Racial Equality And Equality Of Opportunity

1477 Words 6 Pages
The words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” are words that each American holds dearly in our hearts (Jefferson, 11). Words that Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed in his famous “I have a dream” speech, was a creed by our Founders, written into a “promissory note” to each and every American (http://www.mlkonline.net/dream.html). Unfortunately, there were exceptions to this rule of equality. This week I will attempt to establish, in terms of racial equality, what, if any role America’s government should play to ensure equality of opportunity as well as the role, if any, it should play to ensure equality of outcome?
At the very foundation of America, slavery has been a point of contention and debate
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Each person’s “fair share” must come at the expense of others to be distributed equally regardless of each person’s contributions. If one man’s contributions are more than his neighbor, yet his neighbor receives the same reward, why would be motivated to work? Tuskagee Institute founder, Booker T. Washington contended, in a debate with W.E.B. DuBois, that the only way for the black population to overcome the “cultural disadvantages” of slavery was to “develop habits and skills to take advantage of freedom” and overcome problems; not to set idle, expecting handouts (D’Souza, 508). Equality of outcome is counter-productive to the ideals of America and our government’s role to achieve this end should not be …show more content…
Brittain agreed with various other civil rights leaders that America suffers a “permanence of racism” then concludes the racism theory of equality is an “abstract and unreal notion” (Brittain, 504). Author Shelby Steele maintains in his article, The New Segregation, that blacks “never progressed beyond their anger” and the whites never forgave themselves for the oppression of the blacks (Steele, 509-511). Steele, in another article, The Double Bind of Race and Guilt, indicated it was through this “white guilt”, that support for “policies like affirmative action” and reparations for slavery was spawned (Steele, 495). Steele explains further in his editorial Race and Responsibility, that the civil rights movement “had to use moral shame” as a weapon in order to highlight and establish “black freedom and equality” (Steele, 512). By these examples, it appears the conscientious white Americans were shamed into creating an air of equal opportunity to make amends for their forefather’s wrongs. Furthermore, by isolating the black population in the name of equality, could one conclude that the very opposite effect took place through their dependency on the government to define black American’s role in society?
Ward Connerly warned that “the past is a ghost that can destroy our future” and should not be dwelled upon; he went on to say that if America focused on her mistakes, the virtues on which America

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