Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Reverse Racism in the Deep South

What is racism?

Is racism still alive in the Deep South? Yes, it is. I’ve lived in the Deep South all my life – 53 years. My mother was a public health nurse who made home visits to the poor, many of whom were black. My father owned a grocery store in the black section of town, and about 95% of his customers were African American. When I was married to a farmer/cattleman, we had many black employees. As a public high school teacher, I’ve had thousands of students over the years from all socio-economic and ethnic groups represented in the South. I’ve also interviewed and had many, many discussions with my students, colleagues, and friends about racism. As a result, I feel qualified to discuss the subject of racism – at least here in the Deep South.

Slavery ended, but racism is still alive.
Slavery ended, but racism is still alive.

Racism Definition

Before we get started, let’s first discuss the racism definition. Racism is the belief that one race is superior to others. In other words, racism is when someone considers himself to be superior to those of other races, simply because of the color of his skin. In the U.S. racism is more often reserved for African Americans and Hispanics. The racism definition rarely includes Asians.

Deep South

To fully understand this article, you need to know which states constitute the Deep South. The Deep South is a smaller area within the South, as a whole. The U.S. states that are generally considered to be the Deep South include Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida. Sometimes sections of Texas, especially the eastern regions, are also considered to be part of the Deep South. It might surprise you to see the state of Florida included in this list. While most of South Florida isn’t part of the Deep South culturally, most of North Florida certainly is.

This brings me to another point. Deep South isn’t so much a geographical region as it is a distinct culture. There’s an old saying that states you can’t go any farther South than Valdosta, Georgia without taking a right and heading west into Alabama. This, of course, refers to the culture, and not to geographical locations. Actually, I’d change Valdosta to the Florida Panhandle, which is often called the “Redneck Riviera” for a reason.

Many African Americans traded one form of slavery for another.
Many African Americans traded one form of slavery for another.

History of Racism

The history of racism in the South began with the importation of black slaves from Africa. Because of the climate, the large plantations were almost exclusive to the South. The first group in what is now the United States to import slaves from Africa were the Spanish, when Africans arrived in 1526 to San Miguel de Gualdape, located in what is now South Carolina.

Slavery was common in the New World, and in the beginning, there were Native Americans and whites who served as slaves, along with blacks. Southern plantation owners, however, noticed that Africans were much more resistant to diseases like smallpox than the Native Americans were, and they were also better at handling the heat and humidity than were the Native Americans and the white slaves. Slaves from Africa became a hot commodity in the South over the next few centuries, and almost 700,000 slaves were brought to what is now the United States.

Of course, the slaves were freed by the Civil War, but what kind of “freedom” did they really have? Almost all of them were uneducated, and they were considered as an inferior race by almost all whites in the South. Usually, the only jobs they could find were as manual laborers, and many wound up becoming tenant farmers – still chiefly dependent on the white landowners. It’s almost as if they’d exchanged one form of slavery for another.

Even as late as the 1960s, blacks were often viewed as inferior in the Deep South. They weren’t allowed to eat in white restaurants or use white restrooms. They lived in poor, bedraggled neighborhoods on the fringe of town, often in dilapidated shacks without electricity, running water, or indoor toilets. They had their own schools and were not allowed to attend “white” public schools. “Separate but equal” was oftentimes a cruel joke. The black schools in our town in the 1960s were not equal to the white schools. They used tattered, dated textbooks that had been discarded by the white schools, and the school buildings themselves were old and in poor repair.

The schools here in South Georgia were not integrated until I was in the sixth grade, in 1969. Even then, we had just three black students – two boys and one girl. I felt sorry for them – especially the girl. I still remember her name: Carrie. At least the two boys had each other, but poor Carrie was always alone. I tried a few times to strike up a conversation with her, but she seemed frightened to speak to me. Perhaps she had been taught not to be “uppity” by trying to converse with white students.

