MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama State University Professor of History Dr. Howard Robinson says what we are seeing today is the latest version in a long march toward equality in our country.
“The relationship of black people to this nation and within this nation, and whether they’re going to be a part of the fabric of this nation, and afforded all of the rights and responsibilities of a citizen in this nation, that has been an ongoing debate for for many generations," Robinson said.
Robinson says to make real progress we must also have honest conversations about race and expose ourselves to new people and new ideas - pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone.
“I think if you if you were to give people a, you know - do a question and ask people, are they racist, I think many people would say that they were not. And then when you start to peel back those questions and answers and look at their friendship network, some of the some of the perceptions that they have, that are ingrained in our society that are replicated in the media, replicated in advertising, advertisement, reputation in so many ways,” he said.
Robinson says it’s a painful but necessary conversation that can bring significant changes.
“So what we did 50 years ago, resulted in the ’64 Civil Rights Act, ’65 Civil Rights Act, the ’68 Fair Housing Act, there was really some fundamental changes that spoke to the issues that were relevant in the 1960s, and I think the same legislative reaction needs to happen today," Robinson said.
Robinson believes even social media can be a powerful tool to push for change. He says we must police ourselves and others, holding everyone accountable for our actions.