The story is set in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the fiscal year of 1960. The author depicts an image of students sit-ins located at lunch counters that are segregated. The reporter George E. McMillan reported that even after the Supreme Court had decided that the desegregation ought to occur, there were only few schools implementing the judgment. The implementation of desegregation was slow as for six years the law had not yet been implemented at schools (McMillan 21). The black American students experience restricted economic chances, disenfranchisement and frequent attacks from the white police and mobs. Furthermore, there is the prejudice in the American criminal justice system. The reporter compared the outrage of black people in the philosophy of a gradual change with the white people’s philosophy of maintaining the status quo. In addition, the reporter looked into the function of the entire business community and military in administering the transformation. This essay seeks to look at McMillan’s criticism of gradualism in the black American society. In political terms, gradualism connotes that the change ought to increase slowly rather than in abrupt strikes like uprisings and revolts. This was an idea that was strongly opposed by McMillan. The black students had already begun the sit-down protests to revolt against the segregation that existed (McMillan 22). The reporter noted how the two sides had become rigid due to the system of gradualism that had been upheld by white people. The Southerners had some tensions with each other because of the race relations that had been existing in the region. Not every person wanted to get engaged into violence. This is because there was no alternative option to the gradual change of segregation that had existed in the south. Gradualism resulted to the frustration between the two races in the south. The middle class of white people felt that if the balance between the whites and blacks had been bothered, the white people would soon have to count with a trouble as a solution to their problem. More and more people who were the liberals also felt that there had been no way for the change to come if gradualism had been employed as a means of change (McMillan 22). These predictions came true when the black high school students were sitting in the lunch counters in a bid to protest against the prejudice that had existed at their school. Consequently, this led to riots and vandalism in the region occurring between the blacks and whites. This depicts how the American society does not believe in employing gradualism as a means of change.
McMillan purports that the American society supposes that gradualism is not the best way for solving the various challenges existing in the society. Gradualism had been affected by the current racial crisis in that the southern climate did not promote the democracy. This means that gradualism will not be able to work in the south. McMillan argues that for gradualism to work there must be a flexible environment that allows completing the charges to be heard freely (McMillan 24). Furthermore, these claims should be fairly changed. For instance, the black people in the south claim that their constitutional and legal rights have been violated. In addition, they argue that their personal dignity and ability has the economic opportunities hindered. For instance, black people were convicted to those crimes that the whites had committed. Despite the fact that many black people go to colleges, the federal employment was hard received. Consequently, this has led to them revolting against the whites in the southern region. McMillan points out the various ways for solving the crisis. First of all, McMillan points the military one as the way in which the segregation will be eradicated. He states that when there is a pursuit of economic necessities, the racial segregation that existing will be eradicated at a faster rate (McMillan 25). People in the military sphere live affectionately with each other; and a faster approach to this is the solution. The reporter argues that the government ought to start employing black people on the basis of equality and at the faster rate. Furthermore, the black people can begin to establish business to ensure that they are economically empowered. As of such, McMillan depicts clearly that gradualism is not the best approach in ending the southern segregation. Gradualism has resulted into frustration amongst both races and, in the end, violence and riots. Hence, the only way to solve the crisis is to go in the military way by ensuring that all races have been empowered economically on the equal basis. A faster approach to end the segregation will result into ending it in the south.