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PINIONS • OPINIONS • OPINIONS • OPINI
Racism — a powerless
word of the past
The word "racism" has lost its power. It is only a shadow of what it once
was. This single work embodied 200 years of subjugation, conferred inferiori
ty, back-of-the-bus mentality and white lies. It represented the rage and pain
of a people and the shame of a nation. In the 60s and 70s it was a clarion call
to action. Now it is simply a word drawing on past strength.
As racism has become less evident people have tended to sweep the
troubling issue of race relations under the rug. People have become compla
cent and comfortable in a time of relative civil peace not known in the 60s or
In many minds racism has become a thing of the past. An ugly scar that has
begun to disappear. Yes, it still evokes memories of lynchings, torn families,
out and out discrimination and instances of social injustice. However, these
scenearios are not personally familiar to us anymore. These are our grand
parents' truths, our forefathers' lives. Lives that we view through jaded eyes
with a bittersweet reverence for the past.
Their experiences with bigoted perversion and discrimination was a com
mon bond. It united them.
Our firsthand experience with such said racism is limited to a minority of
our generation. Many of us have never been called "Nigger" except by those
of our own color. Thus, the issue of racism is not always, if at all, paramount
in our lives. The word "racism" has lost its power with us.
So we go day to day without giving it much thought. That is until racism
rears its head in our own personal lives. Then we become outraged and ready
to act. Also, ready to criticize those who do not rush to support our cause, all
the while pointing to the selfless cooperation evidenced in the 60s.
There is a need for more. Racism as an institution may fade and become
barely noticeable, but it will never disappear. The attitudes fostered during
the time when jim Crow was the law of the land will persist. To be satisfied
now with the current state of race-relations does not do credit to the strug
gles and hopes of our fathers.
It has been scarcely twenty years since college campuses became racially
integrated. It has been scarcely two decades since black men, women and
children were hosed down and set upon by police dogs while marching for
their civil rights, and barely two years since the police shooting of a black^^*
youth led to rioting in Miami. To simply relax and welcome a time of relative^^p
civil peace is to let die the dream Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned for us all.
It is true that many blacks now enjoy a positon in society that their grand
parents could only hope for. And though the black middle class has made
some significant gains. Blacks on the whole still tend to have less educa
tionally, economically, and socially in comparison to whites. Something per
sists in the institutions of America that inhibits the progress that these more
"liberal" times should yield. All is still not equal.
Even here at the University of North Carolina there is an obvious gap bet
ween the blacks and whites socially. There is still a need for more tenured
black and female faculty. There is still a definite need for more curriculum
that deals with the ethnic histories that comprise a significant and essential
part of America's history. There is still much to be done.
People need to revitalize their stand on civil rights. Do not let the fight fall
only to those who are committed enough to march for more black and
women faculty. It is not enough to be willing to act only when an issue direct
ly affects you on a personal level. Don't believe for a moment that racism as
a healed wound. The efforts of our fathers and grandfathers were not for
themselves. They only hoped that through their concern and perserverance
the subsequent generations would be that much better off. That much more
able to carry on.
If blackness can be converted into words and pictures,
we intend to do it
Editor in Chief
60/A/6 TC TA/k
I enjoyed your article spotlighting
Wolita Belvet, a new member of the
Varsity Cheerleading squad. Ob
viously she is a talented young lady
who will bring fresh and exciting
ideas to the squad.
Even though I enjoyed the article,
I was disappointed you did not
spotlight, or mention the names of
the three other blacks on the squad.
In future publications of THE
BLACK INK I hope to see articles
spotlighting other black members of
the Varsity cheerleading squad.
Nicole C. Singletary
The BLACK INK welcomes letters to
the editor. All letters should be sub
mitted typed. We reserve the right
Sunday, Sept. 25
Reserved seat tickets
at Union Box Office