Introduction to Sociology SSS100.1958
Social Problems and Social Movements
“The effect on caste on the moral integrity of the negro race in America has thus been widely disastrous… failure to achieve dignity and self respect; lack of faith of negroes in themselves and in other negroes and in all colored folk.” (Du Bois pg. 3)
Even after the abolition of slavery and after reconstruction took place “negroes” in America still felt as if they were below white folks and didn’t live up to their full potential out of fear of being ridiculed, and fear of angry mobs and lynching. Yes changes were made to improve the economy but there yet still was no equality established between the two races.
“The real question is not so much what the Negroes themselves are deceived by it. The real question is not so so much what the Negro has done in spite of caste, as what he may have accomplished with reasonable encouragement. He has cut down his illiteracy more than 2/3 in 50years, but with decent schools it ought to have been cut down 99%. He has accumulated land and property, but has not been able to hold 1/10 of that which he has rightly earned. He has achieved success in many lines, as an inventor, scientist, scholar and writer. But most of his ability has been choked in chain gangs and buy open deliberate discrimination and conspiracies of silence. He has made a place for himself in literature and art, but the great depths of his autistic kids have never yet been plumbi but most of his ability has been choked in chain gangs and by open deliberate discrimination and conspiracies of silence. He has made a place for himself in literature and art, but the great deeds of his artistic gifts have never yet been plumbered. And yet, for all that he has accomplished not only the nation but this stuff is self claims credit and actually pointed to it as proof of the wisdom or at least the end of innocuousness of organized suppression!..”
I chose this quote because the relevancy it had today is so profound. I do believe as a Black woman we tend to accommodate or just justify certain actions taking from white or others because of retaliation and lack of knowledge. As a 90s baby I do feel a difference of how we go about things, when it comes to speaking up for ourselves and taking direct action and I’m completely happy of these changes. This quote speaks a little about how back in slavery black people were exploited for their artwork, inventions and just their being/culture.. They were used and never compensated. At this time I do believe the “generational hate diease of all black people” had began. What stood out to me was the sacrifices poor whites took just to get by, it speaks about how “poor whites” were willing to exploit black people because of lack of resources in their own communities. Eventually, minimizing the negative attention from the naysayers the “affluent whites” with giving them better education, jobs and resources to live a way better life than their black counterparts.
“The result of this was that the wages of both classes could be kept low, the whites fearing to be supplemented by Negro labor, the Negroes always being threaten by the substitution of white labor( Du Bois P244)”. With the development of Northern industry and expansion of Southern industry, the employers tried to free more black people to get more profit. Even Negroes got more freedom than before, they were still treated as degradation. On the other side, the white who suffered from poverty worried that black people got same rights what did not belong to them. In their mind, may be the inferior black would take over power and in charge of whole society. The hostility of seeds were rooted and expanded in the ignorant and lack of intelligence mindsets. The conflicts between those two classes never stop. They threatened each other and struggled to the financial difficulties. All in all, the employers were the biggest winners in this revolution with exploiting the sufficient labor workers and paying low wages.
“Reconstruction was not simply the fight between the white and black races in the South or between master and ex-slave. It was much more subtle; it involved more than this” (Du Bois 2)
Reconstruction was not about the social, political and economic tension between black and white. However, it included the struggles, difficulties, and interpretations within every division of society: the Negro, the poor white, the planter, the Northern businessman. Reconstruction offers the change in social structure, which bring the opportunity for these struggles to align. This is when poor white workers were convinced of the segregation against black workers, rather than the uplift of the working class. The segregation help the white laborers regain control and be compensated by “public and psychological wages”
Professor: Lynn Turner
Week 4 Black Reconstruction and The Racial Wage
“Reconstruction was not simply a fight between the white and black races in the South, or between master and ex-slave. It was much more subtle; it involved more than this.”
During the Reconstruction of the south post civil war, Du Bois, the author of the book Black reconstruction and the racial wage explained the ideal of racial wage and racial separation. The White planter from the south unite with the poor white people and offered than a wage that help them rise up but in the other hand we see the black people receiving a wage the will barely help them survive or uplift their life. This led to the degradation of the Negro labor and benefit the poor white labor. White poor labor and black workers were on the same low wage condition but for the white race the low wage earn was a compensation because they were white, the negro only had the hope of surviving in the hands of the white race that looked at them as a threat to their superiority and were scare the negro workers will take their jobs. The author also explained the struggles and social situation, divisions and differences.
