In this chapter of Zinn, he discusses the Civil Rights movement, and how the narrative of this historical time has also been altered to portray the U.S. government as playing a much larger role in making progress towards equality among all citizens. Zinn highlights that our government did pass laws targeted at solving social injustices, such as voting equality and employment equality, but they were poorly implemented. It seems that the American government thinks simply making a law is enough when the people enforcing it (white Americans) are the ones that will make the real social change.
In this chapter, I also noticed the difference between non-violent and violent protests. It seemed that the non-violent protests were clearly favored by the government leaders because it caused less unrest within society, but it did not seem to be “enough to deal with the entrenched problems of poverty in the black ghetto”. When analyzing protests and rebellions, American leaders tend to criticize the violent protests, when in reality, the nature of the protest should not be the focus. Instead, all focus should be on the fact that a protest is needed in the first place. Critiquing whether violence with protests is effective or warranted, distracts society from the main institutional problems causing the riots, which is exactly was the corrupt institutions want.