Most of us, being United States citizens, would like to believe thateveryone in this country is living in conditions of utmost freedom and equality. Although according to the constitution this is true, anyone who has ever beenthe victim of oppression knows not to take equality for granted.
Our society hasslowly grown to accept the different types of people that live in our country;it is now a lot less common to see peoples rights such as freedom andequality being abused. However, the influences of the past, when the livingconditions were far less then equal for many groups of people, can still bewitnessed today. A fine example of this could be seen through the way in whichhousing discrimination led to the colonization of Blacks into their ownneighborhoods and communities, which eventually led to the creation of ghettosand gangs. Racism, in itself, is a belief that a person holds; it forces anotherbeing to be placed at a lower status within ones mind and in the society as awhole. Keeping Blacks and other minorities at a lower level was the principalstate of mind for many of the whites during the early part of the twentiethcentury.
This kind of mentality exists in our society till this day amongcertain groups of people. The cold and harsh manner with which the Blacks weretreated takes us all the way back to slavery. Back in those days the majority ofthis countrys population accepted it. The oppressed African Americanseventually began to become more organized and started to fight for the civilrights they deserved as citizens of the United States.
Despite the attempts ofthe Civil Rights Movement Essay, much damage was already done; unfortunately manyminds were already tarnished with negative images of what the Black person wasand could ever be. In spite of the fact that many Black people were workingtowards moving up and making a life for themselves, racism continuously keptthem from advancing in the society. In the early part of the twentieth centuryracism placed a strong precedent for the way in which Blacks are today. Afterthe civil war more and more free Blacks began to migrate north. They wereseeking the possibility of “better social and economic opportunities”(Abrams 10).
The high hopes were soon brought back down, as the Blacks werewelcomed to the cities by the overwhelming mentality of the masters looking downon their slaves. They encountered landlord after landlord turning them awaybecause of their unwillingness to rent to Blacks and other newly migratedminorities. It was this constant refusal to integrate housing that eventuallycaused the creation of minority driven neighborhoods. Since the majority of thewhites turned their backs on Blacks and the other minorities, African Americanswere forced into forming the types of communities that contained people of theirrace and poor financial state. Many of them came looking to move ahead in theirnew lives that they were recently granted by the constitution; but they wereonly pushed to join the fairly new neighborhoods, which were slums compared tothose inhabited by the dominating white residences.
The reason for this type ofsegregation could be explained as another tool of racism for the white mansadvantage. The effects of these neighborhoods were more damaging then the simpleprevention of Blacks and other minorities from integrating with the whites. Byzoning the individual into compartments determined by color, it excluded theopportunity for a fusion of interests. By confining children to separateneighborhood schools and playgrounds, it sharpened the lines of distinction anddeveloped illusions of superiority. .
. It was in housing that segregation receivedits greatest impetus and momentum. Once rooted there the segregation patternspread unattested until the Negro ghetto became an accepted part of the Americanlandscape (Abrams 7). “Local authorities used every available weapon to keepthe blacks divided; housing was simply the physical expression of this racialpolicy” (Rudwick 10). Even if a family was able to afford housing in apredominantly white neighborhood, they were still not allowed to move in there. Despite the slow improvement of their economic status Blacks still possessed”.
. . no freedom to move elsewhere. American slums (were) no longer exclusivelythe product of a discrepancy between rent and wages” (Abrams 10). After beingforced to confine themselves to such neighborhoods it was only a matter of timebefore it was not just the housing that was segregated, it was also an abundantamount of social segregation as .