Do you believe that there is still racism in the US? Do you believe
that the promise of equality has been fulfilled now, in the year
Definately. I note that hate crimes are up, that hate crimes against
Blacks, Muslims, Jews are continuing and almost prevelant...in the
United States and other parts of the world.
Do you believe that the promise of Equality has been fulfilled now?
No...not then, and not now. Blacks are still striving to become middle
class citizens, if equality was fulfilled that would not be the case.
We still have a long way to go. But the Civil Rights Movement did
eliminate most (though not all) forms of legal discrimination. Because
of the Civil Rights Movement explicit, overt, discrimination on the
basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, and physical ability
is illegal. But social, psychological, and economic discrimination and
persecution still remain. As does a vast resevoir of hidden, covert
That remains the number
one problem. Do you believe that the promise of equality has been
fulfilled now, in the year 2001? Not even close.
The civil rights movement was about social justice generally and
specifically of course applied to African-Americans. But it succeeded
ONLY because it also changed majority white population. Martin Luther
King was brilliant in showing that racism is a cancer in the heart of
those who have prejudice and discriminate and that it violates the most
basic human and American values of justice and equal opportunity. That
affected everyone! Also the other movements that
followed the movement against the War in Vietnam, the
women's movement, the student movement and others all learned from and
modeled themselves on the Civil Rights Movement. It changed everything!
Wazir (Willie) Peacock:
There was racism then in the United States, and there is racism in the
United States now. The Voting Rights Act didn't change that. It didn't
change the hearts and minds of people. Like I said earlier, the Civil
Rights Movement brought to surface the amount of racism that is in this
country. We can see now, that to a large degree, this country, this
United States is divided along racial lines. The racism in this country
is scary. It's dangerous, because it is so divisive. It makes it where
it doesn't look like a United States. The politicians are doing the same
things that Bilbo, Governor Barnett were doing. They're using race for
their politics. Strom Thurmond is still there. So we don't expect change
to come from politicians. There has to be a change of heart with the
Do I believe that we can watch the sun rise by facing east?
Yes I do. One of the things that tells me that is the inordinate
number of police shootings of Black men. The other thing that tells me
that is the inordinate number of Black and Hispanic men in prison. The
largest inmate population in the state is not Black, it's Hispanic, with
Blacks coming a close second.
I feel that there's still discrimination in employment. I think that
there's still problems with the schools.
One thing that I notice is that there seems to be more resources
available for white schools than Black schools. This isn't anything new.
This is something that's gone on forever. There's more resources
allocated to white, middle-class schools.
There's ample evidence that racism and discrimination still exist. One
thing that struck my mind was a personal experience that I had in the
late-'80s when I went to a bank to get a loan. The same bank that lent
me money to buy my house, the same bank that lent me money any number of
times, that I never had any problems with, and I go into the bank on
another occasion and deal with this new guy because I wanted to get a
home equity loan. All of a sudden, I started having all kinds of
problems. I've always paid off my loans, never late, I have A-1 credit.
I noticed I started having all kinds of difficulty. I remember becoming