Racial integration


Racial integration

Racial integration, or simply integration includes desegregation (the process of ending systematic racial segregation). In addition to desegregation, integration includes goals such as leveling barriers to association, creating equal opportunity regardless of race, and the development of a culture that draws on diverse traditions, rather than merely bringing a racial minority into the majority culture. Desegregation is largely a legal matter, integration largely a social one.

Distinguishing "integration" from "desegregation"

Morris J. MacGregor, Jr. in his paper "Integration of the Armed Forces 1940-1965" writes concerning the words "integration" and "desegregation":

... In recent years many historians have come to distinguish between these like-sounding words. Desegregation they see as a direct action against segregation; that is, it signifies the act of removing legal barriers to the equal treatment of black citizens as guaranteed by the Constitution. The movement toward desegregation, breaking down the nation's Jim Crow system, became increasingly popular in the decade after World War II. Integration, on the other hand, Professor Oscar Handlin maintains, implies several things not yet necessarily accepted in all areas of American society. In one sense it refers to the "leveling of all barriers to association other than those based on ability, taste, and personal preference";Morris J. MacGregor, Jr. [http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/integration/IAF-FM.htm Integration of the Armed Forces 1940-1965] , Center of Military History, United States Army, Washington D.C. (1985). The linked copy is on the Army's official site. The Handlin quote is footnoted within the MacGregor piece as Oscar Handlin, "The Goals of Integration", Daedalus 95 (Winter 1966): 270.] in other words, providing equal opportunity. But in another sense integration calls for the random distribution of a minority throughout society. Here, according to Handlin, the emphasis is on racial balance in areas of occupation, education, residency, and the like.

From the beginning the military establishment rightly understood that the breakup of the all-black unit would in a closed society necessarily mean more than mere desegregation. It constantly used the terms integration and equal treatment and opportunity to describe its racial goals. Rarely, if ever, does one find the word desegregation in military files that include much correspondence.

Similarly, Keith M. Woods writing on the need for precision in journalistic language writes, "Integration" happens when a monolith is changed, like when a black family moves into an all-white neighborhood. Integration happens even without a mandate from the law. "Desegregation"," on the other hand, "was the legal remedy to segregation." [Keith M. Woods, [http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=58&aid=60326 Disentangling Desegregation Discourse] , Poynter Online, February 3, 2004. Accessed March 26, 2006.] Making almost the same point, Henry Organ, identifying himself as " a participant in the Civil Rights Movement on the Peninsula [i.e. the San Francisco Peninsula - "ed."] in the '60s... and ... an African American," wrote in 1997, " The term 'desegregation' is normally reserved to the legal/legislative domain, and it was the legalization of discrimination in public institutions based on race that many fought against in the '60s. The term 'integration,' on the other hand, pertains to a social domain; it does and should refer to individuals of different background who opt to interact." [Henry Organ, [http://www.paloaltoonline.com/weekly/morgue/spectrum/1997_Aug_13.GUEST130.html The true definition of integration] , "Palo Alto Weekly", August 13, 1997. Accessed March 26, 2006.]

In their book "By the Color of Our Skin" Leonard Steinhorn and Barbara Diggs-Brown - who also make a similar distinction between "desegregation" and "integration" - write "... television has... give [n] white Americans the sensation of having meaningful, repeated contact with blacks without actually having it. We call this phenomenon virtual integration, and it is the primary reason why the integration illusion - the belief that we are moving toward a colorblind nation - has such a powerful influence on race relations in America today." Reviewing this book in the libertarian magazine "Reason", Michael W. Lynch sums up some of their conclusions as, "Blacks and whites live, learn, work, pray, play, and entertain separately." He cites Stephan and Abigail Themstrom's "America in Black and White" as making the case to the contrary, gives anecdotal evidence on both sides of the question, and writes:

The problem, as I see it, is that access to the public spheres, specifically the commercial sphere, often depends on being comfortable with the norms of white society. If a significant number of black children aren't comfortable with them, it isn't by choice: It's because they were isolated from those norms. It's one thing for members of the black elite and upper middle class to choose to retire to predominantly black neighborhoods after a lucrative day's work in white America. It's quite another for people to be unable to enter that commercial sphere because they spent their formative years in a community that didn't, or couldn't, prepare them for it. Writes [Harvard University sociologist Orlando] Patterson, "The greatest problem now facing African-Americans is their isolation from the tacit norms of the dominant culture, and this is true of all classes." [Michael W. Lynch [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1568/is_7_31/ai_57815517 By the Color of Our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and the Reality of Race] (book review), "Reason", December 1999. Accessed March 26, 2006.]

Distinction not universally accepted

Although widespread, this distinction between "integration" and "desegregation" is not universally accepted. For example, it is possible to find references to "court-ordered integration" [ [http://www.google.com/search?q=%22court-ordered+integration%22&num=20&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&safe=off] Google search for "court-ordered integration".] from sources such as the "Detroit News",Ron French, Brad Heath, and Christine MacDonald, [http://www.detnews.com/2004/specialreport/0405/16/a01-153972.htm Metro classrooms remain separate, often unequal] , "Detroit News", May 16, 2004. Accessed March 26, 2006.] PBS, [ [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/wallace/timeline/index_2.html Timeline of George Wallace's Life] , PBS. Accessed March 26, 2006.] or even Encarta. [ [http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761554032_4/Eisenhower.html Eisenhower] (part 4), MSN Encarta. 0_0Accessed March 26, 2006.] These same sources also use the phrase "court-ordered desegregation", apparently with the exact same meaning; [ [http://www.pbs.org/beyondbrown/history/factsheet_history.html The Evolution of Brown v. Board of Education] , part of "Beyond Brown", PBS. Accessed March 26, 2006.] [ [http://encarta.msn.com/sidebar_761594304/President_Kennedy_Expresses_Outrage_at_Alabama_Deaths.html President Kennedy Expresses Outrage at Alabama Deaths] (sidebar), MSN Encarta. (Premium content.) Accessed March 26, 2006.] the "Detroit News" uses both expressions interchangeably in the same article. When the two terms are confused, it is almost always to use "integration" in the narrower, more legalistic sense of "desegregation"; one rarely, if ever, sees "desegregation" used in the broader cultural sense.

Notes

ee also

* Cultural assimilation
* Intercultural competence
* Multiculturalism
* Silk Road discusses an instance of racial integration in Southern Asia in the Middle Ages.
* Intercultural Garden

References

* Steinhorn, Leonard and Diggs-Brown, Barbara, "By the Color of Our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and the Reality of Race". New York: Dutton, 1999. ISBN 0-525-94359-5
*Themstrom, Stephan and Abigail, "America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible" New York, NY: Touchstone, 1997. ISBN 0-684-84497-4.
*Adel Iskandar and Hakem Rustom, [http://ambassadors.net/archives/issue19/opinions2.htm From Paris to Cairo: Resistance of the Unacculturated] "The Ambassadors" online magazine.
*Hong, Dorothy "Tales from a Korean Maiden in America" (iUniverse, 2003) ISBN 059528390X

External links

* [http://www.crossroadstofreedom.org/ Memphis Civil Rights Digital Archive]
* [http://makesomethinghappen.net/2008/06/10/mshcast-2-justin-massa-integration-20-and-movesmartorg/ Interview with Justin Massa, Founder of MoveSmart]
* [http://glimpse.org/Race-Identity Stories of Race and Identity Issues in Global Cultures] Compiled by the Glimpse Foundation


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