Saturday, August 21, 2010

Abolition and Integration

A very interesting passage from Derrick Bell's gripping book And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice:

... racial integration is this era's idealistic equivalent of abolition in the pre–Civil War years. Each represented in its time a polestar by which those seeking reform could guide their course during a desperately hard journey—away from slavery in the last century and away from segregation in ours. While pointing the way, these beacons fail to provide us with a detailed blueprint of what to do upon arrival. They do not tell us how to ensure that those who have been long exploited by the evil now removed shall be recompensed for their losses in pocket, psyche, and public regard. Confusion arises from the failure to recognize the difference between the beacon we have and the blueprint we need. We inevitably lose our way and wander back to the situations of subordination from which we worked so hard to escape.

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