Today we did a historical tour of Dublin. Dr. Sylvie Kleinman, our tour guide, spoke to us about various topics some of which are shameful to the Irish. It seemed as though when she came upon a subject that made her uncomfortable, she wanted to breeze over and it move onto Irish history that made her, and the people of Ireland, proud. This is certainly not an unwarranted reaction. In the United States we have had various historical issues that I see as shameful, too. One of these events is the racial segregation that occurred prior to the passing of the the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Racial segregation in the United States included the separation of bathrooms, schools, buses, education, voting, housing, and many other areas that should be included in basic human rights based solely on race. There was completely unfair treatment of United States citizens that had no standing whatsoever. This is an extremely shameful event in the United States in my eyes because it is inhuman and indecent. No matter the time period, it should have been clear that skin color is no reason to treat someone differently but it took the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for this issue to be resolved in the eyes of the law.
Although racial discrimination has certainly gotten better since 1964, it is still seen in various areas of life in the United States today. Some people in our country are so quick to pass judgment based on stereotypes which cause this issue of racial injustice to still be a problem today. Each year it is gets somewhat better, slowly but surely. This is a difficult topic to speak about with people who do know United States history, let alone those who know little to nothing. I want people to have a positive attitude towards the United States but unfortunately, when speaking about this subject it is nearly impossible. If I were to give someone an overview of this American issue I would likely tell them exactly what happened as to not takeaway from the horrific acts seen in this country, but would then follow with the various ways Americans have, and continue to, right this wrong. I want to feel pride for my country and when explaining this topic to someone with a lack of United States history knowledge, I think explaining what our country is doing to change this discrimination is the only way to do so. Despite this massive issue being part of our country’s history, I have high hopes that racial discrimination will continue to lessen each day just as it has been for the past 55 years.