When I entered the seventh grade, junior high, integration was in full force, and it was a nightmare for those first few years. There were daily fights between black and white students, and occasionally, there were out-and-out race riots. One morning my dad took me to school, and we saw the campus filled with angry students who were armed with sticks, broom handles, and rocks. Dad took me home immediately.

By the time I got to the tenth grade and high school, things had calmed down. There were still fights between black and white students, but they became far less frequent. There were, however, still plenty of racial undertones – and overtones. For example, some of the white guys formed a club called “Kappa Kappa Kappa,” and emblazoned on the tee shirts were the letters KKK. There was also a huge uproar when we had our first black homecoming queen. Four white girls and one black girl were nominated, and the black students all voted for the black nominee. Things got pretty ugly and remained so for a while.

Povery is often a result of racism and racial discrimination.
Povery is often a result of racism and racial discrimination.

Examples of Racism Today

I would love to tell you there is no racism today in the Deep South, but I can’t. Things have drastically improved, but racism still rears its head from time to time. For example, when Obama was running for president, a co-worker made the statement that there was no way in hell she’d ever vote for a (n-word). I was shocked. This was a very educated woman, and I’d never heard her use that word before.

Another example: One afternoon I was teaching my class, and there were only twelve students in attendance. Near the end of the period, a student asked to go to the school library to check out an AR book. We were allowed to send six students at the time, so I asked if anyone else needed to check out a book or take an AR test. I wrote passes for the first six students who asked for them. Once the group had left, the remaining students sort of looked at each other, and one said, “Great, Mrs. Abee! You got rid of all the blacks!” The six students I had written library passes for were all black, but I hadn’t even noticed that until the white students brought it up.

Another example: One of my best friends has a daycare, and a few months ago, she started caring for a biracial child. She really loves this kid. A friend of hers, who also runs a daycare, berated her for accepting a baby of mixed race and asked how she could stand to cuddle him and kiss him. My friend was speechless!

One more example: There are still a few high schools in the Deep South that hold two separate proms – one for blacks and one for whites. This doesn’t happen at my school, thank goodness, and from what I can gather, the “white prom” was the idea of parents, and not of the students themselves.

Reverse racism is just as unfair as traditional racism.
Reverse racism is just as unfair as traditional racism.

Reverse Racism and Racial Discrimination

Racism isn’t always perpetuated by whites against blacks. Here in the South, we also have reverse racism, and it’s just as bad as the regular version of racism. I’ll provide you with a few examples of reverse racism I’ve seen.

Some high schools in the South had African American Culture clubs a few years ago, but when white students tried to start an Anglo-Saxon Culture Club, it wasn’t allowed. I’d call that reverse racism.

Black contestants can enter the Miss America Pageant, but white contestants can’t compete in Miss Black America. Reverse racism and racial discrimination.

Several years ago, a couple of my black friends and I were planning a July 4th cookout, and we went to the supermarket to buy some meat for the grill. We were going to split the cost three ways. When we got to the checkout, Jesse told me to write the check and they’d reimburse me with cash for their parts. I said okay, but I asked why he insisted that I write the check. He answered that the store would take my check because I was white, which meant the check was good. I’m not sure if this is reverse racism, but it’s definitely prejudice on Jesse’s part. He pre-judged me, based on the color of my skin, assuming that my check was good just because I’m white. Hey, I know lots of white folks who write bad checks!

I was once a victim of reverse racism. Actually, I suppose reverse racial discrimination is a better term. I was up for a job promotion, but it was given to an African American with less experience and less education. I was told that they “really needed a black in the position.” Reverse racism or racial discrimination?

This one really floored me! Several years ago I had a brilliant African American female student named Lynn. She wanted to be a journalist and applied to a college of journalism. She came to see me one day after school, and she was furious! She said the college gave extra points on the admissions exam to minorities, but that blacks were the only minority the college recognized. She explained that the policy made her feel like a second-class citizen, like she wasn’t capable of competing with white students without some “help.” Would this be reverse racism or racial discrimination? What do you think?

