Difference Between Black and White
Audrey Edwards propagates her belief that blacks must only marry blacks for the simple reason that whites continue to feel superior to blacks because the latter were their slaves at one time. Apparently, the difference between the whites and the blacks of the United States is deep-rooted – going back to early America where Europeans had brought African slaves. Although slavery was abolished in the centuries to come, the huge socioeconomic difference between the white masters and their black slaves was to remain at the level of the subconscious mind of America.
From the subconscious mind to the culture of America – it was effortless for the “difference” between black and whites to make a transition. In a newspaper report published in the year 1957, the Governor of Arkansas maintained that peace was not possible without racial segregation, that is, without strict adherance to the concept of white privilege, which is defined as “a special advantage or benefit of white persons; with reference to divine dispensations, natural advantages, gifts of fortune, genetic endowments, social relations, etc. (Clark)”
Integration was virtually impossible, in other words, and racial tension was expected to rise as a result of the discussions about letting the African Americans and the whites study together in an academic institution (“Act To Block Integration in Arkansas”). After all, the concept of white privilege entailed that the whites were socially and intellectually superior to the blacks, and therefore could not study with those that were inferior to them.
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In a racial riot like the one that was expected back in 1957, the African Americans were expected to fight for their self-esteem.
The white Americans, on the contrary, were expected to protect their notion of superiority by fighting back. It appears to be a fact that the “difference” was mainly maintained by the whites as opposed to the blacks. The blacks were fighting for equal rights during the Civil Rights Movement of America. In response to the racial abuses they had suffered at the hands of the whites who had considered themselves superior to their slaves of the past; the blacks had to be compensated by means of affirmative action.
Affirmative action is defined as a “policy that gives a preference to individuals based upon their belonging to designated groups who are underrepresented not only in the most desirable occupational classes, but also in school admissions and government contracts. ” Those who are underrepresented thus can be referred to as disadvantaged groups, seeing as they do not have a powerful representative voice to speak for their rights.
The policy of affirmative action serves as a blessing for the disadvantaged groups for this reason, by not only adding extra points to the credit of the members of disadvantaged groups when performance evaluation is called for, but also by allocating extra funds to recruit such members of the community. Whereas the opponents of affirmative action claim that it is injustice to favor a group just because it is considered “disadvantaged,” proponents of the policy assert that affirmative action is necessary to right the wrongs of the past with respect to discrimination and/or racism (Boylan).
In other words, in the absence of affirmative action, discrimination and/or racism may very well continue in almost any if not all spheres of life. The “difference” between whites and blacks has definitely seeped into the culture of America from its subconscious mind where the history of the nation is stored. If the whites of America had not used the services of black slaves in the past, there would have been no question of white privilege, and America would not have found it useful to combat racism with affirmative action.
In actuality, white privilege translates into obvious racism, which is a belief system claiming that individuals can be superior to others solely on the basis of race. The theory of racism has led to much violence and genocide in the world. It was racism that led the Nazis to slaughter the Jews simply by believing that the latter were inferior. The theory of racism seems to have been applied everywhere in the world, even though universal values inform us that people who are superior are only those who do good in this world.
Would universal values, therefore, be able to end the “difference”? The answer appears to be Yes. Even so, the collective memory of America will not be eradicated, and nobody can force the whites, in particular, to forget that the blacks were their slaves in the past. The “difference” is expected to be maintained at some level. Finally, it is worthy of note that without the great socioeconomic divide between the blacks and the whites in America’s early memories, there would have been no conflict whatsoever.