g of ManAll men are created equal. . . or are they? John Griffin’s “Black Like Me” shows how racism is nothing more then the foolish misunderstanding of man.
White’s current superiority hangs in the balance as Blacks become tired of beingthe minority, in the late 1950’s. Even though this struggle isn’t as dreadfulas it was then, it still exists. The certainty of racism can’t be ignored butit will soon disappear as generations mix. Racial discrepancies challenge theunity of human civilization. John Griffin had a biting curiosity which he could no longer stand.
Whatwas life truly like, for a black man in the deep south? He sought the realanswer to this by darkening his skin with extreme amounts of medication. A newskin color determines everything and John is now thrown into a new world that hewas in no way prepared for. He was no longer John, an average but respectedwhite novelist, he was a black man and that is all that mattered. Simplepleasers like a drink of water or the use of a restroom become near impossible. John, at first was puzzled by this, but soon realized that it was not hispersonality, his age, but his blackness that made him a disgrace in the eyes ofan average white person. If he were white, a white store owner would have nothesitated in the slightest to allow such privileges.Order now
How could these people beso blind as to not see that a black person breathes the same air, eats the samefood, and has the same internal functions as themselves? This misunderstandingstares them in the face and they can’t see it. Their selfishness and fear iscompletely unnecessary but it remains because the whites have never been exposedto any other way of life. This is why the whites can not allow such commonprivileges to Mr. Griffin or any other black person. To treat a black as anequal was absolutely unheard of.
Fatigued from rejection and many actions which would be declaredunconstitutional, the blacks must do something so their future generations donot suffer the same. This desire for action only stirs a greater terror withinthe (racist) white community. People like, Martin Luther King Jr. begin tosurface. He and many others aspire to show the blacks that they are equal humanbeings. Its strange to think that most blacks thought a white was better justbecause that is what they were brought up to believe.
This new realizationcompletely jeopardizes the supremacy of the white community. The book givesmany examples of this fear/hatred such as, “The hate stare”, the tone of peoplesvoices, and the over all rejection. Who could have thought that a black personcould have the same job opportunities and the same living standards? For thoseracist whites who have a pathetic pride in there incomparable skin color andfear of change is why groups like the Ku Klux Klan exist. It is comforting toknow that this despicable attitude is no longer holding the majority. Yes, certain racial beliefs were awful in the 50’s and 60’s but its notover yet, some still exist today.
People who still feel they are fighting theCivil War, also believe in the segregation of the black community. Hate groupssuch as the KKK and Neo Nazis are around but don’t expose themselves publicly asthey had in the past for obvious reasons. Today racism isn’t about littlethings that white people take for granted, such as drinking water or a niceplace to stay for the night, its more about fair trial and equal job oreducation opportunities. The hard fact of our diverse country hinders mostracial discrepancies. Most people anymore can no longer be called just black orjust white but a mix of the two.
If a person were to make a racist commentwhether white or black, they will most likely be bashing their own ethnic origin. This will be even grater as generations continue. Racism won’t disappear alltogether but can be diminished by the brotherhood of man. John Griffin took a chance and discovered something outrageous which henever expected. The real life for those in the deep south was concealed under acomplete misunderstanding of each others feelings.
Due to the unfair treatmentto the blacks things begin to change. Now with changing generations and agreater diversity among people, things have changed and will continue to do so. The misconception of one race being any better then another perhaps, is the onlything that separates us from world peace.