Friday, January 26, 2007

Was Forced Integration Bad for the African-American Community?

Wheeler over at Alablawg is reporting that Rep. John Rogers (who I am a big fan of) reportedly said he thought forced integration was bad for the African-American community on the Matt Murphy radio show.

According to reports;
Rogers was trying to explain why the House Black Caucus won’t allow new Rep. Patricia Todd to join the group, even though she represents a majority black district. When confronted by Murphy that his group was not about black interests or ideas but only about race, Rogers said, “Integration may have been the biggest mistake ever made.” He then went on to say that he never was so down on seperate but equal, just that he wished it could have been equal.

Apparently this has caused an uproar.....which I find very odd. Many African Americans think forced integration was a bad idea. I can’t say that I disagree completely. When you think about it in terms of what African American children are taught in integrated schools you can see that maybe it was a bad idea. What public school in Alabama has ever taught accurate black history to black children? Not one. They do not know where they came from, who their tribes were, what their history was before they were sold into slavery. Hard to have any pride when you don’t know what to be proud of.

Malcolm X was for seperate but equal and against forced integration. He believed in black businesss hiring black workers and so forth to help the community economically prosper.
If you have never read is autobiopgraphy I’d recommend picking it up. It covers much of this line of thinking and is an excellent book.


Brian L. said...


I heard Matt's interview with Rep. Rogers. He did not say "forced" integration was a curse; he simply said "integration was a curse."

Certainly not all in the black community see eye to eye with Mr. Rogers. A frequent caller who goes by the name Antonio – who may or may not be Rep. Oliver Robinson – called into the show just after the interview and vehemently and repeatedly stated that Rogers’ views were his alone and were not representative of those of the ABLC. Why would he make such a call if Rogers’ views were consistent with the black community? Rep. Robinson, by the way, played for the San Antonio Spurs during his NBA days. Coincidence?

I'm sympathetic to the argument that integration has not been painless for all involved. I suppose one could argue that some aspects of life are not as good as before. But to call integration a curse is to imply that it is entirely bad and without any redeeming qualities - a statement that is patently absurd.

I'm personally opposed to government interference in the private lives of citizens, including who we do and do not assemble with. I can't say that I am a fan of forced integration for that reason, but that doesn't mean that I can't easily identify the benefits it has created.

If Malcom X thinks that a business only hiring people of a certain skin color would create economic prosperity then he is an economic idiot. The free market dictates that businesses that arbitrarily hire less qualified employees based on something like skin color will not succeed. I'm not implying that blacks are less qualified, but if you restrict your hiring practices to any race, religion, gender, etc. then you will inevitably have to turn down more qualified applicants.

trca said...

@Brian L

I disagree with that statement that 'the free market' dictates. You only have to look at the prosperity and self sufficientness of other communities businesses such as Asian and Hispanic to see that statement is totally incorrect and probably phathomed up by 'those' that control the 'free' market.