Coded Language in the North

The Civil Rights movement in America has always had a strong connection to the southern states. The prominent stories of the civil rights era come from places such as Selma, Montgomery, and Little Rock. Little has been remembered in concerns with the civil rights movement in the north. The stories such as the Boston and New York City schools are important to remember especially with the attempt by society to direct away from the racial injustices that were prevalent in the north.

New York City served as a crucial theater of conflict in the struggle for civil rights. African Americans frequently faced discrimination in housing, employment, and education. The city’s public schools were incredibly segregated throughout the 1950s and 1960s, with black pupils predominating in particular areas and institutions. In response, activists staged protests and boycotts to call for educational equality and desegregation.

The situation was similar in Boston’s schools. A federal court ordered the city to desegregate its schools in 1974, but the decision was met with strong opposition from white residents. The protests and violence that followed became known as the “Boston busing crisis.” The Boston school desegregation struggle demonstrated that the North was not immune to the racial tensions that had long plagued the South.

The northern states used coded language in many different ways. Most notably in official writing. Our article explains that New York Officials used language in order to keep the status quo. They used phrases as racial imbalancing and separation to describe the de facto segregation that took place in the North. This is one of the many ways that officials would try to underplay the role that segregation played in the inequity that was prevalent in northern cities.

The use of coded language was not surprising to me when I was reading the Article. Our country has continued to downplay the role racism has played in our history. We see attempts today to whitewash history in order to “not let white children feel bad” This is the same as northern officials using coded language to describe racial segregation during the civil rights movement. 

There is also the aspect of Americans sticking to the status quo. Throughout American history we see many instances where people are required to stick to the status quo and conform to societal norms. The northern status quo was to resist southern racism but allow it to go on in the North. We see this also in the Lavender scare and McCarthy. There is many other instances of this in our history that showcase the hypocrisy that has been rampant in our nation.

Finally, civil rights struggles in New York City and Boston schools call into question the long-held belief that racial discrimination was confined to the South. These struggles emphasized the importance of rethinking our understanding of the Civil Rights Movement and its broader implications for American society. To avoid accusations of racism white liberals in the North used coded language reflecting the historical nuance of racism in the United States. This history is not surprising, but it is important to recognize and comprehend in order to continue working toward racial equality and justice.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: