American history is closely associated with the civil rights movement of the African Americans for the freedom of voting and equality. However, this historical period shows that the racial discrimination had existed for a long time due to the misconceptions and lack of understanding on both parts of the conflict. The article under analysis, which is named “Waiter Union Pair Deny Racial Charges,” refers to the mid-1950s, the period when the African Americans suffered from the unequal employment opportunities because of their race and skin color. The charges also refer to the African American history development in the Los Angeles region.
Purpose of the Study
The article provides an evident confrontation based on the racial discrimination and reluctance of the dominating white community to provide the African American with the equal opportunities in education, employment, and politics. The conflict centers on the reluctance of the employers to hire an African American waiter because it does not meet the job description in the Los Angeles area.
By the 1950s, the African Americans had started mobilizing their forces for the fight against the inequality and discrimination. They strived to become the full-fledged members of the white American community by attempting to assimilate into their culture and traditions. However, their aspiration to enjoy equal rights and freedoms was not shared by the White community, as well as by the official government. In response to the unjustified prohibitions, the black community founded the civil rights groups that fought against segregation and for achieving new opportunities in education, employment, and housing. Although the white-collar and professional jobs were opened to the African Americans, not all people were willing to accept this equality. As it has been seen from the article, the major conflict was caused by the disagreement between the white employers who were not motivated to hire the African American as the waiters. As they explain, “To the extent, and only to such extent where the employers have requested an exclusive type of employee by reason of the collective bargaining contract, the union has been obliged to dispatch only those waiters of the kind description requested”. Therefore, the case proves the failure of the white American employers to adjust to the new norms and reforms, which would allow the African Americans to receive prestigious jobs.
The conflict centers on the civil rights struggles in Lost Angeles area. Since the article was published in the mid-1950s, the period introduces the civil rights community. During this time, Los Angeles, a city that survived after the World War, promoted an agenda that linked to civil rights period, the one taking place in the 1940s and the one in the 1960s, making the city to be a racial, ideological, and international frontier. In this respect, Bernskein agrees that by linking ethnicity, race, and internationalism, the historical assumption should be made regarding civil rights, establishing these fights. The scholar has also introduced Brown v. Board of Education case, which was affected by the International affairs. The story also uses the historical analysis of African American to show the interaction between different groups between domestic reform and the international arena. The global changed contributed to the shift in how they groups fought for equal treatment and international rights. In the 1950s, the emphasis has been placed on the community improvement, civil rights struggles. The author also introduces the case study analysis to define the conflict development in Los Angeles.
The above-presented conflict has many other historic preconditions that had started before the two World Wars. To enlarge on the issue, Greenen explores the period of the African-American migration and the attitude of the white society to this process. It has been reported that at the beginning of the past century, the employment opportunities for the black people were confined to domestic work for females and to service work for males, who could take the position of the gardeners or footmen at the houses of wealthy Americans. Their jobs were difficult and challenging, yet the wages were low. In the 1920, the African Americans were more welcome into difficult and low-paying jobs in the industries and factories dealing with the iron and steel production, tanneries, and meat-packing. According to the employers, the African American men were much stronger and resistant to the heat as compared to the white workers. However, the difficult work increased the rates of disease among the African Americans, who could not work under such dangerous conditions. With regard to the above the accusations that were put forward by William Smith in his article were justified due to the situation that of the post-war period. Although the new social reforms were implemented, no guarantee to find a prestigious position was provided.
Certainly, the 1950s were a challenging time for the ethnic minorities because of the numerous racial discrimination cases and unequal treatment of all the citizens of the United States. Nonetheless, not all members of the white community supported the idea of segregation; there were many cases that the European members were advocating the freedom and equality for the African immigrants. The aggression and violence were also common among the members of the civil rights movement who fought against the racial stereotyping and inability to vote equally with the white people. More importantly, although the majority of the members of the civil rights movement were peaceful in their intentions, some of the leaders called for the forceful resolution and aggressive riots, which contributed to a more conflicting situation. There are personal stories and biographical sketches, which prove the neutral attitude of the white people towards the willingness of black communities to work and live similarly to the European members.
The prejudiced attitude and racial discrimination has undergone serious transformation in Los Angeles City School District. Specifically, the region was the pioneer in adopting a system discipline policy in the mid-1950s. It also maintained the status of the national prominent in its reconsideration of disciplines in school. Since the school population increased and became more culturally and racially diverse, the district continued centralizing authorities and distribute responsibility for the discipline. Furthermore, the exploration of discipline policies, including its reformulation in Log Angeles, starting from the 1950s, the attention should be paid to the notion of academic discipline and how it changed during an educational process. The transformation, however, had negative consequences and was followed by the emergence of racial prejudice and conflicts, which expanded beyond race and were also presented as “zero tolerance”, which further became an inherent component of discipline at American public schools.
