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Race Discrimination in the 1930s
Transcript of Race Discrimination in the 1930s
Back in the 1930s, African Americans were viewed as different. Most people’s opinions about them were that they were not equal to the white people because of their skin color. Most African Americans were viewed at the bottom of the totem pole stillThe treatment of African Americans were unequal. They didn't get anything that was equal to the whitepeople because they were thought of as unequal. Now, African Americans have the same things as the white people, although there are some people who still view them as being unequal.
Race Discrimination in the 1930s
The Jim Crow Laws
The Jim Crow Laws enforced racial segregation in the South between the end of the Reconstruction period in 1877 and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s. The name came from a minstrel (musician, singer, or poet) routine.
Working African Americans
Many African Americans got jobs in factories or they were still working in the fields. When the Great Depression hit many business were struggling to make it. When companies and factories started firing people most times it was the African American workers. Many people used the saying "Last Hired and First Fired" when the African Americans were fired.
African Americans did not need the law to tell them everything. Many of the rules were just unwritten things they had to follow. If a African American man made eye contact with a white women or talk to a white women. If he did either of those things the women could charge him with highly inappropriate sexual advances. Also when he was spoken to he had to speak to the white women or white male with respect and use Sir, Ma'am, etc.
Lynching is to kill someone by hanging them. This was mostly done to African Americans by white people. These lynchings would be in public to humiliate the African Americans. The whites used this to intimidate the African Americans. Lynch mobs/parties were a group of people that went out to look for an African American to lynch.
Attitudes Toward African Americans in the 1930s
Racial discrimination increased during the 1930s so African Americans were the last to be hired and the first to be fired from jobs. It was especially difficult to find jobs because of the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt create a group of African American advisers that became known as the Black Cabinet. This gave more power to African Americans because they were able to voice their opinions, but they were still not able to end the Jim Crow Laws. President Roosevelt did not want to lose the support for his economic programs from southern politicians which is the perfect example of how so many people were prejudiced during the 1930s. Even though there were very few people who did not discriminate against African Americans, there was one person that didn't with more political influence than 100 people, the president's wife. Eleanor Roosevelt spoke out publicly for African Americans and tried to put an end to the Jim Crow Laws which shows just how much the U.S. was conflicted because if the First Lady showed compassion for African Americans, perhaps others should.
How Would You Feel?
If I was not allowed a job because I was a different race, I would feel like an outsider and I would feel offended because they wouldn't base their decision off of my skills or my experience or even what I have to offer, it would be based off of something I can't change and that I was born with. Also, it would make me feel weak and smaller than everyone else because I couldn't control the outcome without my own consent.
Lennie and Crooks
The way Lennie and Crooks are treated in the story is very similar. They are scolded frequently, people are very judgemental, and in general people are rude to them. In Crooks' case, it is because he is a different race and people treat him this way because of the time period. For Lennie, it is because he has a mental disability and he isn't seen as a "normal person" to others.
I do think racism still exists today. It’s not as obvious and blatant as before, but it’s definitely still in America. For example, just the other day the owner of the LA Clippers, an NBA basketball team, got in trouble for making racists remarks. Also, the KKK still exists. Even though, they’re not out lynching people during the night, they are still here. All in all, racism is mostly frowned upon is still out there.
Comparison of Lenny and Child attitudes toward race
Efforts made to equalize rights for African Americans
Roosevelt entertained African American visitors and was known to have a number of black advisers
When the US entered WW2, labor leader A. Philip Randolph threatened to organize a march on Washington to protest job discrimination in the military
President Roosevelt issued the Executive Order 8802, stating that all persons, regardless of race, creed, color or national origin would be allowed to participate fully in the defense of the US.
I think Lenny and children do have similar views on race. These views or attitudes would be one of not recognizing or caring about issues on race. Children are usually innocent and not as judgemental as older people, and I think Lenny is like this as well.