This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.
With North Carolina commemorating its secession decision on Saturday, I find myself wondering if reality and the reenactment differ in any way besides the style of dress.
It was, of course, not just the war itself but the aftermath that defined the next century and a half of American history. The topic of race relations since the end of Reconstruction should be well known to the rest of you all and if they’re not, well, I suggest a quick return to high school history and an even quicker kick in the rear for ignorance.
We remember this period every year during Black History Month and through the required classes we take. The recent anniversary, however, has led me to question whether this is truly an effective way to approach race relations in this country.
Some seem to believe that the struggle towards racial harmony reached its conclusion somewhere between Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous speech and the election of President Obama.
While the violence has largely ended and legal forms of racial discrimination have been swept away, there are still signs that all is not as it should be.
No one group is to blame, but one can see examples of the troubled state of race relations across the country and even here on campus. At our University, the different races have arranged themselves into set and separate activities, bars, Greek institutions and even apartment complexes.
The number of times per day I hear a character flaw blamed solely on race is shocking.
The troubled state of racial affairs in this country is not a secret. However, despite nearly universal recognition of the unresolved issues which still exist, it appears many are too scared to talk about them in any serious manner.