Journal Postings

Group C

01/31/02 (The Missing Peace)

 

Rachel Mack

http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/blackhis/ltrock/nine.htm

I choose this site because it involved an interview with the first nine African American students that integrated Central High School. 

I thought that The Civil Rights reading was good.  One of the major things that caught my attention was the fact that they stressed this movement was run by “ordinary people”.  I liked what Ernest Green had to say about his experience of being one of only nine African American sent to integrate Little Rock High School in 1957.  He said, “We were all ordinary kids.  You really do have the ability to do a lot more than either you’ve been told or you’ve been led to believe by your surroundings.”  I just thought that this was cool because we learn in school about how great of leaders were in the Civil Rights Movement, but it is important that they were all ordinary people that strove to be their best and were concerned with justice and equality for all.

To comment also on the other chapter, I found it interesting to hear the take on how the Cold War may have been prevented.  I know that Roosevelt’s death was set to happen by God’s plan and would not have been changed, but I was interested in what he had done in earlier times.  Roosevelt had decided to let members of the anti-civil rights South to take Wallace off the vice president ticket and put in Truman.  The reading said that southern politicians that hated Wallace’s idea of equal pay for equal work, and other ideas, convinced Roosevelt that Wallace’s ideas would cost votes and that is why he was removed.  It just gets to me that they would be so selfish as to get someone off the ballot that could help the country, just because of a couple issues you don’t agree with.  If we followed that same mentality now, who knows where we would be. 

http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/blackhis/ltrock/nine.htm

I choose this site because it involved an interview with the first nine African American students that integrated Central High School.  It discussed their involvement and how they were chosen to be the first.  I also liked the fact that they put at the bottom the names of the nine and what they went on to do.  The reason I liked it was because it shows the people that thought nothing of them and that thought they were stupid, that they are as smart as any others and should be given the right to a good education.

 

Amanda Mills

Magdalena Perz

http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory/contents.html

Owing to it, you can learn about various legal claims made by black people. Besides, you can also get some info about a wide range of actions in the 50s,e.g. about the events in Montgomery.

I found that piece of reading extremely fascinating. I would say that it was also very inspiring, because it moved me in various ways.

First of all, there are a few ideas I cannot agree with. I disagree with the idea that it is easy to fight injustice if the majority acts against it. I think that the situation of many African countries, which are controlled by one dictator, who is supported only by an army and a small group of the most rich and influential, proves my argument. It is incredibly difficult to stand up for your rights in such circumstances, otherwise nowhere in the world people would be forced to live in oppression on the daily basis.

Another thing I disagree with is the author's noteabout Poland and its civil rights movement. Not many of Polish historians would share the opinion that it was influenced by the non-violent actions in the States in the 50s.

However, what I like about the author is his belief in the effectiveness of peaceful methods. I think that the example of Black people in the US, in contrast to the Irish Catholics, can support the attitude for non-violence. Although violence wasn't excluded from the Northern Ireland conflict, instead of solving it, it only fueled the whole controversial issue.

Anyway, I am sure that the majority of people is aware of all the terrible conditions of black people in slavery. However, not many people realize how much they suffered after the abolition. I think that the text makes you realize that their situation, in some respects, did not improve. From my point of view, it even worsened. Actually, black people faced segregation and humiliation. Obviously, they have encountered those phenomena before. Nevertheless, earlier they hadn't been aware of their rights. Many were born into slavery and did not know anything about the other world and the opportunities it could bring.

Consequently, when they were finally freed, they entered a completely different reality. The new world seemed so close, at hand, but it was not accessible for them.

Besides, I was really surprised with the great range of non-violent methods which black people came up with. Sit-ins, bus boycotts and other actions proved how well they were organised. Not only could they act together, but also prepare everyone for any possible action. The whole movement did a wonderful job in convincing people of their rights and possible success.

What I found a bit paradoxical was the fact that the movement was, if not initiated, at least supported by the church, which a century before, was one of the best tools in maintaining slavery and convincing people of its fairness.

Another thing that was surprising for me was King's rejection to unite SCLC with CORE. In my opinion, such a decision revealed his lack of tolerance and open-mindedness.

The next fragment, which concerned the Cold War was interesting, too. It was strange to read about the event form the perspective of an American author. What I'm not used to, Poland was not mentioned in connection with it, although it played a great role in it.

Besides, I was really surprised with the passage about supporting communism in the States. I always considered the US to be homogenous in its attitude towards regimes. I almost cannot believe that, among the influential, there were people who sympathized with Russia.

Moreover, in that piece of reading you can find the origins of terrorism targeted at the States. Having been involved in so many conficts and having used them for its own interest, it is no surprise that the US made so many enemies almost on all continents.

I'm sorry but, again, I've forgotten to include the website address, which is associated with my response and which I found very informative:

http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory/contents.html

Owing to it, you can learn about various legal claims made by black people. Besides, you can also get some info about a wide range of acions in the 50s,e.g. about the events in Montgomery.

 

Jennifer Peterson

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/rosenb/ROSENB.HTM  is a website about the Rosenberg trial. What haunts me is that from what I know about what happened there are some holes to the story and they may have not been guilty. I just wonder if the threat of communism sent the government on a witch hunt.
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/trudoc.htm  This is the speech that Truman gave before congress about the threat of communism and what should be done to stop it from growing.

Once again I have some problems with this book. I wish that I could respond to the section on the civil was, but alas it was not to be. And it may be for the best. Now I have all new things to complain about. I just want to get one thing clear. I am not a passifist but I am not violent. Given the choice I would opt for peace. But if I felt that I had to I myself would go to war. I just wanted to make that clear for future reference.