We'll never attain our full potential until we eradicate racism, racial discrimination, and reverse racism.
We'll never attain our full potential until we eradicate racism, racial discrimination, and reverse racism.

Racism Today in the U.S.

I’ve never been out of the Deep South very much, and for a long time, I assumed that racism was confined to my area of the nation. After becoming friends with several northerners, I learned that racism exists all over the U.S. Of course, some places are worse than others, and some individuals are worse than others.

I really don’t mean to paint the entire South with the odious brush of racism. Not everyone here practices racism, and not all racism takes place in the Deep South. I think as a whole, the U.S. is putting racism behind, and every generation becomes a little more “color blind.” I didn’t vote for Barack Obama in 2008, but I was encouraged that we, as a nation, were able to elect a black man as president. I love the USA and believe it’s the greatest nation on earth. I don’t, however, believe we can ever reach our full potential as a country or as a people until we can completely overcome racism, racial discrimination, and reverse racism.

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Comments 60 comments

Longhunter 4 years ago

I've lived in the Middle Tennessee all my life and have seen the same things you have. It's been my experience that racism was getting less and less. I say 'was' because it seems to have gotten worse since the election of Obama. Some people unfortunately and ignorantly associate his inability to be a good leader with his skin color when, of course, that has nothing to do with it.

Excellent hub, Habee.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 4 years ago from Arizona

Holle a well written easy read on a subject that I had hopes of living long enough to never hear again. I'm not dead yet and maybe just maybe we will seat Herman Cain as our next president.

Reverse racism, I wish I could remember the name of the college that I think was in Alabama and an all black college that offered special grants to white students over blacks. The article stated it was to integrate the school so they might draw white professors there to teach as well, broadening the spectrum of knowledge that would then be available to students.

I think that the students that spoke out against whites getting grants, scholarships over blacks was reverse racism, on the surface was no white professors coming for employment could be viewed as racism.

A tough topic to handle but it has to be handled in the open to one day make it be a non-issue.

Great job,

dust


amymarie_5 profile image

amymarie_5 4 years ago from Chicago IL

I learned so much from this article. I never knew about white and Native American slaves. This is such an educational hub.

I just want to tell you that I live up north (Chicago) and racism is alive and well here too. A longtime friend of mine made some horrible comments about black people in front of me. My step niece and sister-in-law are black and she has even met them. I've known her since childhood and she knows my family very well. She hid this side of her from me all of these years and I'm not sure if I can continue our friendship. I also learned that her daughter made that exact same comment about Obama that your co-worker made. I'm surprised that in this day and age, people are still judging others on outward appearances. You are also right that it goes both ways, where I used to work, I was bullied relentlessly by my black team leader and she was never reprimanded. I was forced to quit. Bigotry comes in all forms. All we could do is teach children that it's wrong so they don't grow up with that kind of hate.


Longhunter 4 years ago

50, Tennessee State University, a predominately-black university in Nashville, offers minority scholarships to whites. I had a friend that went to school there on one. I found it strange but they were trying to get more whites to attend classes there.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Hi, habee. Thanks for share this information. You have done this very well and I learn much from you. You open my eyes about something happen outside my country. Good job and vote up.

Prasetio


North Wind profile image

North Wind 4 years ago from The World (for now)

I don't think that racism exists just in the U.S. because I have seen it with my own two eyes is other countries as well. It is still a worldwide problem. As a matter of fact I encounter it almost everyday. You covered a lot talking about racism and reverse racism but what about people who are racist against their own race? I have met quite a few like that and some of them children too! Every time I hear a remark that has to do with the color of someone's skin my blood runs cold.

This was a good hub! I am so glad I hup-hopped today :)


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Longhunter, I agree that we Americans seem more divided than ever now, but I don't think it's along racial lines. Instead of racism, it seems to be a matter of "classicism" or along ideological lines.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, Dusty! Now that you mention it, I think there used to be a college near us that did the same thing in order to attract white students. I really don't like racism or reverse racism! People should be judged by what's on the inside. Glad you agree!


