The Left’s Effort to Resegregate America

By Dr. Harold A. Black

I do not understand the continuing effort of the “progressive” left to pit blacks against whites. California’s committee on reparations has recommended paying the descendants of slaves up to $1.2 million. Never mind that California was not a slave state and fought for the North. Japanese Americans are excluded as are Chinese Americans even though both suffered years of discrimination. Black immigrants are also excluded. Those groups and whites should be rightly resentful of having to pay for the actions of long-dead white southern slavers. Apparently, the California left wants to ignite race hatred in their state.

When I was growing up in Atlanta, white segregationists enacted laws that openly discriminated against blacks. We could not eat in their restaurants, join their unions, attend their schools, live in their neighborhoods, go to their parks, swim in their pools, or be partners in their firms. We had to be content to remain in our own silos. My parents told my brother and me that we were every bit as smart as whites and every bit as qualified. If we weren’t then there would be no need for such laws. My brother was not allowed admission to Georgia Tech and instead went to Purdue, a much better school. Not qualified? Perhaps he was overqualified. Two years later when the courts ordered the University of Georgia integrated and I was admitted as one of four black freshmen, white students contended that the only reason we were there was because of a court order, otherwise we would have been rejected. The university had argued that it wasn’t segregated, only that no qualified blacks had applied. Never mind that the first two blacks admitted were respectively a Phi Beta Kappa graduate in chemistry and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the first black awarded a PhD was in mathematics. As to the freshmen, one dropped out but of the other three, one has a Ph.D. in French, the other a Ph.D. in Economics and the other majored in math. Not qualified, eh? When I was admitted, my father, who despite all his grace and Christian love, said, “Go show those Crackers who’s not qualified.” So every class I walked into, my objective was to be the smartest person in the room. The result was not that whites thought they were wrong about blacks not being qualified; it was that all the blacks going to Georgia were “exceptions.”

We southern blacks fought to desegregate society and eradicate all barriers between the races. When I first went to the bookstore at Georgia, they wouldn’t sell me textbooks unless I could prove I was a student and the first time I went swimming in the student pool, they kicked everyone out and drained the pool. Now times are completely different. My granddaughter is a senior at Georgia and her life is blissfully boring. But there is a movement afoot at many universities to resegregate and erase what my generation worked so hard to accomplish. Some universities have separate graduation exercises for their black students. Georgia has the “Rite of Sankofa” which is a ceremony celebrating its black graduating class. I can imagine the furor if the university had a similar ceremony for its white students.

Other universities have segregated dormitories, black student unions, recreational facilities and programs exclusively for black students. Most of the DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) impact on campuses is part of the movement away from integration. Acting in the name of diversity is resulting in anti-diverse outcomes. Yet isn’t it interesting that athletic teams seem to be exempt from DEI? Just as troubling has been the movement to lessen qualifications in the name of diversity. Dropping programs for the talented and gifted and lessening admission requirements are re-labelling black students as being otherwise unqualified. One prestigious medical school is now admitting black students based strictly on GPAs. Some are now lobbying for proficiency exams to be eliminated as well for medical students and for new attorneys. This not only labels black graduates as unqualified but because also builds resentment amongst other racial groups toward blacks. I do not understand why the progressives are doing this. Segregation sought to undermine the economic well-being of blacks. Its very existence was repugnant. Today’s resegregation is equally repugnant.