Malcolm X once said that “We were not brought here to be made citizens. We were brought here against our will. We were not brought here to enjoy the constitutional gifts that they speak so beautifully about.” As the events in history has shown, this is entirely factual. Fortunately, times has changed and society has changed significantly in reducing discrimination. However, there remains more to be done.
Origin and the Presence in Society
In the midst of the 20th century, Malcolm X was one of the leading activists pushing for equality for all races during the civil rights movement. Many would assume after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed that the effects of slavery along with the past would remain behind us. With the act, we see that our modern day society has schools integrated and that interracial marriage is something that is widely accepted. With all these good things many saw the growth of the nation as a whole. However, our racial differences is something I believe is strongly prevalent, not only in our society but in the justice department. Looking at our working class and the poor, the majority are made from minorities. From the 13th Documentary, we see that many of these minorities are locked up and of those “34% of that people that are incarcerated are African Americans” and with the plea bargain, that is “97% of people that locked up” because if people went to trial and were found guilty they would face a harsher punishment and an anecdote from the documentary states that “no one in the hood goes to trial.” (Duvernay 2016). Seeing this documentary leaves the viewer with a provocative question, if racism is part of the past and that everyone has equal rights, why is this still a modern issue in news and politics?
Issues, Struggles, and Goals
The problem of racism is inherent and lies in our current political state. For the future, these protests and petitions that are still happening are actions to show discontent towards racism. Although it is illegal, in the modern day era there are still hate crimes and discrimination. Fortunately, the political climate has shifted towards changing this, we have done much with the civil rights movement. However, there is more to improve on. As the preamble says, “We the People…to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” These points are just some of the main reasons why America is seen a beacon of hope and freedom. Despite our attempts to perfect a place where all of this is possible, statistics show hate crimes documented in 2016 that “analysis of the 6,063 single-bias incidents that 57.5 percent were motivated by a race/ethnicity/ancestry bias” (FBI, 2016). With these recent examples of racism in the modern era, discrimination and racism are topics in politics. With debates stemming from these topics, the likelihood of the political climate being more progressive towards racism is extremely likely. I believe if there are more bills proposed and we advocate more towards change we can finally eliminate racism and discrimination, we are one more step towards promoting our American values as stated in the preamble in our society.
As our political sides deviate and becoming polar opposites from each other, the question that remains is whether which side will take the first step to eliminate something should have never existed? With hate crimes and protests happening along with mass incarceration of African Americans, we still have a ways to go in order to perfect our country into what we want it to be. The preamble will most likely remain as our goals and what we want the US to be, might get close but it’s unlikely we will be perfect and as it should be almost impossible to.
- DuVernay, A. (Producer & Director), Averick, S.(Writer), (2016). 13th [Documentary]. United States: Kandoo Films
- Gilpin, C.C. (2017). What Do American Values Mean to You?. The New York Times. 20 January 2019
- U. (n.d) U.S. Constitution – Preamble – The U.S Constitution Online. Retrieved January 30, 2019, https://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_preamble.html
- Incidents and Offenses. (2017, October 30). Retrieved January 31, 2019 https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2016/topic-pages/incidentsandoffenses
- (n.d.). Malcolm X warns, ‘it shall be the ballot or the bullet,’ Washington Heights, NY, March 29, 1964. Retrieved from http://www.vlib.us/amdocs/texts/malcolmx0364.html