Black reconstruction and the racial wage- “Reconstruction was the turn of white northern migration southern to new and sudden economic opportunity which followed the disaster and dislocation of war, and an attempt to organize capital and,labor on a new pattern and build a new economy. “ Blacks and whites had equal opportunities but the blacks felt like there wasn’t so they would fight for equality even if it creates war.
The theory of laboring class unity rests upon the assumption that laborers, despite internal jealousies, will unite because of their opposition to exploitation by the capitalists. According to this, even after a part of the poor white laboring class became identified with planters, and eventually displaced them. Their interest would be diametrically opposed to those of the mass of white labor, and of course to those of black laborers. This will throw the white and black labor into one class.
After the civil right movement of the people with color. The black people could have an opportunity to work in placed where the white people work. The gap between the poor white and the black decreased because off the common situation that they were working under it. The capitalist cared more about the profit that they must make by exploiting the worker. The working class put in the priority the salary that they will get by preforming their job. The working class started to realize that the profit is going to the employers and the landowners. They realize that they do not get enough paid. They realize that they should do something about it. The poor white and black laborers could be in one class and forgot the differences
We can realize that the people can forget them differences when they face a common issue. This article showed how the black worker and the white can unionize because of the exploitation from the capitalist. The poor white and the black could be in one category after being in two different categories.
The psychologist aspect of the human being applied in this case. The differences could be ignored when the human being suffer same situation or same authority.
“to restore an anachronism in economic organization by force,fraud and slander, in defiance of law and order”
Reconstruction was the labor class, mostly blacks being oppressed through racial separation. The whites brought used their monopoly in order to take blacks back in time instead of the future, which would attempt to stop any progress to be made in society for blacks to gain more freedom. Using force against them just like how it was years before slaves were freed.
“There have been repeated and continued attempts to paint this era as an interlude of petty politics or nightmare of race hate instead of viewing it slowly and broadly as a tremendous series of efforts to earn a living in new and untried ways, to achieve economic security and to restore fatal losses of capital and investment (Du Bois 243).
Looking back at history for this time period showed conflicts of interest according to racial division and hate, but this shouldn’t represent all that is going on. It’s not that there wasn’t any racial discrimination, but this may have overshadowed other aspects. The division of class appears to be between the rich and the poor, which in this case is the working class and the business owner. Everyone sought to gain profit and their competition happens to be everyone else. To attain profits or success means to lessen the competition and the result is racial separation. Then, to prevent the working class from seeking higher livable wages, the business owners proceed to satisfy the one side of the working class(whites) to keep themselves in check. This essentially created an artificial conflict that distracts the laborers from seeking higher wages and put the blame on someone else, which happens to be the black racial class. This is happening today where there are people blaming immigrants for taking their jobs and companies showing unionization is bad during their recruitment orientations.
“ compensates the low wage earning whites with a sort of public and psychological wage . They were given public deference and titles of courtesy because they were white “
Even though there were poor whites that existed , they still were getting treated as if they were equal to the higher white classes while the black were treated as the second class citizens . The poor whites were treated with more respect while the blacks were given minimal opportunities . From the beginning they were against each other but if they did come together it would’ve been a threat towards the northern industries .
“…two groups of workers with practically identical interests who hate and fear each other so deeply and persistently and who are kept so far apart that either sees anything of common interest. It must be remembered that the white group of laborers, while they received a low wage, were compensated in part by a sort of public and psychological wage.” (Du Bois 244)
While both races were doing the same work for the equal pay, they were viewed as two different things. No matter how good the other race could be at the same job they were still deemed less than their co-workers. The whites could pass just by the color of their skin without question of their class. But if a black person were to appear in the community, they could be targeted with violence.
“Reconstruction was the turn of white northern migration southern to new and sudden economic opportunity which followed the disaster and dislocation of war, and an attempt to organize capital and, labor on a new pattern and build a new and sudden economic opportunity which followed the disaster and dislocation of war, and an attempt to organize capital and labor on a new pattern and build a new economy.’ The reconstruction was a a time period in which northern whites took advantage of the new economic opportunities that the civil war caused in order to establish a new economy and labor force for freed slaves who had nothing after the civil war.
