Human Rights: Now and Then
The Human Rights presentation on February.24, 2010 changed the way I looked at human rights and its history. The first speaker, Mr. Kershner, explained how he had read Mr. Maxey’s book and how it affected him. He then went on to explain how he interviewed him, which was very important because Mr. Maxey died only two months later. The presentations were so amazing that I was inspired to buy and read the book, which I am currently in the process of. Also Mr. Kershner about racism in the 40’s and 50’s. Things such as if you were African American, you were not allowed to eat in some restaurants, sleep in certain hotels, work as a teacher, and many high end jobs. Another disadvantage African Americans had back then was many white real estate agents would steer families looking for a house towards a specific neighborhood. This neighborhood would mainly be one of the poorer regions of the city. Some notable African Americans that tried to battle racism that Mr. Kershner mentioned was Louis Armstrong and Sammy Davis Jr. Mr. Kershner then went on to explain the tragic story of Carl Maxey and the problems he faced as an African American.
The second speaker was Mr. Brooks Holland, he was a young but very charismatic man. He explained Civil Rights and the court system and how they intermingle. Mr. Holland explained that he is a lawyer that takes time in being a civil rights activist. Sometimes taking on cases that involved racism or prejudice. Some shocking news that Mr. Holland told the audience was that Spokane had nine vacant seats for the Civil Rights Commission. This could have been the fact that when Washington had a racial profiling survey it showed that there was not a big difference between whites and African Americans. Thus Spokane maybe doesn’t need a commission because there are not that many cases on Civil Rights violations? I’m sure that many of the listeners were affected in some sort because quite a big of people stayed afterwards and asked some serious questions. Both speakers were great and provided an amazing insight on Civil Rights and its history.
Macionis defines racism as “the belief that one racial category is innately superior or inferior to another” (2008). Racism can also be defined as bias, prejudice, discrimination or bigotry. How some people react to and treat others is partly because of fear of the unknown and lack of knowledge. Macionis defines prejudice as “rigid and unfair generalization about an entire category of people”( ...