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Democracy Under Pressure Chapter 5 The Struggle for Equal Rights The Struggle for Equal Rights America has a society with many ethnic, racial, and religious groups. Yet the rights in our historic documents are not equally enjoyed by all.

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democracy under pressure

Democracy Under Pressure

Chapter 5

The Struggle for Equal Rights

the struggle for equal rights
The Struggle for Equal Rights
  • America has a society with many ethnic, racial, and religious groups.
  • Yet the rights in our historic documents are not equally enjoyed by all.
  • Though progress has been made in reducing inequalities, there continues to be some violent racial tension.
    • Television showed white supremacists' inflammatory rhetoric, and the riots by blacks and destruction in South Central Los Angeles.
    • These images may not be typical, but cannot be ignored.
the struggle for equal rights3
The Struggle for Equal Rights
  • Despite the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, many African Americans don't have full social and economic equality.
    • One in four African Americans is poor, compared to one in twelve whites.
    • Half of black families earn $50,000 per year or more, but there is a gap between the incomes of the growing black middle class and other blacks.
      • Black infant mortality is twice that of whites.
      • Homicide is the leading cause of death among young black males.
the struggle for equal rights5
The Struggle for Equal Rights
  • In 2003, black unemployment was 11.2 percent, more than double that of whites.
  • In 2003, the median income of black families is $29,026, less than two-thirds of the $46,900 of white families.
  • Nearly one in three African American men in their twenties is in prison, on parole, or on probation.
the struggle for equal rights6
The Struggle for Equal Rights
  • Economic data doesn't show the daily indignities blacks often face.
    • African Americans are likely to be born in a poor neighborhood and live in crowded, substandard housing.
    • Even when the economy is strong, jobs for African Americans tend to be menial and low paying.
    • Food and merchandise may be of poorer quality and priced higher than the same items found in white neighborhoods.
    • Black males have a 32 percent chance of serving time in prison, as compared to 6 percent of white males.
    • In some communities, black Americans are subjected to racial profiling.
the struggle for equal rights7
The Struggle for Equal Rights
  • Others, including American Indians, Hispanics, and Asian Americans, have difficulties similar to African Americans.
    • The unemployment rate for American Indians is eight times the national average.
    • By 2003, Hispanics became the largest minority group in the nation.
      • The Census Bureau reported that in 2003 there were 38.8 million Hispanics in the United States.
      • More than half of Hispanics (sixty percent) were born in the United States.
      • The term "Hispanic" refers to people from Mexico and Central and South America.
the struggle for equal rights8
The Struggle for Equal Rights
  • At 11.6 million, Asian Americans are the third largest minority, after Hispanics and African Americans.
  • During the 1970s, women came to be viewed as another minority group.
    • Discrimination based on sex is built into many public and private institutions.
    • In 2002, the median income for men was $39,429, while for women it was $30,203.
  • Gays face formidable obstacles ranging from subtle bias to physical violence.
the struggle for equal rights9
The Struggle for Equal Rights
  • The 53 million Americans with disabilities are another group whose rights were often neglected.
  • Other groups discriminated against include Jews, Catholics, the elderly, and people with AIDS.
the struggle for equal rights10
The Struggle for Equal Rights
  • Such racial polarization has been reflected in the nation's political issues and alignments.
    • Blue-collar whites reacted with hostility when pressed for greater equality and opportunity.
    • Ironically, whites will become a minority in the middle of the 21st century.
    • Multiculturalism becomes a serious disadvantage when ethnic fragmentation occurs and the nation loses its national identity and unity.
    • By 2060, according to Census Bureau, Hispanic, black, Asian American, and American Indian population will outnumber the white population.
democracy under pressure11

