Interviewer: Black history month you find…Morgan Freeman: Ridiculous.Interviewer: Why?Morgan Freeman: You’re going to relegate my history to a month?Interviewer: Oh, come on.Morgan Freeman: What do you do with yours? Which month is white history month?Interviewer: (pause) Well, I’m Jewish.Morgan Freeman: Okay. Which month is jewish history month?Interviewer: There isn’t one.Morgan Freeman: Oh, oh. Why not? Do you want one?Interviewer: No.Morgan Freeman: Right. I don’t either. I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.Interviewer: How are we going to get rid of racism?Morgan Freeman: Stop talking about it.
I love Mr. Freeman, but I have to disagree with him passionately on this point. Not talking about racism has never done anything but allow it to grow unimpeded. And this is my admonishment (I won't saay problem with, because that a bit harsher than what I intend and feel) to the previous generation, my father's generation. Honestly I think they just got tired of talking about it. Fatigue combined with the murder/imprisonment of so many different leaders as wells as the the "new" injustices of the Korean and Vietnam Wars lead the vast majority of that generation to put down the banner of anti-racism and say, "Well we've made these strides here with integration and affirmative action, etc. We're tired of saying it, they're tired of hearing it, and there are other "more important concerns, now."
I don't know if it was a case of not realizing that or not feeling like much could be done about the system of white supremacy that was still left in place, I'll have to read more memoirs/histories and such to get a better idea of the mentality of the 70s I guess. What in my opinion people forget is that the racist people of America didn't all just disappear or change their minds, especially those in with political and/or financial power.Think about it: many of the same people that were in power in 1957 were in power in 1977 (or the younger people that they had groomed for their positions). judges; policemen; federal, state, and local politicians; managers of various companies, real estate owners, military officers, mailmen, etc. The many of the same people with much the same attitude 20 years later. The power structures didn't change; on the whole those had done wrong before retained their positions of power. Now it was just less popular to be open about one's prejudices. And yet we are supposed to live in a post racist society? I don't have a problem with not talking about racism if there wasn't any anymore, but I have yet to see anything that would show that to be the case. In fact, there could be the argument made that we (America) is regressing instead of moving forward!