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Amy, that's right - we have to teach our kids to judge others on their merits. Every generation seems to be less and less willing to embrace racism, so perhaps there's hope for all of us! Thanks for reading!


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Prasetio, thanks for visiting, pal! Good to see you here!


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

North Wind, I figured racism was pretty much global, but I've been out of the U.S. only twice, so I didn't feel qualified to discuss racial discrimination outside America. I appreciate your input!


jenubouka 4 years ago

The reverse discrimination that has prevailed over the years is confusing, especially to people who fought for equality. It has got itself confused with the purpose, like accepting a ratio of mixed students to appear as an E.O.E., even if that means kicking them back a few extra points.

I wish racism was not so prominent in today's culture, it instead has grown like an airborne disease, especially with the middle east. The last time I went to Europe I told everyone I was Canadian just so I could avoid the disgraceful glares of being an American.

Your article was such a great pleasure to read, I hope it can reach many.


msannec profile image

msannec 4 years ago from Mississippi (The Delta)

Excellent post, Habee! I haven't personally experienced a lot of direct racism, but I know it is alive and well. As long as it is perpetuated with each generation, racism will never go away. I don't like any of it, racism, reverse racism, none of it is right. Do you know there's even racism among African-Americans? Light skinned vs. dark skinned; it's sad. Thank you for bringing attention to this issue with a very well written article!


livelonger profile image

livelonger 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thought-provoking Hub, habee. And, yes, I agree there will always be an impulse to use broad strokes to classify someone, and in most cases those broad strokes will be wrong. Hopefully Hubs like yours will help spark the awareness we need to overcome this.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 4 years ago from Guwahati, India

There is no place of racism in the Glove of humanity of God. Thanks for a hub of high esteem.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Jenu, what a shame that you had to pose as someone from another nation! I suppose some Europeans hate Americans, but they need to realize that many American people aren't like our government officials. lol


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, Anne! Yes, I know about the inter-racism among African Americans based on skin color. It's kinda funny, really - most AA prefer light skin, and we whites lie in tanning beds to make ourselves darker. lol


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Thank you very much, LL, for your feedback. It's much appreciated!


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Many thanks, HP. I'm honored by your comment.


jandee profile image

jandee 4 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

Habee,

I suspect it is 'positive discrimination'.

I think you wrote this piece in a very sensitive manner.

I find it frustrating when certain people automatically presume that a person thinks like them,like the boys in your class.

best from jandee


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

I agree, jandee. Thanks for visiting!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 4 years ago from London, UK

First of all this a brilliantly written hub taking in all the points. This is topic which always makes my blood boil because it is so senseless and stupid. People don't think they could born black for the very simple reason nobody gets asked how they want to be born. At the moment, in England, it is growing rapidly because of the high immegration. England is only a small country and it is literally overrun. You can immagine all these colonies and now the Middle East and whole Africa. The worst is that they come here and demand and get it which is totally wrong. As before the immigrants never done this.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Wow, HH - I didn't know about that in the UK. True, we don't get to choose the conditions of our birth. I hope that someday racism is a thing of the past.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 4 years ago from London, UK

I am not being wishes but I wish I could them turn black when they start that rubbish and make them see how it felt. I am not black but I get crucified being German so I know how it feels. More so lately again. Again I am born during the war so what could I do but there you go and I get hammered. lol Just for a laugh I wish you could hear them. They say it in a very high sofisticated voice. "I do detect an accent". You know how those Lords speak. You would keel over with laughter. Yet they are ordinary people just putting it on for the occasion. IDIOTS.

I wish that racism would ie out. Enough blood and hurt was spilled and yet it so pointless.

on the comment above I wrote a lot more but apparently it was cut off. WOW


HU-man 4 years ago

YOU KNOW WHAT I FIND THIS ARTICLE OFFENSIVE. HOW DO YOU SAY THAT RACISM IS GOING AWAY SINCE YOU GIVE EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE WHO YOU DIDN'T KNOW WERE RACIST BEING RACIST. WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THIS RACISM. THE SIMPLE FACT THAT YOU ARE WHITE, WHEN WILL THAT CHANGE. IT WILL NEVER CHANGE SO THE RACISM THAT YOU SO SIMPLY CONVERSE ABOUT WILL MOST LIKELY GROW.

