While reading through some articles on the Internet the other day, I came upon an extremely interesting, and somewhat puzzling, article published not long ago on WND. It was entitled “Activists Enforce Segregation: Black-Only Healing Space.” I had to read that twice to ensure I had not misread the title, or perhaps misunderstood it.
I kept waiting to discover where I had missed the hidden point of the article as it surely could not have meant what the title indicated: blacks demanding to be segregated! So, I read the title again and then read (and re-read) the article.
“University of Missouri race activists have adopted a separate-but-equal philosophy for the creation of their ‘black only healing space.’
“Concerned Student 1950, the group behind Monday’s resignation of the university system’s president Timothy Wolfe, directed white people to leave a room on campus so black students could ‘be vulnerable and real.’”
I slowly read the article, twice, and apparently it was true; blacks were demanding to be segregated so they could “be … real … and heal.”
Yo dudes, I hate to bring this up, but back in the day, blacks not only had separate rooms, but we had separate dorms, separate eating facilities, even separate colleges; we had all that and much more. If memory serves, we fought to get out of, not into separate rooms and facilities. We did not have to insist on white folk not intruding into our cultural space.
For those blacks who may be feeling bit stressed-out while attending a predominantly white school, here’s a quick refresher course.
According to the National Park Service, black students attempting to enter (the white) Little Rock High School in 1957 were elbowed, poked, kicked and punched. They faced verbal abuse from segregationists as well as death threats against themselves, their families and other members of the black community. At home, their families received threatening phone calls; some parents and other members of the black community lost their jobs; and the black community in Little Rock as a whole was harassed by bomb threats and gunshots, as well as having bricks thrown through their windows. The students were also alienated by other blacks who felt their actions jeopardized the safety of others in the community.
So let me get this straight: You’re on a fully integrated campus demanding a private (read “segregated”) room so you can be vulnerable and real? Well, here’s how one young lady who was part of the fight to get out of private rooms described her experience:
“My eight friends and I paid for the integration of Central High with our innocence. During those years when we desperately needed approval from our peers, we were victims of the most harsh rejections imaginable. The physical and psychological punishment we endured profoundly affected our lives. It transformed us into warriors who dared not cry even though we suffered intolerable pain.”
Are these University of Missouri demonstrators saying we need to re-institute segregation so young black students today can learn how to be “vulnerable and real … and heal”?
I could be wrong, but it seems to me if America today is as racist as many critics allege, then the term “racist” would be a label eagerly sought by politicians, other public figures and every ordinary citizen on the street. In my opinion, much of what is presently being investigated, inveighed and legislated against is something I call “virtual racism.”
As someone who personally experienced the institutionalized segregation and hard-core racism of the ’50s and early ’60s, and not the virtual racism of today, I am mystified by the dichotomy of ubiquitous charges of racism and the above-cited event at the University of Missouri, just to cite one example.
The racism (so-called) causing such heartburn among many blacks today would have been hailed, back in the day, by rank and file blacks as “having reached the promised land!”
In the ’40s, ’50s and even the early ’60s, the prospect of having possibly been red-lined for a loan, perhaps not promoted, encountering an insensitive clerk in a major department store or experiencing deliberately slow service in a restaurant chain would have been an occasion for singing “We have (not we shall) overcome!”