Journalism 2 Class luis jennifer mason robert forrest casey caitlin sarah mason lia alexandra luis natalie

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I just finished reading Up From Slavery, an autobiography by Booker T. Washington. As an ex-slave, the thing that Washington repeats over and over in this book is that any man - if he proves to society that the work he does is indispensable, and if he lives for the betterment of others - that man will be judged by his merits and not by the color of his skin. Mr. Washington honestly believed this, and by his life's work he proved it to be at least partially true. One of the greatest things about the United States of America is that it generally does allow people who work hard to advance. The self-made man/woman is the symbol of this country. That is, in fact, the very reason why so many immigrants have been attracted here. Let us not forget, however, that some people have a lot farther to climb than others. Booker T. Washington is an exception, not the rule. In this country, as in the rest of the world, racism and prejudice still exist. Most people do not live for the "betterment of others" as Washington urges, but for the betterment of themselves. The driving force of today's America is money. We make a profit by whatever means necessary, and turn a blind eye to sweatshop labor, exploited farmers, toxic waste, etc. Perhaps we need to remember that we are, in fact, not at all self-made. We are God-made. And it is to God that we will have to answer for the people we have stepped on during our upward climb.

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