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Analytical Text-Based Essay on the End of Racism through "Black Boy
 Around 2000 B.C., Egyptians enslaved Jews in
bondage like caged animals because they were targeted as a lesser race and
thus chosen for labor. Just 1500 years later, the Jews themselves were the
culprits of racism labeling the very association with Samaritans as a deep
sin. In 1861©1865, the United States divided brother against brother in
one of its bloodiest battles of all time over black slavery. Racism
survives not simply as an intangible historic fable but as a real modern
problem, also. In current civilization Arab Palestinians war with Israelis
to find a homeland; the Ku Klux Klan draws its biggest membership influx
in over 20 years; and in the U.S. where freedom reigns, Americans have
never to date voted a person into the president's office who was not a
white male. Denny's restaurants, Texaco gas stations, and Avis car rental
are a few of the number of national companies accused of extolling racism
in this "apartheid America." Although less subtle in the lives of
Americans then, racism also thrived in the souls of people living during
the 1920's. Even though the war on slavery was over in the battle fields,
white racists were blood thirsty lions at heart, as was demonstrated in
the book ÌÌBlack Boy€€. The setting of ÌÌBlack Boy€€ is in the deep
south of Jackson, Mississippi where whites attempted to tame into
submission blacks by hard discipline. Such was the case for Richard in
ÌÌBlack Boy€€, his autobiography. It seemed that the more Richard gained
success, the more he was hurt. In ÌÌBlack Boy€€, Richard is abused by
whites because he reminds the whites of their lack of identity and failure
to meet society's expectations. ç^B^H^G^H^Graft in the midst of a stormy
sea. Their lives became bland and their world became, "bleak and
undeniable." (193) The largeness, the coldness, and squalor of the world
to the white racists then and now are mountains of pain that the racists
can not scale. Like a motherless child, they feel lost and not cared for
by a world with all of those conditions. They lose their individuality and
then their self©esteem. Those whites took the hate and despair that they
received, and punished blacks, a weaker race, with harsh discipline. When
Reynolds and Pease ganged up on Richard, Richard did, "feel no hate for
the men who had driven [him] from the job. They were not individual men,
but part of a huge implacable, elemental design." (229) By teaming up on
blacks like Pease and Reynolds did to Richard, whites are able to unite
and find power in numbers, and in turn satisfy their human need for pride.
Richard was commanded to distinguish the separation ï^Aï^A^Hand does
lead to the separation of the races, and coupled with the ego that the
white man at the optical company demonstrated about one's race results in
racism. The cycle of racism ends in the action of transferring that pain
against those who had identities. This was true for Richard's Uncle
Hoskins as he, "had been killed by whites who had long coveted his
flourishing liquor business."(63) The whites began to hate the blacks,
thus delivering the same hate to the blacks that they themselves felt they
received from society. This end hate regenerates the system by leaving the
blacks with no identities, and so they started, "transferring their hatred
of themselves to others with a black skin and fighting." (298)
ÌÌ€€Identity plays a part in racism, but the deterioration of identity
has its roots in external strain including that of society. Richard saw
the breakdown of character by pressures in Don, a worker at the optical
company whose, "position was not much better thanïoffhand, bantering way."
(289) Therefore the whites' identity crisis as a result of the perceived
great expectations and the individual's weakness combine to further ware
away the individual to racism.  ç^B^H^G^H^GBoy€€. At early childhood,
Richard remained blocked from the molding of society, and so did not
elicit a distinction between blacks and whites. Richard described them as,
"merely people like other people." (27) At childhood, Richard found the
truth©all peoples seemed somewhat equal. Whites were humbled by the
revelation that they were just normal, not the heroes of their dreams.
Whites domination over blacks was apparent in Richard's life as he
described the horrendous beating of a black woman who did not pay her
bills, and his later match with a car of white boys. The white boys
demonstrated their superiority, even telling Richard in a cocky manner,
"You're a lucky bastard, 'cause if you'd said that to some other white
man, you might've been a dead nigger now." (214) Their personal value
dropped when they found that they weren't necessarily the absolute best at
everything, since black Richard could succeed also, and so they wanted to
regain their prestige or respect for themselves that they had. Their most
readily available grounds for success was their racial domination over
others. Therefore, they must have actively participated in racism as a
need to show that they are better than others. This quality projects into
the boys' throwing the bottle at Richard. The shear fact that others might
rival whites' power depressed them. Richard's principal, may be considered
black or white, but it makes little difference as he was obviously molded
by white values. The principal goes as far as to threaten not to allow
Richard to graduate if he does not conform to the principal's views,
forcing upon Richard this aggrandizement. Even though the knowledge
remained concealed, the whites were confronted with the truth that they
were just humansïand the whole stature that they have built around their
beings. Because others matched up to whites, it forced them to no longer
totally ignore the unconscious acknowledgment of equality. Thus racists
tried to defeat others as Richard's principal did to fulfill the
expectations of excellence, and to dismiss the hurting truth of their
mediocrity. Each assemblage tried targeting one another in this social
hierarchy. But particularly aimed at were those who rose victorious and
defied statistics or standards thus being reminders of others' failure;
people who were similar to Richard.  ç^B^H^G^H^Gcharacteristics. Whites
hated him because he undermined their self©esteem as someone could be
better than they were, and in particular a black. Whites hated him because
he even proved that they were not perfect racists, and that their racism
was not foolproof. He was able to rise against submission, white power,
and white pride. He saw through the white lies, and the truth that he
unveiled stands out as the champion that dismantles the system. Then, is
society racist? Society consists of its individuals, and so the people
within it can determine the answer to that question. But, society does
represent the individual. Society tries to create an identity for itself,
much like the common man. A society needs the pride that the individual
needs. In order to accumulate that pride, societies often have to be
exclusive. Then, the question emerges on how humans can change society.
This is not the first nor the last time the question will arise, although
there is a general solution reiterated in the echoes of history and in the
cries of the world's posterity. Great teachers from Jesus to Confucius
have preached the golden rule, the principle of loving thy neighbor as
thyself, and it being more blessed to give than to receive. While sounding
"high" and idealistic, these two principles have many everyday
applications. An obvious way to join the fightïVictory World Organization,
or Youth Against Racism in Europe. Many of these groups are involved
simply in education in the hope that by educating the public on the true
differences of race, comfort between the races may be accomplished thus
ending racism. In simply helping out a neighbor with his groceries,
cleaning up a park, or donating time at a local charity, racism dies. By
feeling self©imposed humility, the person gets a sense of gratification in
his life. He now knows that he has a good reason to keep going. Eventually
the person will also receive that same love from others. Therefore, a new
source for positive gratification and love is created, making racism
obsolete. These principles have not been fully successful as people are
naturally more willing to be lethargic than active, more likely to be
followers than leaders, usually submit rather than stand up for
themselves. They need courage. The courage must come from the love within,
it must be true courage. For some, it doesn't come naturally, but with one
strong foot forward, and a heart for others, racism can be defeated and
the world can live in peace and equality.
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