The following essay was written by Anthony Flaviani (aged 17) and won
third place in Scotlandville Magnet High Schools, Baton Rouge, La.,
black history month competition.
It was written in February of 1994. Anthony is allowing it to be
carried as a text file on CompuChurch's BBS system The Holy Cloakroom.
No reproduction is allowed nor may it be copied or used in any other
publication without the express permission of Anthony Flaviani, The
Fountain BBS, 1:3800/13, at (504) 775-5879.
It is being presented in the exact form it was turned in to the
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"See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no
bitter root grows up to cause trouble"(Hebrews 12:15). In today's
civilization many people wonder whether or not we have improved in
racial conflicts, but the answer is different for everyone. Some
people say yes, while others say no, but I think it depends on your
definition of prejudice.
Webster's Dictionary defines prejudice as an opinion without
adequate basis. Prejudice is a two sided issue which consumes both
blacks and whites. It is so consuming that sometimes we do not even
notice it. When a black female walks into a predominantly white
store and suddenly finds herself being watched, does this mean that
the white people are prejudice, does this mean she is prejudice for
thinking they are watching her because she is black, or does this
mean both are prejudice.
For a long period of time, blacks had rights, but failed to be
treated as equals. Today, most of this has changed. Blacks are
being treated as equals in almost every industry. Today, the
attitudes of most people is that they feel privileges should not be
taken away from someone because of the color of their skin, and in
the same way, people think privileges should not be given to people
based on the color of their skin.
Some people say that blacks separate themselves from the
'American Dream' by calling themselves African-American. These
people say that it is nice that they are aware of their cultural
background, but they believe that America is a melting pot where
people from all nationalities come together and merge into one. By
calling themselves African-American they bring forth a new idea
that America should be a tossed salad in which people from all
nationalities come together as one while still keeping their
nationality. Is this the cause of the racial tension?
Has society improved or deteriorated? Well, the answer is
both. Since the time of slavery, society has struggled to end
racial tension. Blacks are being respected and being treated as
equals, but racial tension has increased. Actual prejudice has
decreased, but the claims of prejudice has increased even though
most of these claims are phony. Most of the racial tension is being
caused by the false claims of prejudice. Politicians have also had
a hand in creating racial tension. Some politicians feed the fire
on racial issues just to promote themselves. The lack of family
values also adds to the fire.
Society has improved in many areas, but this is not enough.
Society still faces it's biggest challenge. This challenge is
whether or not we can get along together without judging each other
by the color of skin. Martin Luther King's dream of a society in
harmony with each other is possible, but it will take some time. It
will probably take a few generations of children to adapt to
working with people that are different in appearance, but not
different any other way. Prejudice will end when everyone realizes
that we were all created equal. "Be devoted to one another in
brotherly love"(Romans 12:10).
"If we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it
patiently"(Romans 8:25), but while we wait we should take the
responsibility to set examples for everyone else. We can not
sitaround wondering when civilization will be in unity with each
other, because it will never happen unless we all do something
about it. We can not force people to like one another, but we can
teach our children to treat others as they would like to be
treated. "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is