The Quest for an Equal Opportunity America

by May 18, 2015

Educate, organize and mobilize – ( – Many concerned Americans, me included, are searching for ways to get our country beyond its long history of segregation and racial division.  To this end, the mission of the Third Reconstruction is to create a network of individuals and organizations that are committed to bringing about a non-racial, multi-ethnic, equal opportunity society.

To get to where we want to be as a society, it is necessary to understand where we came from, where we are and how we got here.  Today America is a country that is characterized by racial disparities too numerous to name.  These disparities are pervasive throughout our society.  However, for purposes of this commentary disparity in income, health, education, welfare, poverty, criminal and social justice, voter access, housing, employment and lending are representative examples.  This is where we are.  These disparities are and always have been, inherent in institutional racism.

There are many ongoing efforts, initiatives and programs designed to bring an end to these racial inequities and thereby an end to institutional racism.  One major problem with the efforts is that they are not unified and coordinated.  Also, unlike the origin of America’s public policy of racial exclusion, all too many of our activists don’t have a clear understanding of how we got where we are and therefore tend to make historically incomplete arguments for the creation of a new American public policy of ending institutional racism.  The first step in solving a problem is accurately defining it.

According to Dr. Claud Anderson, Dirty Little Secrets, 1998, the Slave Codes of 1705 required all individuals, churches, businesses, organizations, schools, and all levels of government to teach, justify and enforce the status of Blacks as “a subordinate, excluded, noncompetitive, non-compensated, managed work force for the personal comfort and wealth building of White society.” This is the public policy that needs to be clearly identified and reversed if we in America are ever going to have a non-racial, multi-ethnic, equally opportunity society.

Throughout the years of Blacks in America, from enslavement to today, our status has always been controlled or sought to be controlled by White supremacist.  This is why we highlight the fact that Blacks are in the Third Reconstruction Era.  This era is, as past eras of Black life in America, characterized by modified schemes and devices that are designed to maintain and control Blacks in ways very similar to ways we’ve been controlled throughout our existence in America.

I’ve recently read a commentary entitled 8 Interesting Reasons the Obama Era May Be the Third Reconstruction. The post by was based upon an interview conducted by Annabel Park and Eric Byler of Story of America.  In the interview Dr. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, described the three different eras of reconstruction.  Of course I’ve been writing about these eras for several months, but significant in his interview was Dr. Barber’s historical account of the relentless historical attacks against Black people and how they are very similar to the relentless attacks against Black people since the election of President Obama. 

Unlike Dr. Barber whose timeline starts at the end of the Civil War, 1865 and the beginning of the First Reconstruction, I start my timeline in 1638 with the Maryland Doctrine of Exclusion.  But we both agree that America’s public policy, whichever timeline you use, has always attempted to dominate and subjugate Black Americans. 

Without going into the specifics of the examples highlighted in Dr. Barber’s interview, they included:  the responses of White supremacist to the fusion politics that characterizes the Era of Obama, Black politics experiencing positive and negative fluctuations, the threat of Southern succession resurfacing, some Black leaders succeeding while others are being targeted, groups with political power killing countless Black people, the Black vote being under attack, and Black civil liberties still not being promised.

Lastly, it seems to me that the only logical way to address the massive negative impact of America’s historical public policy against Black people is to institute a new positive public policy that is broad enough in scope and vision to correct the errors from our past.

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Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News and with a primary focus on political, social and economic justice.  To support our efforts, to unite our politics and economics, please “Like” and follow us at Please “Share” our articles and post your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our websites and  Finally, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to like and follow our pages. •

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