ALSO WHITE SLAVERY WAS CALLED INDENTURED SERVITUDE NOT SLAVERY PLEASE USE CORRECT TERMS BECAUSE THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Yes, HH. We humans can always find something in others to look down on, often just because they might be different from us insome way.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

HU-Man, so you don't think things are better now than they were 100 years ago, racially speaking?

As for white slavery, please do some research. There were thousands of white SLAVES in the New World, along with indentured white servants. The first slaves in the US were some of my ancestors, the Native Americans.


jandee profile image

jandee 4 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

Read it again ,no problem,jandee


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, jandee. I appreciate that!


Texasbeta 4 years ago

Good hub. I am impressed. Very levelheaded.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Texas. I really appreciate that!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Hi habee, I don't know how I missed this Hub when you wrote it, but I did. I just wrote a Hub about my picking cotton in the deep south as a child, and this Hub showed as a related Hub.

I grew up in Georgia. The first schools I attended were segregated. Things are better now, but we still have a long way to go. This is an excellent Hub about the subject. I voted it UP, etc.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Mary, I didn't know that you grew up in GA. Where??


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Well, let's see: I was born in Asheville, N.C. spent the first 3 yrs. of my life in S.C. then on to the country in Ga. The closest town was Elberton. I went to U. of Ga. I'm not a native Floridian...just came here because Dr. Hyatt wanted to start an equine practice here. I have a daughter in Savannah. I still miss the hills of Georgia! Gee, I did't mean to write my life's story here.

Goodnight.....


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

I had a best friend in Elberton who was married to a dairyman. I used to live 60 miles from Savannah, and I love that lovely old city!


htodd profile image

htodd 4 years ago from United States

Racism is a very big issue we need to eradicate it totally


Julien 4 years ago

I'd be interesting to see what would happen if blacks controlled whites


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

htodd, I totally agree with your thoughts on racism!

Julien, I don't think any people or any race should be controlled by another.


Sooner28 4 years ago

Interesting hub. I'm afraid you are too optimistic about the deep south though.

After LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he claimed, "I know the risks are great and we might lose the South, but those sorts of states may be lost anyway." Prophetic words these turned out to be. The realignment of racist southern Democrats like Strom Thurmond changing over to the Republican party STILL holds to this day in terms of demographic voting patterns. It's not an accident. There is also the "Southern Strategy."

This legislation did not change the hearts and minds of the racists in the South. They also had kids, and they raised them to believe the same way they did. The law simply made it much more difficult and burdensome to continue discriminating.

The voting for the Civil Rights Act broke down, not along party lines, but upon REGIONAL lines. The southern politicians (whether Republican or Democrat) voted against it, and Northeastern politicians voted in favor.

As to how many Southerners are racist now, I cannot say. You clearly are not. But like the school children saying they were happy the African Americans had went to the library, these children are being raised by parents who were raised by racists who were raised by racists, and so on. A teenager doesn't make a claim like that without having adult influences in their life who say such things.

The situation will get better as time goes on and the direct sources of the racism are further removed. People seem to be, generally speaking, becoming more tolerant.

As to your point about reverse racism, I agree.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Sooner, I'm glad you read the hub. I agree that people are becoming more tolerant, sometimes in spite of parental influence. The South still has people who are slow to change, unfortunately.


Sooner28 4 years ago

I'm always up for a good read. Thanks for being a teacher. Sometimes our society doesn't treat you well, but you definitely provide an invaluable service for all the young minds you come across.


B-Dawg 4 years ago

I think the white man should consider getting a race change. Oreos are ver popular. peace.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Sooner! I really loved teaching teens.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

Lol, B-Dawg! Maybe someday there'll be just one race.