Democracy Under Pressure

Some Groups in Profile

american indians
American Indians
  • The term "American Indians" is gradually replacing the familiar name "Indians."
    • Definition of the group depends on self-identification.
    • There are almost 2.8 million American Indians, including Alaskan Eskimos and Aleuts. Some 538,000 American Indians live on or near reservations. There are 309 reservations in 32 states.
      • Unemployment on reservations is 50 percent. One-fourth who do work earn below the poverty level.
      • College graduation rates of American Indians is less than half the national percentage.
      • The suicide rate is higher, and among those 15 to 24, it is more than twice the national average.
american indians13
American Indians
  • Until 1871, the United States treated the tribes as separate, sovereign nations.
    • Between 1887 and 1934, some 90 million acres were taken from tribes.
    • The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 ended the practice of breaking up reservations.
    • In recent years, American Indians have had some success getting land back through Congress and the courts.
    • The American government will spend more than eleven billion a year on aid to American Indians.
american indians14
American Indians
  • The American Indian Movement (AIM) seized the tiny village of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When the siege ended two months later, two Native American supporters were killed and one federal agent paralyzed.
  • In recent years, some American Indians have prospered by opening gambling casinos, but their wealth has not changed the dismal conditions of the majority.
hispanic americans
Hispanic Americans
  • Like American Indians, Hispanics contend with poverty and discrimination.
  • Of the thirty-eight millions Hispanics in America, three-fifths are Mexican Americans.
  • Twenty-one percent of Hispanics live in poverty, compared to a 12.1 percent national average.
  • The median income was $33,103 per year. A little more than half of adult Mexican Americans have graduated from high school.
hispanic americans18
Hispanic Americans
  • Between 1943 and 1964, hundred of thousands of migrant laborers entered the United States under the bracero program. Millions of others entered the United States illegally.
    • They perform backbreaking labor.
    • They live under horrible living conditions, which shortens their lives.
    • Farm workers are not covered by the National Labor Relations Board.
hispanic americans19
Hispanic Americans
  • Cesar Chavez formed the United Farm Workers (UFW) and led a nationwide boycott of table grapes in support of La Causa, the grape workers' movement.
    • In 1975, California passed legislation providing farm workers the same rights as other union members in other industries.
    • In 1996, the UFW and lettuce growers signed a contract with Red Coach lettuce.
hispanic americans20
Hispanic Americans
  • In 2004, only nine of California's Congressional delegation are Hispanic.
  • In 2004, only twenty-five Hispanics serve in the House of Representatives.
  • Nationwide, there are 4,624 Hispanics in elected office.
hispanic americans21
Hispanic Americans
  • Undocumented immigrants
    • There are approximately 8 million undocumented immigrants, and an estimated 70 percent are Hispanic.
    • In California and Texas, growers hire undocumented workers as cheap labor.
    • Unions complain that undocumented workers undermine minimum wage, health, and safety laws and other benefits.
hispanic americans22
Hispanic Americans
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states can bar employment of illegals, but their children cannot be kept from attending public schools.
  • In 1986, Congress passed legislation providing punishment for employers who knowingly hired illegals.
  • In 2004, President Bush proposed a plan to allow undocumented workers to work legally for three years, and then renew that status.
hispanic americans23
Hispanic Americans
  • Puerto Ricans
    • The island has commonwealth status and residents use U.S. currency, mail, and courts, and can qualify for welfare benefits, but pay no taxes.
    • They may vote in the primaries, but not in the national elections.
    • Since 1980, they have sent delegates to the Republican and Democratic conventions.
    • Those who migrate tend to settle in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
hispanic americans24
Hispanic Americans
  • In 2003, 3.4 million resided in the United States.
