Monday, July 20, 2009

How Far Have We Come?

Forty years ago today Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took small steps for men and giant leaps for humankind. Marking this tremendous accomplishment makes me wonder who far we have come? Technology has made gigantic leaps forward. Today's average cell phone has 5x the computing power of the entire Apollo 11 Command module. Computers are in millions of homes and astronauts are tweeting from orbit things that were only found in science-fiction in 1969. We continue to move forward technologically.

We have just elected our first African-American president, something else that was unheard of and even unimagined in 1969. The gap between whites and blacks have narrowed, but are still prominent. How far have we come socially? The KKK recently rallied in my hometown of Pulaski, TN, although to much less fanfare than in years past. Tonight HBO airs a documentary called Prom Night in Mississippi. This documentary details a small town in Mississippi where the white parents want to have a "whites only" prom and in response Morgan Freeman, a Mississippi native, pays for another prom but only if it is integrated. I have not seen the entire film, unfortunately I don't have HBO, but in the clips I have seen this is nothing more than vicious latent racism. "I don't want my white daughter dancing at the prom with a black boy." Although they have no problem with the same black boy running the football or shooting the three-pointer.

Could we go back to the moon? Sure, it wouldn't be that hard relatively speaking. We have come light-years forward in technology. Is there still segregation and blatent racism? Unfortunately we haven't come that far...yet.

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