Separate and UNequal

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka” (1954) by The Supreme Court Reporter

“we hold that the plaintiffs and others similarly situated for whom the actions have been brought are, by reason of the segregation companied of, deprived of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment….”

In the history of America, it is evident that there has been an opposition against groups that appear or act differently than what is considered to be normal. For hundreds of years, Blacks in America fought to be freed form slavery, and following freedom they fought for equality in all aspects of life. In the ruling of the Plessy v. Furguson Case of 1896, it was said that facilities for blacks and whites respectively may be separate but that they must be equal. Demonstrating a minuscule amount of compliance to this “separate but equal” notion, the Supreme Court of the United States was prompted by the NAACP in 1954 to review it. The court recognized achievements of blacks as well as recognized American-born blacks as citizens no different than American-born whites.

I believe that this quote epitomizes the ruling of the court in saying that Blacks are not allowed to be deprived of their right to “life, liberty, and property.” As American citizens, the court stated, blacks too have a right to learn in public facilities and that these facilities should not be separated, as separate facilities “deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities.” The fact that these statements were made by the Supreme Court–a function of the United States government–demonstrates that the ultimate ruling of the court is one that is intended to provide a just democratic republic in which all citizens are treated equally. In America during this time, it was difficult for many white Americans to accept racial equality as a principle in life. The fact that the Supreme Court decided in favor of equality for blacks recognizes the continuous issue of social equality, and also that there should not be a distinction between blacks and whites that causes the minority race to receive less benefit in society (i.e. education). It also recognizes this ongoing social conflict in a political aspect, as a branch of the government put forth a new notion of equality for the society to adhere to.

Life Was Industrialization by Jessica Gianelli

There Will Be Blood focuses on the oil boom of the early 20th century. From the moment that the film begins, this idea that industrialization is the most important part of life at this time is extremely self evident. With barely any dialogue, the first scene to me was one of the most powerful that we have seen thus far in the movie. Tents were pitched all over demonstrating the day in and day out dedication to finding oil within the wells. Digging these wells and discovering oil was life for these men at this time because oil equaled money. And in turn it meant they were able to provide for their families. To me, though, the determining factor for just how important the oil was to them was the camera focusing in on the baby, (whom we later know to be H.W., Daniel Plainfield’s son,) sitting in a bucket crying after the men had all left to begin to pull up the buckets of oil. Immediately, I felt sorry for the baby, and then I came to the realization that although he was crying because he was left alone in a bucket with little attention being paid to him, the reason that he had to be there was so that his father could provide for him. In order for industrialization to progress, this work was necessary. The culminating moment of this scene was when Daniel Plainfield was attempting to console H.W. and make him stop crying and he gently brushed his face and a streak of oil was left. I believe that from this very moment on, H.W.’s life solely revolves around the discovery of oil consequently based on the fact that his father’s revolved around it as well. Industrialization was Daniel Plainfield’s life, and therefore it was H.W.’s, too.