Integration

Integration: Did It Work

This is the first section within the topic on Integration.  This discussion will focus on whether the integration of America actually worked in the manner in which it was meant to and how the failures within its implementation impacted the Black Community.

The 3 Questions

1. Do you believe integration was ever implemented into American society, why or why not?

2. How do you think America would be fundamentally different if integration never happened?

3. Did integration work?

FRONT STREET

One the most significantly singular events to ever happen within America’s history was the breaking down of the color barrier through a decree that all but mandated all people of all colors were free to go and do what they pleased.  Everything from education, restaurants, and even employment had become open to an entirely new segment of the population who had previously been denied their inalienable rights to the many promised freedoms and the pursuit of happiness in the land of the free.  However, not everyone was so keen on this sudden switch and reacted as any country who felt they were being invaded…violently.  They fought physically, legally, politically, and every other way possible to slow integration and to shield their loved ones from the effects of having to be around people who they previously deemed unworthy.  Through all the efforts of both the Black people who have tried to integrate and the white people who wanted things to continue as is, the question remains to this day of whether integration has helped in the destruction of Black Community?

Please write in and response to our 3 poll questions or post some questions that you would like to see asked.  These question and more were addressed on 2/21/2021.

16 thoughts on “Integration”

  1. 1. Do you believe integration was ever implemented into American society, why or why not? I believe it was and we have seen improvements but I believe other than the obvious actions, decrying lynchings and removing colored only signs, it was largely symbolic and shallow. Many of the largest issues still exist today and still ignored, ie, congressional representation, banking representations, homeownership, etc.

    2. How do you think America would be fundamentally different if integration never happened? It would look a lot like it did in the 60’s with racist whites leading the way as it was then. That is not to say all whites are racist, they are not. But the ones who harbor the hate tend to be the most animated and vocal and hence tend to lead the way. To me, the only difference between 1960 and today is that then people didn’t hesitate to call u a n word to your face and nowadays they do it behind your back.

    3. Did integration work? It’s a work in progress. It has some good ideas to start but without a level of reparations it’s doomed to fail because people of color do not have the financial means to fight systemic racism that still exists to fight integration. When I say reparations I don’t necessarily mean a check as the checks would have to be so big they would never be entertained seriously. What I mean is economic opportunities, low interest loans, cheap or free education, things of that nature than can used to build the wealth necessary to effect and force the changes to integration that have to happen.

  2. No, I don’t believe integration was integrated into American Society. Saying you have access to schools, jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities is wonderful and yet the knowledge remained with those in positions of power. For example, in schools, the history books did not accurately reflect the work done by people of color therefore students left uneducated on their invaluable accomplishments

    2. It’s difficult to know what America would look like without integration. Curiosity would naturally lend itself to interracial relationships and knowledge transfer. The black community/families may be stronger because the internal fight to attain equality will dominate and force people to work together. I wonder if the possibility of more cities like Greenwood would have emerged? We’ll never know.

    3. Did integration work? It’s definitely a work in process. It’s up to each one of us to determine if we have the mindset to acknowledge what has been ingrained and know we as a community have been subjected to systemic racism. Lastly we must individually and collectively work to rethink, relearn and rebuild communities which empower people of color

  3. The goal to break down the barriers of discrimination and segregation will never reach its full level of success.

    Caucasians would have the pleasure of using the N word casually & at their leisure.

    There have been many failures of integration. We as black Americans do not crave integration, we just want equality amongst the American people.

  4. 1) I believe integration was implemented into American society, but it was simply a steppingstone. The progress of true equality is slow and we are still dealing with some of the same issues today but in a different form. Many white people feel like they have to give something up in order for equality to happen. While they might believe in the idea of equality and opportunity for all, they are not going to fight for some thing that could cause them to lose something.

    2) If integration never happened, we would not have seen any progress. Although the speed of the progress right now seems very slow and is discouraging at times, it is important to acknowledge the milestones that have been achieved so far.

