Gravity's Rainbow

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It’s history, but it’s not irrelevant


REGISTRAR: What do you want?

CRAWFORD: I brought this lady down to register

REGISTRAR: (after giving the woman a card to fill out and sending her outside in the hall) Why did you bring this lady down here?

CRAWFORD: Because she wants to be a first class citizen like ya’ll.

REGISTRAR: Who are you to bring people down to register?

CRAWFORD: It’s my job.

REGISTRAR: Suppose you get two bullets in your head right now?

Early 1960s. From Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States

I have relatives who argue that because oppression and racism are a thing of the past, things like affirmative action or diversity training in the workplace aren’t relevant. Ignoring the fact that racism is still an enormous problem, this is the kind of thing that was commonplace during their lifetime. How can you think this was happening to black people around you and think that it’s over? That as soon as a couple non-discrimination laws get passed people’s minds change and victims magically recover? It may be history, but it’s not over.

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