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Book details
  • SubGenre:Civil Rights
  • Language:English
  • Pages:112
  • Paperback ISBN:9781685644994

Jim Crow Hangover

Poverty, Racism and Classism in America

by James Paige

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Jim Crow Hangover examines poverty, racism, and classism in America. The wealthiest country in the world continues to produce an astonishing number of under-resourced and unhealthy citizens. The current political climate focuses on divvying up the nation's economic resources, pitting one group against another. Racism perpetuates racial inequities. Classism perpetuates a system that is supportive of the wealthy at the expense of ordinary citizens. There is a tug-of-war between the haves and have nots. Blaming the victims of an unfair and unjust system does not bring us closer to social justice. The equitable distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges, and the fair a just application of the law – remains elusive. The middle-class is shrinking as the cost of living is outpaces wages. What attitudes, beliefs, and systems make this so? Why have racial inequalities persisted? Is the way forward tweaking systems and institutions that only benefit a few, or do we re-imagine a society that provides the opportunity for all citizens to be self-reliant?
Jim Crow Hangover looks at America's unending quest to address the unresolved Civil War. The terms of agreement for surrender signed by Robert E. Lee in 1865 ended the armed conflict. After each side put down their arms, negotiations regarding states' rights, social integration, and economic support for the formerly enslaved began. The issue of the states' rights - rights and powers reserved by the state governments rather than the national government according to the U.S. Constitution – remains an issue. The battle over states' rights has shifted from north versus south to red versus blue. The social and economic disparities between Blacks and whites persist. There are three periods of race relations in the United States following emancipation. Reconstruction, Segregation, and Complicit Tolerance. Reconstruction, 1865 to 1877, was a period of hope. The formerly enslaved were less restricted socially and politically. Continued negotiations on the Confederacy's states' rights led to the withdrawal of Union troops - freedom protections for the formerly enslaved ended. Segregation became law in 1896, and hope for inclusion and integration faded. It took nearly 60 years for the United States to rule segregation and the associated Jim Crow laws illegal. The Brown v Board of Education of 1954 did not lead to a post-segregation era. The Jim Crow Hangover started an age of Complicit Tolerance of discriminatory practices against and over-policing African Americans. Congress passed the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Act of 1972, and in 1974, the Fair Housing Act. Housing and employment equity remains elusive. After several voting rights acts, there is still voter suppression. Toleration of racial, social, and economic inequity continues. The wealthiest country in the world continues to produce an astonishing number of under-resourced and unhealthy citizens. What could ignite sufficient moral indignation to challenge America's social and economic structures?
About the author
Born in 1945, James Paige came of age at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, which shaped his outlook on the world. The hope of a changing world filled his teenage and early adult years; however, living in a racist America was the reality. Although James has lived in segregated communities most of his life, there was no sense of inferiority because of family and friends' support. Before retiring from full-time employment, he worked for over thirty years in the social service sector. During that time, James observed social support services' design to fix people, suggesting that those accessing the services need repair. Navigating this environment helped him to understand that the system is broken, not the people.