    3) Integration what is a critical mile stone and it did work to get the ball rolling. This is not to downgrade the importance of integration because it was a critical platform to build upon. A single law or movement cannot change the racial inequality in the past. It forced society to look in the mirror. Some people didn’t like what they saw and decided to become an ally for change. Other people, even today, thought everything was just fine and didn’t want their lives to change.

  5. 1. Do you believe integration was ever implemented into American society, why or why not?
    No, not fully. Businesses can no longer put up signs that say whites only, but they will still let you know you are not welcome by the way they treat you. To truly integrate, you have to give everyone the same rights as the next person. People in power have constantly created laws or policies to prevent minorities from achieving the same level of success/wealth that they and their families have.

    2. How do you think America would be fundamentally different if integration never happened?
    It’s hard for me to say because I do not believe integration ever truly happened. If you look at Black Wall Street, black people were flourishing. And I like to believe without integration, there would have been more Black Wall Street’s all around the country, but at the same time, I know white people would have destroyed them just like they did the original. How do you fight hate and jealousy when there are no repercussions for their actions? Who do you call for help, when the police agree with the people attacking you? I say all that to say, I think America would be the same as it is now, except maybe the racism wouldn’t be hidden.

    3. Did integration work?
    No. Not until every person has the same rights as the next person.

  6. 1. Do you believe integration was ever implemented into American society, why or why not?
    I do believe integration was implemented into American society, but not fully accepted by all. Its illegal to discriminate but you can find ways to keep those whom you dislike from going to the same schools, buying homes in certain areas, obtaining meaningful employment, etc. True integration would have leveled the playing field but we can clearly see thats not the case in most areas in the country.

    2. How do you think America would be fundamentally different if integration never happened?

    I believe integration has little value compared to true equality. Most ethnic group have migrated to the U.S. and built communities without the need to integrate to some degree. There are some groups of people who don’t integrate at all and thrive tremendously and are left alone to do so.

    I believe the problem is that Black Americans have been singled out and destroyed in many ways keeping us from remaining to ourselves and building up our own communities from the ground up. (Schools, hospitals, banks, government representation, etc.)

    So, to answer the question, I think America would be fundamentally better if integration never happened, only if we were given equal rights to build our own wealth communities and pursue ventures in the free market equally. Otherwise, the U.S. would be fundamentally unsound.

    3. Did integration work?

    This is a yes and no for me. Some Black Americans were able to thrive because of integration and adapt by taking advantage of the opportunities given to them by integration. For the overwhelming majority I don’t think it was a good. Integration prevented a lot of communal building because it separated our cultures so to speak.

  7. 1. Do you believe integration was ever implemented into American society, why or why not?

    Yes I believe it was but it has been very slow and uneven and the pace of change varies depending on where in the country you are. Even after forced integration was pursued more aggressively by the federal government, state and local governments continued to throw up any barriers they could to thwart change.

    2. How do you think America would be fundamentally different if integration never happened?

    If integration had never happened, America would likely still be a de facto apartheid state, officially or unofficially again depending on where in the country you’re talking about.

    3. Did integration work?

    Yes and no. Clear and tangible progress has been made in many areas of society (education, employment, housing, etc.) but many backslides have also happened in those areas as well. The widening wealth divide has served to speed up gentrification of neighborhoods and steeper separation of community areas, which in turn has the effect of re-segregating public schools. There are laws entitling people of color to the same mortgage loan terms as white people, but then the crooked lending agents hawking the predatory ARM loans that fed the subprime mortgage securities boom (and subsequent crisis) leading to the Great Recession famously relied on a widely used practice of targeting elderly black people, in particular elderly black women, for their cons. This had the effect of unofficially re-depressing what progress had been made in homeownership and wealth creation in black communities across America. In order for progress to continue, robust regulation, oversight, and enforcement of not just integration and equality laws but lending and finance laws for all Americans in general are necessary.

