The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-Bigotry: American history redux

Opinion-Bigotry: American history redux

editorial22807Executive Order 10925, established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, created the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity.

The order mandated that projects financed with federal funds “take affirmative action” to ensure that hiring and employment practices are free of racial bias.

The concept was ideal in principle but did little in terms of effect. Nearly four years would pass before President Lyndon Johnson, who was addressing the growing tensions of inequality in America, enacted effective legislation, some of which included the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

But neither edict held any substantial merit until the 1965 establishment of Executive Order 11246, which enforced affirmative action for the first time.

It seemed the law of the land was no more than empty promulgation designed to play on the emotions and hopes of the people it was designed to help.

A decade had passed since Brown v. Board of Education’s monumental ruling and the evils of Jim Crow were expected to become an afterthought in the annals of American History.

Nearly 46 years have passed since the establishment of EO 10925 and 11246, but we as a society still have a long way to go.

Long gone are the days when one could be blatantly attacked with police dogs and fire hoses because of his skin color.

The images of bloody protesters engaged in civil disobedience on the streets of Selma and Montgomery have been replaced, for example, by the neglect of the federal government to act in the Gulf Coast region.

The government’s primary duty should be the assurance of the safety and well being of American citizens. Instead, the government allocates hundreds of billions of dollars to reconstruction in Iraq that has shown minimal progress in nearly four years.

Our society has also seen a rise in closet racism and the reemergence of the “good ol’ boy” network at an alarming rate, and the door is subtly swinging open.

One only needs to turn his radio dial to conservative talk stations and/or listen to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter or Glenn Beck.

Limbaugh, on his nationally syndicated radio show, called presidential candidate Barack Obama a “Halfrican-American,” an ill-fated attempt at humor referring to Obama’s white mother and black father.

The Washington Times conservative magazine Insight published an article questioning Obama’s alleged ties to radical Islam when he was a 6-year-old.

The information came from an unnamed source, but for the time being, it, like Limbaugh’s comments, served its purpose. The attention was placed on race and not on Obama’s ability to lead the country.

Ultimately, our society’s elite, and not the people, chooses whom they want to be successful, and that ideology resonates from the White House to the schoolhouse.

As long as the roots of racism and elitism are allowed to thrive, the tree of bigotry and malfeasance will continue to blossom and grow until the next generation is fully engulfed in ignorance and intolerance.

The longer we as Americans live our lives with our heads in the sand, the more these roots will grow and spread until we have lost sight of all the things good and decent in ourselves.

We will have, in effect, wasted every progressive stride we have made over the last four decades, and the good ol’ boy network will have succeeded only in failure for us all.

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