Volume 92, Issue 71

Wednesday, February 3, 1999


Race relations still have a ways to go

Helping yourself can be a bad thing

Race relations still have a ways to go

By Warren Flood
Gazette Writer

Why the need for black history month? Blacks and whites partake in university life together and generally accept one another's differences. Sure, we've come a long way, but black awareness is more important now than ever. One look at the racial divisions in CentreSpot reveals we still are not entirely "comfortable" with each other.

Here is a list of some other telltale signs that we have a long way to go:

When choosing basketball teams, a white guy is always picked last. Though meant to complement blacks' athletic prowess, this two-edged honour harbours the stereotype that blacks are physically superior yet intellectually inferior. If we are subject to the whim of the first, we are unknowingly subject to the latter.

In the professional sports world, a disproportionate number of athletes are black, yet the "thinking" positions are still reserved for whites – football quarterbacks, baseball pitchers and catchers, team coaches, managers and owners, etc..

Vanilla Ice sold albums... as a rapper! Fourty years ago Little Richard, among other black music artists, was banned from radio play for being too extreme for the American public. Along comes Elvis Presley, who bastardizes Little Richard's songs, then presents them as his own – much to the delight of the establishment.

In the 1990s, many black artists are still banned from radio play for being too harsh, while corporate America supports artists with little talent who can easily be controlled.

Though described as having "feet of bronze" and "woolly hair," some still insist Jesus Christ was white. The Bible was purposely misconstrued to repress black slaves. The Christian religion has done nothing to reconcile these inaccuracies, thus perpetuating a sense of black inferiority.

Western's lack of black professors and administrators. Are there any? I haven't seen one! This university hires the likes of Philip Rushton, but as for providing any positive black role models...

Most don't know who El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was. During slave times black accomplishments were omitted from history books as a method of justifying white rule. Today, our education system still fails to recognize historical black figures. Most whites don't know who El-Shabazz was; sadly, neither do most blacks.

And the No. 1 telltale sign that we have a long way to go? We still have to dedicate a month to black history.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999