In a recent article, the matter of improving democracy is associated with racism confrontations. There is a long history of racism confrontations that have proved detrimental to all involved. Those who desire an enhancement of democracy must use alternative methods.
According to the article, Racism Is the Central Hindrance to Democratization, author Paula Ioanide believes that democracy can only improve with a national confrontation on racism. She cites how both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have catapulted into the spotlight by using concepts associated with confrontational racism.
According to the article, Donald Trump has accomplished a masterful job by collecting Republicans who are angered by racism in the United States. Trump supporters use terms of endearment such as “brown tide,” “dangerous waters” and “war” to describe America’s shifts in racism perspectives.
The followers of Bernie Sanders, according to the article, have a deep sense of rage and abandonment of the national leaders. Their rage is directed at the individual and corporately wealthy who have depleted the middle class Americans of the resources necessary to attain the American dream. “Every working-class, labor movement in the U.S. has been neutralized because whites have chosen to defend their racial interests over collective economic interests that would also benefit people of color”, according to the article.
“There is a way to move people and resources toward America’s democratic ideals. But this requires a confrontation with racism as the central hindrance to American democratization”, according to Ioanide.
Ioanide’s recommendation is problematic because there is a history of confrontational racism designed to improve democracy that has only resorted in the depletion of resources for those who participate.
What is the history of confrontational racism designed to enhance democracy?
One event associated with confrontational racism was Martin Luther King’s march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This political rally was considered one of the largest that focused on human rights in United States with a demand of civil and economic rights for African Americans. Thousands of Americans headed to Washington, DC on Tuesday August 27, 1963. On Wednesday, August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in which he called for an end to racism. Even though the march is credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, racism in America continues to persist after this confrontation racism activity.
It is evident that confrontational racism does not work on a political level as well as an economical level. We only need to look at the march of 1963 as an example of this economical catastrophe. It is estimated that 250,000 people attended the march. If each person traveled by car at least 50 miles and stayed two days in a hotel today, the march would have cost in excess of $55 million. $25 million would have been spent on gasoline. $25 million would have been spent on housing. At three meals a days for 250,000 people the expenses could have been in excess of $5 million. This type of confrontational event only serves to drain the resources of those who are supposedly benefit from the confrontation. Confrontational racism activities provides a windfall for many corporations and individuals who may not endorse efforts to eliminate racism in America.
Confrontational racism can also be problematic on a civil level. We only need to look at the confrontational racism activities associated with the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri and Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.
In both instances, America became polarized over the perceived racism associate with both event. When all was said and done, the confrontational racism activities did not impeded the on going travesty of racism in America. Confrontational racism will continue to fuel racism in American. Without efforts to promote positive racial relationships that will enhance democracy in America racism will persist.
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 4707 Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
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