Friday, November 7, 2008

Fix What First?

I was listening to one of the shows on C-Span today. Naturally, the topic was what will the president elect do first in office? The guest on the show was a bigwig in the NAACP. To be fair, the host of the show said that the economy is first.

What is second on the list? According to the show's guest, it is race relations. Is that the most important issue he can come up? He admitted DC is full of special interest groups and I guessing he thinks his special interest group will get top billing from the new administration.

First, I don't see the economy being "fixed" in a short time frame. It will take time for consumer confidence to come back from the edge of despair. It will take time for the new administration to realize he doesn't hold all the cards. Beside, if he did, why didn't he use some of them while in the Congress?

The last major depression in the US lasted several years and it took longer for life to return to normal. We, as Americans, need to look at what the past taught us. Those who neglect their history lessons are doomed to repeat them. This economy will not bounce back overnight. Remember 1929? Remember what happened in Germany in the 1930s?

Race relations aren't the most important topic for Americans. The last I checked, the Constitution said all men were created equal. Perhaps a better choice for an important topic would be education. Perhaps it should be the value of promoting education for our youth.

I grew up in the rural south. I was in school when the mandate was handed down that there would be no separate schools based on race. I was in public school when the activist groups intimidated one race not to accept this. I was in public school with the constant threats of bombs placed by radical groups. I was in public school when the blacks would not come to school in fear of their lives by their own.

It wasn't the children who caused the race problems. We adapted and learned about each other's cultures. The problem came from the activists who did not want their children to receive that "equal" education. At that time, I heard from my elders that it would take two or three generations before there truly would be an equal education. Why? Because the families who did not function as a family unit or who were uneducated or who lived in fear of retribution would have to learn. They would have to be willing to change. They would have to accept their children having opportunities for education. We're only one generation into this.

So keep to the American value of providing education for all of our children. Be willing to learn yourself.

1 comment:

PALINATOR!!!! said...

Judging from your blog, party relations may need to be "first." I agree that education is critical, but that should include racism, sexism, and classism and how the parties exploit these issues during campaigns, and drop them afterward (all three serve both parties well as soapbox items, only to deny them, or shallowly point to the constitution once elections are over)
I appreciate your insights about your experiences with segregation and integration, particularly as I grew up in the south and am possibly a member of the "last generation" of cross bussing to integrated schools that still provided segregated educational opportunities.
I could argue on any given day, that is inequitable treatment was due to my race, class, and/or gender or SES as it is not professionally termed, what my argument would encourage is a long drawn out "chicken before the egg" debate about which civil rights, human rights, or civil liberties should come first and why, when the reality of good quality education reveals that they all simultaneously matter, deserve holistic attention, energy, understanding, and respect even if some of us credit Lincoln for clearing up that matter, others of us, see how it all matters and how it behooves more than just some of us to expand our own and collective knowledge about these issues.