Black Guilt 4 years ago

I t is safer to be black than white in america right now. BLACK SKIN WOULD PROTECT THE WHITE MAN. Hank Williams JR. would not have got canned if he was black. I guarantee you George Zimmerman wishes he were black right now!


B-Dawg 4 years ago

I use my BLACKNESS to protect white people. Black people won't mess w/ you if you are a black man or have black connections.


habee profile image

habee 4 years ago from Georgia Author

B-Dawg, that's so true! I've had black students who loved me, and they were very protective. Most of my black pals are the same way. I could give a black student a ride home to the most dangerous part of town, and I was never afraid.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 4 years ago from Guwahati, India

The very discussion on 'Racism' is a disgrace to the modern civilization.


B-Dawg 4 years ago

habee, Finally someone who sees the light! I have a white man friend who looks kind of like Napoleon Dynamite and he gets picked on sometimes especially by black males. He told me when he is chillin w/ a black male friend nobody will mess w/ him but if he with a white male friend he sometimes gets picked on. I tell so many white people BLACK SKIN is good for protection. I don't say it to offend anyone I say it cause its true. I think the white man should figure out how to at least have access to black skin. Many white males are not street smart and can't defend themselves. I can't think of anyone who would benefit more from having black skin than the white man. BTW I heard you can spray tan yourself black if you keep doing it. peace.


Troy 4 years ago

I am a white man that is gonna spray tan his skin black! I am gonna live as a black man. I will use my blackness to my advantage. I am gonna take advantage of the fact that there is a high demand for good black men in our society. Being black could not be as bad as some people say. Why do you think white women are flocking over to the black man so much? Because Black is the new White that's why. And like BDawg said I can protect white people from racists black people w/ a black face. I will be just what white man needs a black voice representing them.


ablackvoice 4 years ago

That is all the white man needs is a black voice representing them that's all they need today that's all they will ever need. They have so many black voices going against them now. Being born white male= rejected by the black community.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 4 years ago from Guwahati, India

It is a class one article. It high lights humanity is supreme. After all we are all children of God.


Daphne Shadows 4 years ago

I think racism has just branched out.

Racism makes no sense to me. Its like saying: hey - you have red hair so I hate you and you're a lower class citizen.

Why can't we all just get a long?


WMC 4 years ago

Nobody that isn't rich wants to be white or have a white baby. White skin puts a huge bullseye on your back in today's world. Many people are choosing to breed with black, asian, latino anything not to be associated with whitey.


jh720 4 years ago

I was born in the late 60's in Texas and have lived there most of my life. I was not raised to be racist. In fact, I can't even think of a time when either of my parents ever said anything to me that could have been seen as racist. I'm glad that I wasn't born 10-20 years sooner because I was spared having to live in a segregated society. Racism is nothing more than stupidity.....its skin pigmentation, nothing more. We are all alike on the inside. I actually make it a point to be extra nice to African Americans who I encounter in everyday life. And I have African American friends. And i always speak out when i see someone being treated badly because of their skin color. I've seen it in TX and in every other state in the south. i have not seen racism in other parts of the cou try like i have in the south. I cringe whenever i see a confederate flag displayed somewhere.... all i can say is as a white woman from the south, i thank god that Barack Obama was elected president.....and I'm very happy that millions of those who had to live with the jim crow laws got to see an African American sworn in as president during their lifetimes.


Annie 3 years ago

Great to know your experiences living in the Deep South. But I really must question the term "reverse racism" and some of the examples you used. For example, you said it's unfair that whites cannot enter Miss Black America contest... I mean, isn't that obvious? The contest has "Black" in the name, why would any non-black person enter? On the other hand, Miss America is not limited to any race, anyone American woman can enter. Comparing the two is ridiculous.

