Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Dr. King's letter that he wrote in prison was written so well and it says so much about what was going on during this time. He goes through exactly why the African American's are wanting their freedom and exactly how they plan to get it. Dr. King didn't know if he would be successful or not, but he was going to die trying. Some of the best writing in this letter has to be when Dr. King is going through what the children in the black community must go through and how the parent's of these children must deal with telling their kids no to something because they are black. "But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, and even kill your black brothers and sisters". How terrible this must have been for these black people to have to go through this day in and day out in a place that was supposed to be free from violence against other races. Dr. King tells us that many people told them they need to, "Wait". How could someone wait for something they feel already should be understood? Another part of this paragraph, Dr. King writes, "...when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on televison, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an uncoscious bitternness toward white people...". When I think about having children, there is no way that I could explain to them that they are not equal to everyone else because of the color of your skin. No parent should have to do that.
The letter by the eight clergymen is just really disheartening after reading Dr. King's letter and how passionate he is in it. There is no doubt that King would die for this cause, but it doesn't seem like the clergymen could care if it swings one way or another. There is no passion in their speech to the freedoms and rights that are being requested by the black community. In their letter, they have the nerve to come out and say that these "demonstrations by some of our Negro citizens, directed and led in part by outsiders...""...But we are convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely". How on earth could they say that these demonstrations are unwise? It is the God given right for all men to be treated equally. No one has the right to treat someone different because the color of their skin. The fact that these men say such cruel things about the black community's demonstrations tells me that they are not on the side of the African-American's, they are on their own side. They feel as though they are doing good, but what they are really doing is just giving into the laws and treatment of black people. They are treating black people just as bad if not worse by saying they are going to help them but not supporting their fight for freedom and equality. In this letter all of the bashing of the demonstrations and fighting for freedom by the black community is really upsetting to me. Asking them to, "...withdraw support from these demonstrations..." just tells me that they are not on the side of the African-American's when it comes to achieving freedom and equality.

As much as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did for the black community it did not give them everything they wanted or deserved. It did a good job at providing some sort of law that was now in our government that gave the black community protection against discrimination, but it did not enforce it and it did not pass quickly enough to do a great job at protecting the African-American's that had already been discriminated against. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was started during President Kennedy's term, but was not passed until after Kennedy was assassinated and Lyndon B. Johnson was made president in 1964. This Act established the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), which was used to "promote equal opportunity in employment through administrative and judicial enforcement of the federal civil rights laws and through education and technical assistance". There was some issues with this bill that had to be addressed as well. One of the major issues was the issue of desegregation in the school system.

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