  • They usually obtain unskilled, low-paying jobs and the median income was little more than half that of other Americans.
  • In 1993 and 1998, Puerto Ricans chose to have their island remain a commonwealth instead of becoming a state.
  • The Puerto Rican Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) favors independence and were blamed for 130 bombings in the 1970s and 1980s.
asian americans
Asian Americans
  • Asian Americans numbered 11.2 million in the 2000 Census.
    • By 2000, they constituted 4 percent of the population, behind African Americans (13 percent) and Hispanics (12 percent).
    • The largest group were of Chinese heritage (23 percent) followed by Filipinos and Japanese.
    • California has the largest Asian population (36 percent), with a rapid increase in New York and Texas.
asian americans27
Asian Americans
  • Asians from Vietnam, India, and South Korea have increased at the fastest rate.
  • Asians include a professional class of scientists, engineers, and physicians.
  • In Cupertino, California, Asian Americans make up 44.8 percent of the population.
  • Women in higher office in 2004.
    • Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is often discussed as a future presidential candidate.
    • Condoleezza Rice served as national security advisor to President George W. Bush.
    • Two women sat as Associate Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court.
    • Seventy-three women, including 14 senators, served in Congress
    • Nine women served as governors.
    • Madeleine Albright and Janet Reno served in the Clinton Administration.
  • Women and the military.
    • More than 35,000 women served in the Persian Gulf War.
    • In 2002, 212,266 women were on active duty, making up more than 15 percent of the total personnel in the armed services.
  • Women in politics.
    • In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was nominated by Walter Mondale as his vice presidential choice.
    • Women occupy high office in all three branches of government.
      • Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg sit on the Supreme Court.
  • Women in the workforce.
    • Only eight women in 2003 were chief executive officers of the top 500 American corporations.
    • The median income for women is only 77 percent of that of men.
    • In 2003, 68.3 million women in the workplace made up 47 percent of the labor force
    • Seventy-nine percent of all administrative support and clerical jobs are held by women.
    • In 2002, sixty percent of all adult women were employed.
    • Since 1983, several women have been crew members on space shuttle missions.
  • The Constitution does not guarantee equal rights for women.
    • In 1972, Congress proposed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
    • It was aimed at state laws that discriminate against women in marriage, property ownership, and employment.
    • The battle over the ERA represented a philosophical conflict between the traditional and modern views of women.
  • Laws were designed to secure equal rights for women at the federal and state levels.
    • a. Laws include Title IX (nondiscrimination in schools receiving federal aid) while others called for equal credit opportunities and extending disability benefits to pregnant women.
    • b. In 1981, the Supreme Court ruled that women could be excluded from the military draft, yet more than half of the women who graduated from West Point requested and were assigned combat duty.
  • Two major groups representing women's rights: the National Women's Political Caucus and the National Organization for Women (NOW).
    • The Caucus was formed in 1971 to increase the number of female delegates selected to national conventions and women in office.
    • The number of women holding public office is increasing.
      • So far, 197 women have served in Congress.
      • Four women served as Cabinet secretaries in the Clinton Administration.
      • In 2000, three women served as state governors.
  • NOW, founded in 1966, has about 500,000 members working to improve employment opportunities for women, lesbians' rights, abortion rights, and the reform of laws dealing with women.
  • Sexual harassment is not just a women's issue, and has broader concern to all of society.
    • In 1991, Anita Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee accusing Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.
