Happy Independence Day!

It’s always nice to celebrate a hard fought victory and today is no exception.  Though I have to admit, my mind has wandered today about what other history this day holds.  On this day in 1910 Jack Johnson knocked out Jim Jeffries to become the first black heavyweight champion of the world.  Race riots broke out throughout the United States.  This piece of history is odd to me.  First of all, Americans breaking out in a race riot is scary and bizarre.  Our parents and grandparents have done so much to bring the races together and never seem to get mentioned.  People think the civil rights movement began and ended in the 60’s.  It did neither.  Both whites and blacks were crossing the racial line to marry, develop friendships and learn to like, if not entirely love and accept, one another.  The 60’s civil rights movement would have never happened if there had not been a slow build up of people questioning the merits of having a racist society.  Movements require that.  It’s impossible to suddenly turn a society against itself.  And the movement certainly did not end in the 60’s, it continues on.  Not because minorities are trying to bitch their way into special rights, but because there are still sections of our country where black men, Mexican and Arabs are considered guilty until proven innocent. We’re heading in the right direction.  Our trend over the years is positive and we are moving toward a more open society.  I highly doubt we’ll ever completely be free of racism, sexism or other equally ignorant prejudices, but we can continue to get better.  We have and we will.

Cheers,

Tom

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Filed under History, Politics, Racism

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