Was this Sixty Years Ago or Yesterday?

Sixty years or more have passed since the publication of Invisible Man. During its time of publication, racism was a serious and common issue. In these sixty years, the civil rights movements occurred, and many people fought long and hard to gain equal rights for African Americans once again since the Civil War era. Seeing an incident like the one in Oklahoma, as well as in Ferguson makes it seem like our country has not progressed at all in over sixty years. We have passed laws, rules and still nothing seems to be working permanently. However, we can continue to pass law after law, and nothing will be permanent unless people make the effort to change and not just the words on paper.

There was discrimination in Invisible Man just like there was in the Oklahoma video and I, honestly, wouldn’t be surprised to see this same incident occur in the book. However, this shouldn’t be. After sixty years of creating the image of blacks and whites holding hands and playing together, you have to wonder what went through these kids minds. First, they make a video, then they post it online, and then they apologize as if it was an “accident.” I also wonder if there were others involved who did not have the courage to stop what was happening. There were many in the 1950s who were not powerful enough to stop the inequality but it only took a few, like Martin Luther King to gain that power.

This video not only hurt the students but it hurt the others in the fraternity, which fraternities do not have that good of a reputation anyway, and the university. It was depressing to see one African American, originally going to attend OU, decide to turn it down because of a couple of people’s poor decisions. I do not think this incident should impact people’s views on the university but it is hard not to second guess these previously respected views. I hope more people will see incidents as these as a way to change from how things used to be instead of feeling like revenge is the best result.


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