  • In 1993, the Supreme Court ruled that a women suing her employer for sexual harassment does not have to show that she suffered severe psychological injury in order to collect damages.
  • In one poll, 22 percent of women were victims of domestic abuse by their husbands or partners.
  • Abortion
    • No issue divided American society more.
      • Prochoice supporters believe abortion is a constitutional right for women.
      • Prolife supporters call abortion a violation of the rights of unborn children, even murder.
      • The debate revolves around when human life begins: at conception (prolife), or at some other point (prochoice).
    • Roe v. Wade (1973) ruled that no state may interfere with a women's right to an abortion in the first three months of pregnancy. The decision struck down laws on the subject in 46 states.
  • In the 1980s, the Supreme Court struck down laws designed to make it more difficult to obtain an abortion.
  • In the Webster case (1989), the Court let stand a number of restrictions on abortions. In 1990 the Court said states may require teens to notify their parents before having an abortion. In 1991 the Court upheld federal rules barring clinics that received federal funds from discussing abortion with clients.
    • In June 1992, in a Pennsylvania case involving spousal notification and other issues, the Court reaffirmed 5-4 the constitutional right to an abortion.
  • In 2000, the Court struck down a Nebraska law banning partial birth abortions.
  • In 2003, President George W. Bush signed legislation banning the "partial-birth" or late-term abortion procedure. It is being challenged in court.
  • In 1976, Congress passed the Hyde Amendment banning Medicaid payments for abortions.
  • In 1994, President Clinton signed a law barring antiabortion demonstrators from blocking access to clinics or threatening patients. It did not prevent demonstrators from murdering abortion providers.
gay rights
Gay Rights
  • In November 2003, Massachusetts' highest court ruled that gays have a right to marry.
  • In February 2004, President Bush proposed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages.
  • Thirty-seven states and the federal government have laws prohibiting gay marriages.
  • In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act, recognizing only unions of a man and a women.
  • In May 2004, Massachusetts allowed gay marriage to take place.
gay rights42
Gay Rights
  • The Census Bureau counted 594,000 same-sex households.
  • A University of Chicago study released in 1994 states that 2.8 percent of American men and 1.4 percent of American women identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual.
  • According to poll date, 59 percent of the public believe that homosexuality is morally wrong.
  • In a 2003 Gallup Poll, 90 percent of all Americans tended to favor equal job opportunities for gays.
gay rights43
Gay Rights
  • By 2003, 242 communities had laws to protect gay people including rights in housing, employment, and other areas.
  • In 1986, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution does not protect homosexual relations between consenting adults. That was reversed in 2003.
gay rights44
Gay Rights
  • Congress has acted to protect the rights of gay persons. In 1988, Congress passed its first comprehensive AIDS legislation.
    • Includes $1 billion for research, drugs, home health care, and testing.
  • In 1992, President Clinton challenged the practice of dismissing gays from the armed services.
    • Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia, then chairman of the Armed Services Committee, fought the president.
  • Human Rights Campaign (HRC) was founded in 1980 to elect officials who support gay rights.
disabled americans
Disabled Americans
  • There are about 53 million Americans with disabilities.
  • Problems exist for wheelchair-bound people gaining access to shopping malls, restaurants, employment, and transportation.
disabled americans46
Disabled Americans
  • In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, banning discrimination against disabled persons in employment, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications.
    • Applies to companies who employ more than 15 people.
    • New buses, taxis, hotels, phone booths, ATM machines, and other facilities must be made accessible to the disabled.
  • In spite of the Eleventh Amendment, George Lane was allowed to sue the state of Tennessee for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. He won.
democracy under pressure47