  8. 1. Do you believe integration was ever implemented into American society, why or why not?
    I have a mixed response. Public places like restaurants, stores, transportation, etc have been fully integrated. Different story for public schools. Initially, there was forced integration. Eventually, because of unfair housing practices and economic disparities, lower income neighborhoods, schools are more integrated today than they were 40 years ago. This has resulted in low performing schools, higher dropout rates and lackluster test scores.

    As far as the workplace, affirmative action in the 70’s created many opportunities for integration. Today, although there’s evidence of upward mobility, there’s still no parody.

    Overall, I believe integration has has a positive impact. However, the hearts and minds of many people have not changed. Racism, social injustice, poverty, unconscious bias, etc all keep the promise of integration at bay today.

    2. How do you think America would be fundamentally different if integration never happened?
    The black community functioned well in-spite of segregation and I believe, it would have continued to develop wealth and prosperity. Much like “Black Wall Street!” That being said, without fair access to capital, that ideal would be severely hampered.

    3. Did integration work?
    As far as the workplace, affirmative action in the 70’s created many opportunities for integration. Today, although there’s evidence of upward mobility, there’s still no parody.

  9. I don’t believe integration was truly implemented, because it was never fully implemented on an institutional level. The only institutional integration was granting the right to vote, to go to school, and to sit wherever you want. It’s hard to image what america would’ve looked like without integration though. Who knows. Again, as far as if integration actually worked-no. Not truly. Successful integration as of today is context specific/dependent. It’s inconsistent.

  10. 1. Do you believe integration was ever implemented into American society, why or why not?
    I believe integration has been implemented into American Society, however it was only ever designed to dampen the experience of Black folks. Whether schools, restaurants, businesses, public housing, or equity in career development, there is a a lopsided disparity when compared w/ a white American’s lifepath. Also integration had to be forced upon many, to which of course they rebelled against. In Georgia, in 2021 there are still segregated proms in certain counties. When looking across the Executive Board at an overwhelming amount of companies, it is predominantly white male/women. (Looks like baseball cards for the children of former slave owners…not by accident)

    2. How do you think America would be fundamentally different if integration never happened?
    If integration never happens post-civil war, the make up of America would not be the same. In the North perhaps, but ultimately it would have likely been another internal Civil War, because there is a large part of civilization that believes any non-white is inferior and should be mistreated. Look at the Tulsa massacre. Mobs of white people attacked Black folks for simply being…..Until racism is outlawed and no longer painted as “a difference of opinion”, integration will be problematic and there will be blood spilled in some form or fashion

    3. Did integration work?
    Integration worked as designed……this is a deeper conversation to be had but integration was only approved when systemic racism was well entrenched in its foundation.

  11. 1. Do you believe integration was ever implemented into American society why or why not?

    We have desegregated our society but not integrated it. The school systems are a great example. Our black schools were closed or changed from high schools to middle schools, our principals reduced to vice principals and our teachers were fired.
    Our students were placed in the lower level classes. The door to change the society was opened but we still did not have equal access.

    2. How do you think America would be fundamentally different if integration never happened?

    Integration never happened but Black America lost much of its power in the desegregation process. Not only did we lose our schools, we stopped supporting our own culture. We lost our businesses and our economic base. I don’t know why we thought the playing field would be fair when history has proven to be just the opposite. We are beginning to rebuild our communities.

    3. Did integration work?

    We have not had integration yet. We will have to change the hearts of a race people to make it work. I probably will not live to see it.

  12. Do you believe that integration was ever implemented into the American society? I believe that integration, from a legal perspective has been partially implemented, however the full intent of integration is still overshadowed by white privilege. The course of true anything does not run smoothly. This is evident by the sublime nature of white privilege as seen across the spectrum of our society. You see it in bank loans, housing, school choice, police behavior, job opportunities and ‘Karen’ actions. Integration is desirable and necessary, but equity and equality should be the goal, and the race for equality has no finish line.

