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Then and now

Have you ever read Harry Turtledove's Southern Victory series?  It's an alternate history series kicked off after the South wins the Civil War, and in addition to being a great read fiction-wise, it also casts some revealing light on the life of blacks in the first couple of decades post-civil war.

It helps to actually read the book series, but here's a bit of a run-down:  

Imagine a world where being called "boy", "uncle" and "nigger" is not a taboo act that gets the speaker socially ostracized, but a way of life; where blacks are expected to always remain subservient to whites and are punished by a pro-white society if they don't; where there is plenty of "separate" and no "equal" (and the idea of "separate but equal", much less "equal, period", is unheard of and never suggested); where blacks are regulated to "nigger work" and the better jobs and pay are strictly reserved for whites; where blacks, while not officially slaves, are free in name only; where crimes against blacks by whites are ignored at best or greeted with a "serves you right" at worst, while crimes against whites by blacks are virtually capital crimes.  The list goes on and on.

While it can be said that the series is fiction and many of these acts are taken to an extreme for the sake of the story, one need only to look in their history book to understand life for blacks, even after the end of slavery, was full of hardship, so there's an element of truth in the series.  It's a real eye-opener, especially when one looks at some blacks nowadays who practically make their living decrying oppression and racism, insinuating that they are somehow in the same boat as the blacks of the 19th and early 20th centuries simply because they were turned down from a job or pulled over for speeding.  

Nowadays, blacks are CEOs, politicians, military officers, celebrities, civil service employees, entrepreneurs, things the blacks of previous centuries could only dream of, and yet many of them still claim that racism is holding them back and they aren't treated equally as whites (I still remember my disgust at the cry "The dream has been achieved" after Obama's election, as if blacks had never accomplished anything before that event.  And even now, there are blacks out there who will still claim MLK's dream hasn't come to pass).  Frankly, it makes one wonder if they really want racism to be gone, considering how much they harp on it in spite of the obvious differences between now and then.  And don't even get me started on the measures society goes through today to avoid even the thought of racism (often to no avail); it can certainly be said the races aren't treated equaly, but not in the way one would think.

As a rational man, I'll be one of the first to acknowledge blacks haven't been given the treatment they are entitled to as human beings throughout America's existence, and I despise racism as much as any supporter of individual rights should.  But it's rather hard to keep taking the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world seriously when they cry that blacks are still being racially oppressed, yet evidence contradicting them is in plain view.  Maybe one day, the evidence will be such that more people, black and white, will be telling them they're full of crap.
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