Democracy Under Pressure

Black and White: An American Dilemma

black and white an american dilemma
Black and White: An American Dilemma
  • The Rodney King beating case: a study in current U.S. race relations.
    • A videotape of white Los Angeles police officers beating a black speeding suspect named Rodney King shocked the nation.
    • King's injuries were severe, and the video showed that he was virtually subdued, and was surrounded by 15 officers who did not intervene.
    • The four officers, who were later tried for assault and excessive use of force, argued that King had aggressively resisted arrest.
black and white an american dilemma49
Black and White: An American Dilemma
  • All four were acquitted, setting off a firestorm in predominately black South Central Los Angeles.
    • Some white drivers were dragged from their vehicles and beaten.
    • Three nights of destruction with fires and looting. Some 50 persons died, and more than 2,300 were injured, most of whom were Hispanic or African American.
    • Close to 14,000 were arrested as a result of the violence.
black and white an american dilemma50
Black and White: An American Dilemma
    • Governor Pete Wilson sent in the National Guard and President Bush authorized federal agents to put down the violence.
    • Both the president and Rodney King went on television to urge that the violence stop.
  • The Justice Department, in the wake of the acquittals, charged the officers with federal civil rights violations. Two were convicted and two acquitted.
  • The fact that an incident like this could take place shocked many Americans. Blacks, who are familiar with race prejudice in society, were not as shocked.
black and white an american dilemma51
Black and White: An American Dilemma
  • Issues of law enforcement and racial prejudice arose again in the O.J. Simpson case.
    • At the 1995 trial, former football star Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in 1994.
black and white an american dilemma52
Black and White: An American Dilemma
  • Detective Mark Fuhrman testified to finding a bloody glove belonging to Simpson at the murder site.
    • Fuhrman's racist remarks on an audio tape were used by the defense to discredit his testimony because they included boasts that he had planted evidence in other cases.
    • b. Simpson's defense team used this evidence of racism as a key part of their defense to establish a reasonable doubt in jurors' minds.
    • c. In a survey taken a few days before the jurors' decision, 77 percent of the whites thought Simpson guilty while 72 percent of blacks thought he was not.
black and white an american dilemma53
Black and White: An American Dilemma
  • Author James Baldwin says in his book, The Fire Next Time, that white people cannot perceive what it is like to be black in America.
    • Black writer Ralph Ellison called himself the "invisible man" because "people refuse to see me."
    • The authors point out that it is paradoxical that a nation created upon the principle that all people are created equal should have a "race problem.“
    • Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal notes that Americans are not tortured by the fact that what they espouse in theory and American creed does not play out in practice.
black and white an american dilemma54
Black and White: An American Dilemma
  • By the 1980s, a substantial black middle class emerged and black incomes were growing. William Julius Wilson says that "as the black middle class rides the wave of political and social change . . . the black underclass falls behind."
democracy under pressure55