The first thing I want to bring up is the sentence, "The civil rights movement brought fundamental change by nonviolent direct action..." This is something that I want to question. From what I know of human nature, I know that all action toward changing the civil rights for Black Americans could not have been nonviolent. I do understand that most of the actions toward civil rights were nonviolent and I would have it no other way. But human nature will be human nature and I believe that some people will act like caged animals when they are oppressed, black or white. I just wanted to respond to the sentence and clarify it.
On page 223 the last philosophy of the nonviolent movement reads, " Non-cooperation with evil is a moral obligation." My question to this is, what is evil? Segregation? Rock music? Being "different"? (salem witch trials) The only reason that I bring this up is that people will have righteous reasons for every evil. Hitler said that God was on his side. Should we now believe that and cooperate with him or someone like him? And even you mentioned a joke about WWI when both France and Germany thought that God was on their side. So whose side should we fight for? Evil is something that is an opinion in many many cases. If we had a list of evil that had been outlined from God for every century it would have been a lot easier. Now we just have to question and not make statements that can be used by both sides.

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/rosenb/ROSENB.HTM  is a website about the Rosenberg trial. I have been interested in this trial for a few years. When I hear something about it I always turn an ear. But what haunts me is that from what I know about what happened there are some holes to the story and they may have not been guilty. I just wonder if the threat of communism sent the government on a witch hunt.

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/trudoc.htm  This is the speech that Truman gave before congress about the threat of communism and what should be done to stop it from growing. This speech was given on March 12, 1947. Only 4 years before the Rosenbergs were convicted.

Sorry this is late!!

 

Lori Pongtana

www.archives.state.al.us/govs_list/g_wallac.html On George Wallace.

As I read about the events during the times of the Civil Rights

Movement, the words of George Wallace stood out to me.  For myself, being the result of a racially-mixed marriage, I was intrigued to learn as to why Wallace fought for segregation in the South.

Apparently, Wallace was not initially racist.  According to a biography of his life, in 1958 he ran for the position of governor of Alabama and had the support of the NAACP.  I was very surprised to learn this information. 

In our book by Junkhe and Hunter, I was under the impression that he was a staunch, full-blown racist.  The more I read about him, the more I realized that he was a conforming racist.  By this I mean that he appeared to be racist in order to benefit his political campaign and career.  His first attempt for governor failed so he decided to support segregation to gain the votes of the majority of white southernors at that time.

It is no surprise that with the votes on his side, he was finally elected.  In his Inaugural Address for governor in 1963, Wallace proclaimed equality and freedom using a most absurd proposition.  He said, "We invite the negro citizens in Alabama to work with us from his separate racial station..."

Wallace wanted the races to function like states.  I could not believe that his so-called theory on freedom still included segregation.  He treated racial integration, especially amalgamation or racially-mixed marriages as a foreign or communistic ideal.

I wonder if deep down, George Wallace was in denial about his true feelings towards racism.  At the end of his career, his coalition included black political orginizations and as he worked for a more economically stable state, he gained a significant number of black supporters.  I believe that many racists Southerners and even Northerners followed the beliefs of fellow "white Americans" in order to get ahead politically, socially, and economically.  It is clear that those who supported integration were persecuted just as much as blacks were.  My parents, my sister, and I are fortunate to not have undergone as much persecution as racially-mixed families were during the 1950s and 1960s.  I am not going to deny the fact that at some point in time, I have heard racist remarks but I still feel very blessed to not have been around during the worst times.

 

Nicole Radde

 

Darin Riffle

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/nsc-68/nsc68-1.htm  National Security Council document 68.

I focused more on the chapter on the Cold War.  This chapter seemed to keep my attention a lot better because I know of the Cold War and it is referred to all the time but I really did not know all there was to know about it.  Something that really caught my eye was the NSC 68 document, which I provided a web site about what is written in that, and I will post that at the end of my response.  Mostly I knew that the cold war went up to the early nineties but I did not know when it began.  It apparently began right after WWII and lasted until 1991.  The two main players were of course The United States, and the Soviet Union, two "super" powers.  It consisted of the arms race, nuclear bombs just to name a couple.  During this time the U.S. took part in what most would say a pointless war, the Vietnam War.  One last thing I found interesting was the couple of paragraphs that dealt with alternate history.  What if Henry W. Wallace was vice president in 1945 instead of Truman?  What if Roosevelt would have kept Wallace as V.P during his second term?  The cold war may have never happened.

Here is the web site I mentioned before.  All it is, is the NSC 68 document.

http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/nsc-68/nsc68-1.htm 

 

Steven Roach

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/civilrightstimeline1.html

The website I have chose is basically a timeline of the civil rights movement starting at Brown Vs. Topeka all the way to the present efforts. It also gives alternate sites at the end which look interesting.  My response is to the civil rights chapter.  This chapter kind of contradicts the title of the book because all of the means of actions taken were nonviolent. Through sit ins and boycotts and freedom rides.  But I guess it is just giving the "civil rights movement" as an example of how nonviolence can be so effective.  The things that really caught my eye were Martin Luther King Jrs. two points on how to defeat racism.  With non-cooperation with evil and bringing the problems out into the public where it could be exposes was very smart and effective in stopping racism. One of the best examples was the march in Brimingham.  The chapter also made it point to show that all it took was ordinary people to make a difference and to really make it happen.  We are also talking about racism in our christian values class this week and Dr. Wessner asked us where we take our stand on racism today, i replied by saying not being a racist myself and teaching my children and encouraging other close to me and around me not to support differentiation of races. 

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/civilrightstimeline1.html

The website I have chose is basically a timeline of the civil rights movement starting at Brown Vs. Topeka all the way to the present efforts. It also gives alternate sites at the end which look interesting.  The site also offers many other links to specific people and events of the times.  I feel this is a good site because it covers all of the past events and present actions up to the 90's. 

 

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