Saturday, September 17, 2016

Two Americas: Racial inequality has persisted since '60s - NonDoc

Two Americas: Racial inequality has persisted since '60s - NonDoc:

Two Americas: Racial inequality has persisted since '60s 

racial inequality
Gold medalist Tommie Smith (podium), silver medalist Peter Norman (left) and bronze medalist John Carlos (rear) infamously protested racial inequality during a ceremony at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968. (WikiCommons)

Many years after the protests of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, we still regularly see instances of racism and prejudice alive in America.
The horrific images and stories of young African-American males dying from mistreatment within the justice system are all over newspapers, television and the internet. Social media has increased the masses’ ability to view and analyze these events within their networks of friends and family, and it has brought the conversation of race in America back to the forefront of social awareness.
Likewise, a key difference between now and the 1960s is that most anyone can use social media as a platform to discuss racial issues, and a wide diversity of people can comment on those issues.
Prominent athletes are also using their platforms to make statements and protests about America’s systems of racial inequality. At the 2016 ESPYs, Lebron James and friends emphasized that more needs to be done for social equality. More recently, Colin Kaepernick has protested by refusing to stand for the national anthem. Athletes using their positions in the public eye to draw attention to social injustice is not unprecedented. Furthermore, the dissent hurled at athletes about their activism is not new, either.

How far have we really come?

Let’s flash back to the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City where American athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith — with support from Australian Peter Norman — staged a silent protest by raising their fists in the air.
Much like Kaepernick, Carlos, Smith and Norman received a multitude of dissent. Booing and racial slurs were hurled at them while on the podium. After the silent protest, both Americans were forced to leave the Olympic village and kicked out of the Olympics. The two were accused of making a sort of Nazi salute and even called an embarrassment to the country. Norman, meanwhile, was held off the next Australian Olympic team, and he wasn’t even invited to participate in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Kaepernick hasn’t lost his job like Smith and Carlos did, but unconfirmed rumors about him converting to Islam have been used to question Kaepernick’s patriotism and to suggest that his religious beliefs would alter his feelings toward the United States. In protesting, the quarterback has become a lightning rod much like the sprinters generations earlier.
Two events nearly 50 years apart, and yet they are greeted with similar hostility. Could it be that racial equality hasn’t progressed much since the 1960s?

Racial inequality means two Americas

With that being the question, the people of the United States seem conflicted about the Two Americas: Racial inequality has persisted since '60s - NonDoc:

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