Friday, March 8, 2013

Progress in the Black Community

The different definition of progress and what constitutes progress has always been a dividing factor among the Black community.  Today in class, we discussed the rape of a Black woman by the hand of 4 white males.  The fact that they a trial was held for them could be seen to some as progress or justice however, if the 4 men convicted had been Black they would have definitely been executed.  

On issues such as these, it's easy for some to say that although this is a double standard, that trial of Whites for injuring Blacks is definitely progress in comparison with earlier time periods when Whites could murder a Black person and send a postcard to their parents boasting with images attached. 

We mentioned Recy Taylor and we know that her rapists were only tried after a national campaign was launched which is definitely a contrast with the case in which we are discussing, however I do not consider the trial of those 4 men as justice.  For myself, justice/progress would be when things of these of this nature don't happen and definitely aren't considered less egregious based on the race of the criminals.  

I tend to agree with Malcolm X's quote about the "Knife in my Back"which you can listen to here if you like: .  He basically says that progress is not causing someone to hurt a bit less but healing the wound which one has caused.  If this is our definition of progress then it's easy to say that America has not made much progress over the years.  The pain which America has inflicted upon Blacks has not faded nor healed.  The pain has only been redirected so that the American public and White Americans have the privilege of not having to contend with these issues.  

While the measurement of progress is definitely subjective in a sense, can we truthfully say that we are progressing in terms of the law when Blacks are targeted by the police and the unfair laws and practices result in Blacks being warehoused as if they were goods of the government?

What do you all think?  What constitutes progress to you?  Is someone sticking a knife deep in your back and pulling it out some inches progress?  Should someone be happy because of situations like these.  I understand that situations such as these could be seen as starting points but for me the results never seem to be what we thought it would be.


  1. I agree its difficult to see what exactly constitutes progress. I've heard the time after the civil rights movement referred to as a "Cold War" and I think this is apt. While yes anything less that absolute and complete progress shouldn't be celebrated, I think it should be seen as progress. Who is to say when racial discrimination is absolutely gone? This all being said I don't think it's absolutely necessary that we know the answer. We should recognize progress where ever we see it. As long as we see Injustice we should act to correct it even if it unfulfilling progress.

  2. It's hard for me to say, too. Today's class really got me thinking about progress and if we have really "progressed" when it comes to civil rights. At first, I agreed with Malcolm X and that nothing can be called progress until blacks have reached full equality to white. BUT, that means we are denying that putting for White males on trial for rape isn't progress. Even though it burns my tongue to say this, I believe that we have achieved. I do agree with what you are saying, yet I contend with the idea that we haven't achieved any progress. Unfortunately, racism is not something that can just be changed in matter of minutes. Our society will not just wake up one day with all racist sentiments gone. So, I think it must be noted that we have achieved progress. Is it much? no. Are we anywhere near total equality and have we completely gotten rid of racism? no. But, we have progressed when it comes to civil rights. Our society has come a long way in the past century. I agree that we still have very long way to go before we reach total and complete social equality, but we have made great strides toward this point.