Democracy Under Pressure

The Historical Background

african americans
African Americans
  • Unlike most other immigrants, African Americans came to the United States as slaves and lost pride in their African culture by losing contact with it.
  • Slaves were captured mostly in West Africa and sent by ship under cruel conditions.
    • It was not unusual to lose half of the transported slaves.
    • Estimates are that between the 16th and mid-19th centuries, about 15 million slaves (or perhaps about twice that) were brought here from Africa.
an african american heritage
An African American Heritage
  • Beginning in the 1960s a new interest in the cultural heritage of African Americans encouraged new studies of the roles of blacks in U.S. history.
    • a. African Americans were killed in the Boston Massacre in 1770, and took part in the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. They also were with Washington at Valley Forge.
    • b. The contributions of African Americans to American culture and science were overlooked.
    • c. While the Declaration of Independence said "all men are created equal," this did not include the slaves who would, in the U.S. Constitution, be called "three-fifths" of a person.
dred scott reconstruction and jim crow
Dred Scott, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow
  • Citizens of a state are constitutionally citizens of the nation as well.
  • Until the Civil War, this principle really only applied to whites.
  • What is the citizenship status of "free blacks"? This remained an open question to be answered in the Dred Scott case.
dred scott reconstruction and jim crow59
Dred Scott, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow
  • Dred Scott, a slave who had lived in a free state in the North for four years, went to court seeking that he be declared a free man.
    • Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney held that Scott and black Americans "are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word 'citizens' in the Constitution."
    • Taney was reversed after the Civil War with the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery; the Fourteenth, which made the former slaves citizens; and the Fifteenth, which said race could not be used to keep blacks from voting.
dred scott reconstruction and jim crow60
Dred Scott, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow
  • During the Reconstruction period, the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was written to provide equal public accommodations for blacks.
    • In the civil rights cases of 1883, the Supreme Court said that the Fourteenth Amendment protected citizens from infringement of their rights by states, not by private individuals.
    • Discrimination by one citizen against another was deemed a private matter.
dred scott reconstruction and jim crow61
Dred Scott, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow
  • This atmosphere led to the rise of segregation and the Jim Crow laws. In the South, these were used to segregate the races.
  • The Jim Crow period was also accompanied by lynchings and terror for African Americans.
plessy v ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson
  • A black man, Homer Plessy, took a seat reserved for whites only on a train bound for New Orleans. When he would not move, he was arrested.
  • The Court ruled that the Louisiana statute did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment, this approving the principle of "separate but equal."
plessy v ferguson63
Plessy v. Ferguson
  • In a ringing dissent, Justice Harlan, who had been shocked by Ku Klux Klan atrocities and become a champion of blacks on the Supreme Court, declared: "Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens."
  • The "separate but equal" principle remained the "law of the land" until 1954.
the case of linda carol brown
The Case of Linda Carol Brown
  • The father of eight-year-old Linda Brown of Topeka, Kansas, was disturbed that his daughter had to go to school 21 blocks from her home when one 7 blocks away was available.
    • Brown tried to enroll his daughter in the nearby Summer Elementary School.
    • He was told the school was only for whites.
    • With the help of the NAACP, Brown took the case to court.
brown v board of education
Brown v. Board of Education
  • On May 17, 1954, Chief Justice Earl Warren, speaking for a unanimous court, ruled that "in the field of public education the doctrine 'separate but equal' has no place."
    • He noted further that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal," and this violated Fourteenth Amendment protections.
  • Compliance was often slow and, in some cases, involved armed confrontation between state and federal authorities.
little rock oxford and alabama
Little Rock, Oxford, and Alabama
  • Violence erupted at Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas, when Governor Faubus tried to block the school's integration in 1957. President Eisenhower sent troops to quell the violence.
  • A similar altercation in 1962 surrounded attempts to admit James Meredith, a black student, to the University of Mississippi at Oxford. Two men were killed in rioting. President Kennedy sent federal marshals and 16,000 troops to guard Meredith and restore order.
little rock oxford and alabama67
Little Rock, Oxford, and Alabama
  • The following year, Governor George Wallace stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama, backing down only after President Kennedy federalized the Alabama National Guard.
the school decision aftermath
The School Decision: Aftermath
  • In October 1969, after defiance of Brown in the states, the Supreme Court again unanimously ruled that schools must end segregation "at once . . . now and hereafter."
  • In 1979, Brown was reopened because Topeka's schools were still segregated.
  • In 1987 a federal district court ruled that the school district, while not totally integrated, was in compliance with the law.
the busing controversy
The Busing Controversy
  • In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that in some circumstances the Constitution required busing of school children to achieve desegregation.
  • Critics argued that neighborhood schools were favored by a majority of parents
  • In Northern cities, segregation was not a product of any one law, but of de facto segregation due to residential patterns and white flight.
the busing controversy70
The Busing Controversy
  • Some black leaders concluded that the goal should be improvement of majority black schools ratherthan integration.
  • In 1990's, 70 percent of black students still attended predominately minority schools.
democracy under pressure71

