Civil rights refer to cases in which some group is denied access to facilities, opportunities, or services that are available to other groups. The pertinent question regarding civil rights is whether treating people differently is reasonable.
The strategies employed by or on behalf of African Americans have typically set the pattern for the strategies employed by other groups. Although significant progress has been made to close the civil rights gap, especially between whites and African Americans, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Due to the organized and powerful stature of opponents, African Americans found it difficult to advance their interests through a feasible legislative strategy even after acquiring some white allies. For African American interests to be championed, one or both of two things would have to happen: additional allies would have to be recruited, or the struggle would have to be shifted to a policy-making arena in which the opposition enjoyed less of an advantage.
The Fourteenth Amendment was proposed as a means to reinforce the Civil Rights Act of 1866. In Plessy v. Ferguson, the Court decided that the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteed political and legal—but not social—equality. Brown v. Board of Education decided the fate of the separate but equal debate: the Court found that segregated education was bad because it had “a detrimental effect upon the colored children” by generating “a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community” that would “affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely ever to be undone.” However, the case of Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education set the guidelines for all subsequent cases involving school segregation. One of the major decisions made by the Court was that the existence of all white or all black schools in a district with a history of segregation creates a presumption of intent to discriminate.
Write two to three well-developed paragraphs in answer to the questions below. Then, respond to at least one of your classmates asking a probing question about their post or providing a post that may add additional information to what they wrote.
Your assignment this week is to answer three questions directly from Chapter 6, keeping in mind the above information, answer the following questions:
- Do you think the criminal justice is operating neutrally, or with racial bias? How?
- On what issue students have you seen the most change in your lifetime?
- On what social issues do you expect to see the most change in the next ten years? Why?