The False Equality of Americans

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The False Equality of Americans

In economic, social and political terms, equality is more of an idea than a reality for many people in America; the majority of money and power has been in the control of White men since colonial times. Ideologies like racism and sexism perpetuate the status quo by isolating under- privileged groups. Problems arise from divisions that are created between two under- privileged groups. For example, the cry for equality loses much of its power when it is fractured into several segmented cries. The book Outside the Magic Circle, addresses this issue. Organizations which successfully fought for equality, like the NCAPT, were destroyed by forces (such as anti communism) which essentially divide the groups’ members and the groups, themselves. Thus, any given group becomes ineffective. This book demonstrates that unity is the best way to fight for equality.

The red scare was brought upon by men like Joseph McCarthy, who were eager to exploit people’s fear of Russia for personal benefit and power. Anyone who was associated with communism was highly scrutinized to be a Russian spy. Instead of fighting for the rights of the accused individuals, many social action groups ridded themselves of these very people. Durr realized that red baiting would destroy liberal groups which were fighting for justice. The NCAPT refused to dismiss people who were believed to be communist, but other groups were driven by fear and fired large numbers of people. “Everybody began to purge. The NAACP purged, the unions purged, everybody purged” (191). Instead of fighting stereotypes many groups fell prey to them, and in doing so lost their ability to challenge the status quo. Therefore “the whole liberal movement of the United States died...(because) it became exclusively anti communistic” (186).

Equally effective at seperating people as anti-communism was the upper class which manipulated and abused the lower class for profit. “Every Southern state, every chamber of commerce, and every corporation thought the way to make the South prosperous was cheap labor” (179). Thus, members of the Southern upper class employed methods to keep people in lower classes. “The Southern oligarchy was ruining all the unions by keeping them from organizing” (156). At a time when labor unions were beginning to cross racial lines, the manner in which their empowering rise was quelled made alleviated race relations impossible.

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