Democracy Under Pressure

The Civil Rights Movement: Freedom Now

the montgomery bus boycott
The Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • 43-year-old seamstress Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to give whites a seat in the front. She was arrested and fined $10.
  • A 27-year-old minister, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led a yearlong boycott in response. He later went to jail, and his home was bombed.
  • Eventually, a federal court injunction ordered the segregation of Montgomery buses.
the montgomery bus boycott73
The Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • In 1957 King formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), which became a major civil rights organization.
    • The SCLC was in favor of nonviolent change as influenced by Gandhi's teachings.
    • The NAACP stressed using legal actions in Courts.
sit ins and freedom rides
Sit-Ins and Freedom Rides
  • The first sit-ins began in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1960, and spread to other states, meeting with success.
  • Sit-in techniques were used on interstate buses and at bus terminals.
  • Despite being beaten for their efforts, the Freedom Riders demonstrated that although the Supreme Court had outlawed segregation on interstate transportation, it still continued.
birmingham and the dream
Birmingham and the Dream
  • King organized demonstrations against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, in the spring of 1963.
    • Police responded with fire hoses, dogs, and cattle prods.
    • The demonstrators were seen on television across the nation singing "We Shall Overcome."
    • Late in August, 1963, King led the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom," which brought 200,000 to the Lincoln Memorial.
    • King's famous "I have a dream" speech keyed the historic event.
birmingham and the dream76
Birmingham and the Dream
  • Eighteen days later a bomb was thrown into the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, killing four young black girls attending Bible class.
  • The march and the bombing helped lay the foundation for the passage of the strongest civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.
the legislative breakthrough
The Legislative Breakthrough
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1957 created the Commission on Civil Rights, and strengthened the civil rights division of the Justice Department.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964
    • In 1963 JFK proposed the Civil Rights Act, but his assassination left the job undone.
      • After JFK's November assassination, the House passed the bill only to have a marathon filibuster delay it in the Senate.
      • On July 2, LBJ signed it into law with these major provisions:
        • Prohibits racial and religious discrimination in public accommodations.
the legislative breakthrough78
The Legislative Breakthrough
  • Prohibits employers and unions from discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
  • Mandates the same voting registration standards, regardless of race.
  • Permits the attorney general to enforce desegregation.
  • Permits the executive branch of the federal government to withhold funds from public or private programs that discriminate.
  • Extends the life of the Civil Rights Commission, creates a Community Relations Service to conciliate race disputes, and creates an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce fair employment standards.
the legislative breakthrough79
The Legislative Breakthrough
  • In a civil rights act passed in 1968, Congress provided for criminal penalties for interfering with civil rights workers or any persons exercising their civil rights.
  • Congress also passed the Fair Housing Act dealing with discrimination in the rental or sale of privately owned single-family housing.
the legislative breakthrough80
The Legislative Breakthrough
  • The Voting Rights Act of 1965
    • Obstacles, such as literacy tests, all-white primaries, poll taxes, and gerrymandered districts were devised to keep blacks from power positions and to flout the Fifteenth Amendment.
    • In the 11 southern states, only 12 percent of blacks of voting age were registered in 1948. By November 1964, the figure rose to 43.3 percent, 73.2 percent of whites. In 1965 Dr. King led the famous Selma to Birmingham march for voting rights. LBJ responded by addressing a joint session of Congress, calling for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
the legislative breakthrough82
The Legislative Breakthrough
  • The act passed despite a Senate filibuster. It called for:
    • An end to literacy tests in areas where less than half the voting-age population has registered for, or had actually voted in, the 1964 election.
    • Federal examiners to require enrollment of qualified voters in those areas.
    • The attorney general could go to court to ask that examiners be appointed.
    • Within two years, black registration jumped from 6.7 percent to 59.8 percent.
the legislative breakthrough83
The Legislative Breakthrough
  • The Voting Rights Act of 1970 extended the life of the 1965 law and broadened its scope to northern and western states.
  • It was extended again in 1975 and 1982 (in the latter case for 25 years). The 1975 law extended provisions to Spanish speakers, American Indians, Asians, and Native Alaskans.
  • The act encouraged more blacks to run for office. The Reverend Jesse Jackson mounted a serious campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988.
the legislative breakthrough85
The Legislative Breakthrough
  • Redrawing congressional districts:
    • In the early 1900s, two dozen majority-black districts were drawn in the South at the prodding of the Justice Department to conform to the Voting Rights Act and to make possible the election of more African American representatives. Some were oddly shaped to meet that goal.
    • In 1993, the Supreme Court ruled (5-4) that districts drawn with "bizarre" shapes that can't be attributed to anything but an effort to separate voters by race are unconstitutional unless they serve a compelling state interest. This opinion by Justice Sandra O'Connor affected redistricts in Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia.
the legislative breakthrough86
The Legislative Breakthrough
  • In 1995, the Court struck down Georgia's redistricting plan, and in 1996, plans for congressional districts in Texas and North Carolina.
  • Speaking for the Court, Justice Kennedy said: "When the state assigns voters on the basis of race, it engages in the offensive and demeaning assumption that voters of a particular race, because of their race, think alike, share the same political interests, and will prefer the same candidates at the polls."
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The Urban Riots
  • The authors explain that life for African Americans did not visibly improve from all of this legislation, and ghetto life was characterized by poverty and frustration.
  • What followed were the 1965 Watts riot, the assassination of Dr. King in April 1968, and further riots in more than one hundred cities.
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Black Power, Black Pride
  • During the late 1960s, voices of militants had drowned out those who were more moderate, especially after King's assassination.
  • Stokely Carmichael popularized the term "black power" as "a call for black people in this country to unite, to recognize their heritage, to build a sense of community." It advocated that blacks gain political control over their communities.
  • This racial pride gave rise to slogans like "Black is beautiful," and an emphasis on terms like "soul" or "soul brother."
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Black Power, Black Pride
  • A number of police and Black Panthers were killed in shoot-outs between the two groups.
  • The Million Man March on the mall in Washington, D.C., in October 1995 was organized by Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.
    • i. Farrakhan is controversial because of his inflammatory, often anti-Semitic, rhetoric.
    • ii. The march's organizers emphasized racial pride and responsibility.
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Democracy Under Pressure