Oklahoma recently voted to end Affirmative Action, and I think this was fueled by racism. People of color have been oppressed for centuries in this country. Even in their own countries, whites have oppressed people of color (colonization throughout Latin America, Africa, India, etc by Europeans). White Privilege still exists (an example is the cashier accepting your check based on your color).

So, with the history of oppression of people of color plus the reality of White Privilege, why can't people of color have affirmative action to help them or have school clubs to celebrate their heritage?


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

Habee, your candor as expressed in this article is appreciated. We have a natural tendency to align ourselves with those that look like us. The discipline and mark of civility comes in to play learning to control those tendencies in the interests of harmony, employing impartiality necessary to conduct our affairs with others. While it is comfortable to lounge around in ones underwear, we would not go outside the house into the world so attired.

As an African American male, having travelled through 47 of the 50 states, I like to refer to myself as a modern De Toqueville, paying keen attention to my surroundings and the people where ever I travel.

Don't be too hard on the South, in many ways it is better than those 'damn yankees' or westerners who like to say how 'evolved' they are in regard to racial matters. First impressions may not always be accurate, but I have learned to trust it much of the time. Travelling through GA, AL and MS during the summer of 1990, I was deparately trying to find a motel to stop for the night. Most were occupied because of all the Family Reunions taking place during that critical July weekend. I went down one back road and found a place off the beaten path in MS. It was past midnight and there was one white female that I could see from outside the building, posted at the front desk. I rang the door which was closed and locked, she came over and even though I had a brown face she opened the door and invited me in, we chatted over coffee for a while allowing me to explain my situation. No, they did not have vacancy either, but I enjoyed our chat in those wee hours of the morning. The point was that I could not do that in Boston, Denver, Chicago or LA nor few places in-between.

A thought came to mind that night that although the South have had its problems, when it finally accepted change, the transition was authentic and there was not the usual phony niceties that shrouded racism. A strong component for racism is unfamiliarity and fear of the 'other'. The races in the South have been together there for years, so fear was not a factor, such can explain why I could enjoy tea and crumpets with this lady in circumstances that would not occur in many other places. This is your home and I would not presume to tell you what is in it. What do you think of my assessment?


habee profile image

habee 3 years ago from Georgia Author

Credence, I think you have a valid point. I've heard many southerners say that white northerners like the "idea" of African Americans, and that they like them as a group, while southerners like them as individuals. Perhaps there's something to that. I'm glad you had a good experience in the Deep South!


IntuitiveWords profile image

IntuitiveWords 3 years ago from Toronto

"Reverse Racism"..is like Real Racism only without a history of privilege, slavery & genocide.


realtalk247 profile image

realtalk247 2 years ago

Interesting points.

You mentioned an interesting point: "Of course, the slaves were freed by the Civil War, but what kind of “freedom” did they really have? Almost all of them were uneducated, and they were considered as an inferior race by almost all whites in the South. Usually, the only jobs they could find were as manual laborers"

I once watched a public broadcasting special which mentioned that those slaves who were free and wanted better for themselves and their children left the south because there was no justice or freedom for African Americans in the south. (Jim Crow, lynchings, jail for those found walking on the street with false charges resulting in hard labor for years.)

The African Americans in the south were mostly able to work labor jobs. Hand vs brain. Taught to stay in their place and that attitude hasn't changed even today. There is also racism between African Americans from other places like NY and CA because African Americans in the south were not taught to be confident, speak intelligently/clearly, and look people in their face when speaking to someone. Consequently they work to oppress and hurt others, their same race, because people from more high level operating states are seen as "you think you think you better than."

Nothing has changed in the south. Take the average manufacturing operations company for instance. Most employers hire lower labor positions which are filled by African Americans.(slave) One operations manager usually light skinned manager" for operations manager. (overseer). The owners and top level management Caucasian. (Owners) Tell me that doesn't look mirror the plantation?

I hate you were not hired for the job when you were qualified.

In the south, allowances are made everyday to help southern people obtain jobs regardless of their lack of qualifications or education required for the job. That's not right and it leads often to incompetent management.

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