The scarcity of the black Americans working in the service sphere and restaurant business was also enhanced by the failure of the government to implement the new regulations. The government did not take sufficient control of the business activities as it was more concerned with the other problems than racial segregation. Therefore, when the African Americans were demanded the higher incomes and new employment opportunities, the government did nothing to assist. The article is also the proof that the regulations of the time only contributed to the escalation of the conflict. Additionally, there were significant challenges for the African Americans who wished to survive in the other spheres, such as agriculture. The agricultural sector did not provide any benefits for the workers. Instead, it introduced serious challenges for their existence. The escalation of the conflict was due to the lack of appropriate reforms on the part of the government, as well as on the part of other organizations and business ventures, which should have provided new employment opportunities for the black community. Despite the challenges and difficulties that the black Americans had to overcome, there were still some movements that were trying to eliminate segregation and permit ethnic minorities to receive a prestigious job similarly to the European Americans.
Although the problem of segregation and racial discrimination existed, the case also proves the presence of the legal regulations and reforms, which allowed the black people to file a lawsuit against the white employers and demand compensation. However, the case also shows the inconsistency of the governmental policies, as well as subjectivity in making decisions. The existence of laws is also proved by the analysis of those in other resources. As such, Self provides a list of the organizations fighting against segregation, such as The Alameda County NAACP and the Shipyard Workers Committee, which were cooperating other network organizations for the purpose of protecting the black workers’ rights. The African American workers could address those organizations for assistance.
The violence in Los Angeles and California seemed to be an escalation of violence and conflict, but the African Americans still managed to achieve certain improvements in the sphere of education and employment. It should be acknowledged, however, that although the struggle against racial discrimination had lasted for centuries, the 1950s were decisive in this context, allowing the civil rights movement to enter the American mainstream. For instance, there were other multiple cases that criticized the racial charges and contributed to the establishment of justice, transparency, and freedom of voting for all. In particular, the case Brown v. Board of Education focuses on the inappropriateness of separating the educational facilities for the African American children. It was one of the first cases, which introduced the positive changes. The Brown ruling was revisited for several times; however, it also provoked multiple attacks and protests on the part of the white community that preferred withdrawing their children from the public educational establishment and enrolling them in the private academies, where only the white people were allowed to study. Some of the protecting people resorted to violent and intimidation in order to reduce the number of the African Americans, who strived to receive access to education. In 1956, 100 Southern congressmen supported this movement and signed the Southern Manifesto, proving that they were going to make every possible effort for preserving and encouraging segregation. Therefore, the attention should be paid to the analysis of such aspects as the government’s transparency and justice, which were not consistent and appropriate at the time.
The politics of the government was the driving force in the struggles of the African Americans to enter the path of equality in employment, land, taxes, and race. The American society was opposing the black liberation politics; therefore, it represented a long-term and challenging fight for the economic and political right, yielding a wide-range and tangible critique of the postwar development, as well as the underpinnings of the governmental reforms leading to racial segregation. There were also the origins of the tax revolt referring to the 1940s and giving rise to the unemployment rates among the African Americans. Additionally, it is evident that the federal government policy used racial segregation and industrial poverty in order to make the middle-class representatives focus on the property ownership.
Despite constant confrontation because of the racial discrimination and segregation cases, the civil rights movement managed to achieve the adoption of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, proving the market changes in the legislature, which concentrated the efforts on protecting the civil rights. The liberal front was also dedicated to the voting rights in the mid-1970s, with the emphasis put on the employment of the new personnel, who were supposed to be working on this issue. The Voting Rights Act along with the Civil Right Act was the consequence of the escalating conflict between the white and the black communities of the time. However, the conflict gave rise to such important ethical and moral dilemmas as the freedom, human rights, and equality.
With regard to the above-presented context, the article under analysis narrates a wide range of problems, issues, and debates regarding the employment opportunities, rights of the African Americans, and governmental response to the actions employed by the managers of the restaurant business. The article reveals their effect on the development of the new laws and social reforms. At the same time, the article is also a flashback to the injustice and hopeless endeavors of the ethnic minorities, who could have also lived as the white community and strive to make their American dream come true. The increased sense of unity and integrity was also fueled by the development of the civil rights movement, numerous protests and demonstrations that made the African American people realize that they should own the similar rights to the white community despite their history.
In conclusion, it should be stressed that the article has a deep historical context that goes far back to 19th century and even earlier, which contributed to the fight of the African Americans for the freedom and equality. American history has also been associated with slavery and limitation of rights of the ethnical minorities in the Los Angeles region. However, this particular case also discloses the employment issues and focuses on the moral and ethical dilemma of the equality and identity, which prevented the African Americans from getting prestigious jobs. Instead, they had to work in the iron production or other hazardous spheres because the white-collar positions were secured to the white American community. The case is a calling for the African Americans to fight for their rights and employment opportunities. It is also a story of the legal cases and social reforms implemented in the mid-1950s, which lead to the adoption of the Civil Right Act in 1965.