Civil Rights? Gimme A Break!
Since itıs introduction last year, I have looked at the so-called California Civil Rights Initiative with a mixture of understanding, sadness, and fear. I understand that the two European Americans who crafted this piece of work, Thomas Wood and Glynn Custred, believe that society should be color and sex-blind, and that white men are being pushed out of jobs that (they think) they were more qualified for than any woman or anyone of color.

But I'm sad that Wood and Custred are so (frankly) narrow-minded to think that people are actually color-and-sex-blind. I fear that passage of the CCRI will effectively prevent this society from enacting the changes in government policy necessary to help those in economic need because some in our population will think that anyone who does not have a job is black, male, and looking for a handout. They will say ³now Ċthat CCRI is law, we donıt have to worry about them anymore, so why have social programs of any kind.² My fear is that this stupid point of view will prevail and sow the seeds for an intense social division that Oakland, this state, and this country canıt afford.

Folks, the simple fact is that racial and sexual integration is good for everyone. It forces the bigot to meet people who belie his or her stereotypes. It creates an environment where different views on an issue or problem are presented, rather than one view. It helps people to identify with each other as individuals and not members of a group of people by color. And it reminds people of the many different ways a human being can be, and yet be part of one race of billions of people of different colors and cultures. Integration is the one key that will assure the maintenance of the idea we call a democratic America.

Harvard sociologist David Reisman once wrote that what makes America great is an ³x² factor, where anyone regardless of background could move from one class to another with ease. Racial and sexual discrimination and racial and sexual divisions run counter to this ³x² factor, and the CCRI is nothing more than a missile that will damage this factor. Why?

Because while the late 20th Century has witnessed the emergence of the black middle class and a society where one of every ten African American marriages is interracial, European Americans still benefit from nothing more than being white. If our society wasnıt real, it would make a good Star Trek episode.

Right now, according to the Glass Ceiling Commission, white men comprise 43 percent of the nationıs workforce, yet hold 95 percent of all top management positions. They also determined that women hold only six percent of the directorships in Fortune 500 firms. Moreover, women make only 71 percent of the pay a man takes home for the same work. This is no™t good.

What really kills me is the number of white women who insist on supporting the CCRI. Itıs almost as if they want to maintain white male economic dominance over white females, because thatıs what will occur. As far as Iım concerned, those women who support this are simply allowing themselves to be dominated by men, and are probably the first ones to engage in abusive relationships with men. They should leave O.J. Simpson alone.

Racial and sexual integration is the only action that will imp€rove our society. When you step on a BART train, or a popular bar, or any public place, stop for a moment and notice how people are grouped together. Then think ³what would this be like if it were perfectly integrated.² Then spend most of the day trying to think about a society where racial integration was the social norm. I think you will realize that many of the social problems we face today would be addressed, because race and sex would not be a dividing factor. (Hey, Iım not talking about abortion, o.k.!)

The CCRI will move us far, far away from that social dream of a color-and-sex blind society, one integrationists have tried to achieve for so long.

written by
Zinny Abraham

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