Affirmative Action: The Supreme Court Rules

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Affirmative Action: The Supreme Court Rules
  • Was affirmative action-programs of government, universities, and business, designed to favor minorities and remedy past discrimination-constitutional?
  • President Kennedy, in a 1961 executive order, was the first president to call for affirmative action by prohibiting discrimination against minorities by contractors who receive federal funds. The order also told them to hire and promote minorities.
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Affirmative Action: The Supreme Court Rules
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 barred universities and others from receiving federal funds from discriminating.
    • The 1964 law also banned discrimination by employers and unions.
    • Many employers, unions, and universities went further, giving preference to minorities applying for admission and jobs.
  • Supporters of affirmative action sought not just equality of opportunity, but equality of results.
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Bakke and Weber: The Battle Is Joined
  • Opponents of affirmative action argued that it was a form of reverse discrimination against whites.
    • The Fourteenth Amendment had extended equal protection of the law to all.
    • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed any form of discrimination.
    • Were affirmative action programs unconstitutional if they favored a black or Hispanic person over a white one?
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Bakke and Weber: The Battle Is Joined
  • Allan Bakke, a white man, graduated from college with an engineering degree and a 3.51 grade point average, served with the Marines, and worked with NASA. He decided that he wanted to become a physician.
    • Bakke applied to medical school at the University of California at Davis and was rejected twice.
    • In Davis's special admissions program, 16 out of 100 slots were reserved for minority students with much lower scores.
    • Five years after his first application, the Supreme Court ordered Bakke admitted by a 5-4 vote.
      • i. The decision upheld the rights of colleges and universities to give preferences to minorities.
      • ii. Forbade rigid racial "quotas" like the one at UC Davis.
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Bakke and Weber: The Battle Is Joined
    • Five years after his first application, the Supreme Court ordered Bakke admitted by a 5-4 vote.
      • i. The decision upheld the rights of colleges and universities to give preferences to minorities.
      • ii. Forbade rigid racial "quotas" like the one at UC Davis.
  • In 1979, Brian Weber, a white lab technician at Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation, sued after he was passed over for training that would have led to higher pay. The Court ruled 5-2 that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was designed to help minorities and not prohibit private affirmative action programs.
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Bakke and Weber: The Battle Is Joined
  • In 1980 the Supreme Court ruled that Congress could constitutionally require that 10 percent of federal public works contracts be awarded to minority-owned firms. The Court viewed the practice as a way of overcoming past discrimination.
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Bakke and Weber: The Battle Is Joined
  • In 1987, in a broad endorsement of affirmative action, the Supreme Court ruled that employers could promote women and minorities ahead of white men, even when there is no evidence of prior discrimination.
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Bakke and Weber: The Battle Is Joined
  • But, in 1995, the Supreme Court questioned federal affirmative action programs in a case involving a Hispanic-owned company.
    • A contract to build guardrails along a federal highway in Colorado was given to a Hispanic company, despite the fact that a white contractor offered a lower bid.
    • The Court ruled that the case be sent back to the lower federal court with instructions that federal affirmative actions programs must be "narrowly tailored" to be constitutional.
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Bakke and Weber: The Battle Is Joined
  • The authors believe that the Supreme Court often reflects the political environment of the times.
    • a. In the wake of the 1994 Republican capture of Congress, the concept of affirmative action no longer enjoyed public support.
    • b. In California in 1995, the regents of the university system banned affirmative action in admissions.
    • c. In 1996, Californians approved Proposition 209, which banned race and gender preferences in hiring, contracting, and education.
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Bakke and Weber: The Battle Is Joined
  • d. In 1996, a federal court ruled against the University of Texas "racial preferences program" for admission to law school because it acted "to the detriment of whites and non-minorities." The Supreme Court let the decision stand.
  • e. In 1998, voters in Washington State banned state-sponsored affirmative action programs.
  • f. Two years later, Florida governor Jeb Bush defended his One Florida plan that guaranteed admission to a state university to the top 20 percent of high school graduates.
  • g. In 2003, the Supreme Court upheld the principle for minority students seeking admission to colleges and universities,
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Democracy Under Pressure

Equal Rights: A Balance Sheet

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Equal Rights: A Balance Sheet
  • The fact that millions of Americans, both black and white, hoped that retired General Colin Powell, an African American, would run for president in 1996 was a milestone. The color of a person's skin was no longer a barrier to seeking the nation's highest office.
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Equal Rights: A Balance Sheet
  • By 2004, there were 39 African Americans in the House of Representatives and more than 9,101 others in elective offices throughout the nation. Three African Americans served in the cabinet, and another sat on the Supreme Court.
    • Four hundred forty-five African Americans were mayors of major cities.
    • A federal holiday is now observed for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • Retired General Colin Powell held the highest military post and Reverend Jesse Jackson ran for the Democratic presidential nomination.
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Equal Rights: A Balance Sheet
  • Within the civil rights community, emphasis has "shifted from protest to politics."
  • All of the gains reflect only part of the picture.
    • Urban ghettos still exist.
    • In jobs, housing, education, and income, black people are more likely to be disadvantaged.
      • Less than 2 percent of all elected officials were black.
      • Other minority groups were not sharing equally in the society's benefits.
      • Women in 1993 earned 73 cents for every dollar males were paid.
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Equal Rights: A Balance Sheet
  • While inequalities remain, there are some signs of change.
    • The number of successful black-owned businesses had increased with the size of the black middle class.
    • America can be described as a multicultural society while others see danger in diversity and a loss of national identity.
    • Although ours is a nation of cultural diversity, there often is conflict among the groups. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., warns against what he called the "cult of ethnicity," which divides the country into "separate ethnic and racial communities."
    • Persistent economic inequalities continue to exist.
    • President Kennedy warned that this is not a sectional issue: "We are confronted primarily with a moral issue."
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Equal Rights: A Balance Sheet
  • How the United States responds to these issues may well decide its future.