    How do you think America would be fundamentally different if integration had not happened? I believe that America would be viewed as a hypocrite internationally and unsettled domestically. The issues of race and race relations are so deeply ingrained in American culture that the absence of an integrated society in the 21st Century would lead to nothing but destruction. Having said that, we are a resilient people who have survived countless acts of aggression since 1619, so i feel strongly that we would continue to succeed despite it all.

    Did Integration Work?
    As is stated earlier, from a legal standpoint, yes. We can do many of the things that every other American can do legally; but the issue of fairness is still a far away dream.

  13. The 3 Questions

    1. Do you believe integration was ever implemented into American society, why or why not?

    Integration has not been implemented because ethnic, racial and other oppressed groups have not received fair and equitable treatment in the American society. We have desegregation but not integration.

    2. How do you think America would be fundamentally different if integration never happened?

    Prior to what was called integration racial, ethnic and other oppressed groups worked to develop opportunities within their own cultural groups (e.g. Black Wall Street, educational institutions, newspapers, businesses, etc) as they protested and demanded access to fair and equitable treatments in the American society. I believe this type of entrepreneurial spirit would have continued if the racial, ethnic and other oppressed groups had not abandoned their cultures because they trusted
    that integration would be implemented in an honest manner. Yet, I see the younger generations are creating their own businesses and I am encouraged!

    3. Did integration work?

    No, integration did not work as evidenced by the unfair treatments that racial, ethnic and other oppressed groups continue to receive in the educational, justice, health, housing, employment and economic systems in America.

  14. 1. Do you believe integration was ever implemented into American society, why or why not?

    No, America did its standard of creating the illusion of integration similar to the illusion of a fair market, blind justice, and overall equality. Allowing one race to leave a community and take all of the resources with it is not integration. Pricing or redlining black families out of particular neighborhoods is not integration. There are still two separate America’s. The main difference is we don’t have the same level of blatant separation as before. There is still active destruction of black communities.

    2. How do you think America would be fundamentally different if integration never happened?

    I believe America would have had a second civil war or many small wars. Unfortunately, we’ve seen some people in white American society who do not want to see black folks doing well even in their own communities. As they did in Tulsa and other black established communities, they would take the fist opportunity to destroy it. I do however believe black people would have a better sense of community, but our ability to adapt to the various social situations would be impacted. Because of “integration” we have had to learn how to adapt and thrive in an environment not made for us, surrounded by people who actively work against our success, all while maintaining our blackness.

    3. Did integration work?

    No, because America never truly put forth and effort to integrate the people.

  15. 1. I believe it was albeit poorly. It took too long and was seen as a gift rather than an unalienable right. Up front for those of you who dont know me I am a white male so I can only speak to what I know. I mean the fact that there is a word which defines when two people of different skin colors intermingle at work, at school, at a restaurant bothers me. So to that end it was, as I said implemented and I mean that to sound as court ordered and mandated that it was and not the common sense outcome of a “good” society.

    2. I don’t know. I believe it was inevitable in some form or another given America’s historically long hold on racial divisions other 1st world nations didn’t experience or take as long to work towards a solution. Talk about something that isn’t talked about. The fact that we REALLY dragged our feet on basic human rights.

    3. Ok this im going to say no for the simple fact that when I fill out any race based form i have to put WHAT TYPE of american I am. Until a majority of the populace can look their fellow man and woman in the eyes and only see fellow countrymen and women then my answer will be no. I hope in my lifetime that changes.

  16. 1. Do you believe integration was ever implemented into American society, why or why not?

    I believe it was partially implemented but there are still many of the same problems/actions being repeated in society. Although laws were passed breaking down the color barrier, there were other laws passed to keep the black community down. Are things better than before? Yes, but in a way, things are the same just in a different form.

    2. How do you think America would be fundamentally different if integration never happened?

    It’s hard to say especially when things are still similar. Things are trending upwards but again some things are the same.

    3. Did integration work?

    It’s a work in progress, a long work in progress.

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