“And yet, despite this, and despite the long step backward toward slavery that black folk have been pushed, they have made withal a brave and fine fight; a fight against ridicule and monstrous caricature, against every refinement of cruelty and gross insult, against starvation, disease and murder in every form. it has left in their soul its scars. its deep scars; but when all is said, through it all has gone a thread of brave and splendid friendship from those few and rare men and women of white skins, North and South, who have dared to know and help and love black folk.” – Black Reconstruction and the Racial Wage. W.E.B. Du Bois (1935)
“… to the Negro “Freedom” was god; to the poor white “Freedom” was nothing — he had more than he had use for; to the planter “Freedom” for the poor was laziness and for the rich, control of the poor worker; for the Northern business man “Freedom” was opportunity to get rich (Du Bois pg.243).”
I chose this quote because even in today’s society this is evident, but has different groups of people. For example today’s groups from bottom to top would be: poor, working class, and corporation/business owners.
“Reconstruction was a vast labor movement of ignorant, muddled and bewildered white men who had been disinherented of land and labor and fought along the battle with sheer subsistence, hanging on the edge of poverty, eating clay and chasing slaves and now lurching up to manhood”(Du Bois 243). Reconstruction was more focused on the white having control than both races being equal. Instead of focusing on security for the economy it was more focused on between the difference of both races.
To the great majority of the white Americans the Negro problem has distinctly negative connotations.it suggests something difficult to settle and equally difficult to leave alone.(Myrdal 249). For instance, a woman in the air force claimed that the air force is segregated although white and colored people serve together, colored people barely get opportunity to fly. The blacks were not hired by airlines during the Tuskegee airmen era because they were seen incapable to fly white people around. Today, aviation is very segregated because at least 90% of pilots are white.
“Mob violence and lynching were the inevitable result of the attitude of these two classes and for a time we’re a sort of permissible Roman holiday for the entertainment of vicious whites.”
I chose this quote because it sums up this day and age on how white people treated blacks. Because of their lack of education/ ignorance they carried on this behavior for years that eventually it became the normal, still not making it right. Unequalitly at that time was looked to as the right way to live life and until people learned they would never change.
I watched the virtual tenement tour videos. I actually enjoyed the videos considering that I live in the lower east side and I past by it just about every single day. I have always wanted to do the tour because I am interested to see the inside, I just never got around to do it.
“Northen industry knew that universal suffrage in the south, in the hands of Negroes just freed from slavery, and of white people still enslaved by poverty, could not stand against organized industry.”
I chose this quote from the reading because I think this is a good example as to why there is a lot of issues regarding people of color and their differences in education, wages, and work titles because in the beginning there was such a disadvantage for them to get jobs with good benefits or education to teach them a new trade and so forth.
“To a great majority of White Americans the Negro problem has distinctively negative connotations. It suggests something difficult to settle and equally difficult to leave alone.”
I chose this quote because of how relevant it is to society now. The reason why we still have race issues is because a lot of people chose to ignore it or say “Well it wasn’t me who owned slaves so why should I care.” That would be like Germany disregarding the Nazi party and the atrocities they committed just because they weren’t alive for it. No matter how uncomfortable it is to talk about it you need to because you aren’t in their shoes so you have no idea how they actually feel.
“It was a vast labor movement of ignorant, earnest, and bewildered black men whose faces had been ground in the mud by their three awful centuries of degradation and who new staggered forward blindly in blood and tears amid pretty division, hate and hut, and surrounded by every disaster of war and industrial upheaval” (Dubois). The author stated that the most hurtful community was the black men, because during the reconstruction, they were the ones who earned pretty low wage to rebuilt the country. their salary could barely help them to survive. The black community had to start from 0 to build their life, because they didn’t have money o property to live and stay so most of them stayed in the home of they ex-boss.
“At this point it must be observed that America, relative to all the other branches of Western civilization, is moralistic and ‘moral-conscious’. The ordinary American is the opposite of a cynic.”
This quote resonated to me because it told a different standard of what America, or an American for that matter, was supposed to be back then. Nowadays, if you ask random people on the streets in any city, any state, or heck- any country really, and ask them,
“What do you think of (America)?”
The answer? It would as varied, and heated, as the cultural pot America has become today. And that’s great!
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