, Mr. Lucas is the first black man to manage a team, that is a true color breaker. But, Mr. Lucas died after only a few years managing, of a heart attack.

You might not be getting what I am going for, so let me spell it out to you. I do not consider the color barrier to break when a person of color gets into the position. I consider it broken when that person is forced out due to bad performance (fired, FOR CAUSE (if anybody can find me this persons name, then I would be happy)), or when it is in the air, without the race a factor. I think that it is clear that a color barrier is really there as long as there is color, regardless of who holds a position.

So, let’s fast-forward this thing back to the 21st century. Obama, the first black man to run as President from a major party, has become the first black President of the United States of America (and from my recollection, the first dual-citizenship, the youngest, the first one from Hawaii, and a long list of other things). SO WHAT. No barrier has been broken, both because 20% still voted on race (with most of that helping Obama) and because it is a big deal. When we write giant essays, commit huge news reports, and blog about the fact that we have a black leader (well, in 70-odd days we will), then the barrier is still there. Until the fact that we do mention, or even care about, their skin color, the barrier will still be there.

(FYI, this still applies to all other ways that we classify humans)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I AGREE! Some people can be so stupid.


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