Civil Right Act 1964 Research Report Essay
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The Civil Right Act was enacted on 2nd July 1964 upon passing by the House of Congress and assented to by the then President Lyndon B. Johnson. The act was established to put certain society aspects in proper play surrounding the black community scenarios, women, other minorities, immigrants, older folks and LGBT. The document was created under different circumstances unlike any other written legislation in the country from the past and present laws (Pedriana &Stryker, 2004). The people involved in campaigning for the same law originated from different quotas of the society. The black community was majorly the affected parties hence participated fully through their local and national leaderships. The Act faced different challenges putting in mind that the affected groups faced opposition from the majority of the bigger white population in the country. The areas of interest also affected minority groups that lacked the necessary voice through representation at the time (Yancey, 2007).
The aspect majorly granted by the Act was in areas concerning discrimination in public areas that was rampant at the time in the country. The black society was facing challenges in benefiting from resources that were available in the country from the federal and national governments. The discrimination ranged from schools, churches, hospitals, public events and availability of amenities. The white community by had a view of being more superior to the black community in given areas in the country. Another area at stake during the time was the rights of the minority groups in various parts of the country and needed proper laws to protect every individual in the society (Finley, 2008)..
The creation of the Act also faced support through some white quotas in the country at the time when rights were limited to persons. Some laws were established like the Jim Crow laws that facilitated separate but equal segregation at the time. Such laws were important at the time and even the Supreme Court upheld such laws as constitutional as was seen in the case of Plessy v Ferguson (1895) before the changes were severe and proper campaigns made in time. The 1954 landmark case on Brown v Board of Education of Topeka in Kansas became a new policy towards campaigning for the Civic Right Act that was later adopted. The measures put by the court to declare the laws inconsistency with the constitution also created room for the proper legislations to be made in the country by the concerned groups. The laws initially protected people at their different status of the country. The segregation bit caused unrest as it was not enough to be equal yet the resources are enjoyed discriminatively (Pedriana &Stryker, 2004).
The assassination of the then President John F. Kennedy was another step that encouraged the principles guiding human rights for all groups of persons to be leveled across the country. Civil Rights Act was supported by the president in his quest to ensure an equal American society as every man, woman, race, community and economic class must enjoy equal rights in the society. The communities were forced to come together and come up with a comprehensive document that caters for the rights of all these groups of persons. The approach was taken as a solidarity step for a moaning country at the time, and its proponent was assassinated. Each perspective made was pushed to the house of Congress and the Senate to ensure that proper laws are passed to protect every member of the society. The steps made upon non-discrimination policies to be drafted in a comprehensive manner protected other areas affecting the different individuals in the society like the immigrants and old people (Yancey, 2007).
Initially before passing the Civic Rights Act, different areas of the societies also faced challenges apart from the racial problem experienced by the black community from the majority white community at the time. At the time, women were experiencing problems when it comes to payment in there are of employment. Discrimination based on gender had occurred before a law was passed in 1963 on Equal Pay that intended to balance the manner of wages distribution in the society. The Act of1963 promoted other areas that faced similar challenges in the society. An example is seen in the case of Johnson v. Transportation Agency, Santa Clara County where the honorable court that upheld decisions of the states and local laws in prohibiting discrimination in terms of sex in country (Rosenberg, 2008).
Minorities in the society were mostly groups of communities from other countries like the South America and other parts of the world. This class of persons like women was also discriminated in terms of employment, wages, housing, and other necessities during that era. Their voice was unheard due to their lack of representation in the Houses of Representation and Congress at the federal and national levels. The problems arising led to frequent strikes and demonstrations in the given regions to fight for the rights enjoyed by other groups under the same conditions. Like the women and minorities in the society, the elderly also faced challenges relating to discrimination. The worst of it all was that a person is elderly, a woman and from the minority group. The opportunities available to other major groups in the society like elderly homes and old age benefits after a lifetime of working were not available to them(Finley, 2008). The denial hindered their enjoyment of the available unalienable rights to all human beings. The Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur case became a turning point of some of the challenges that were facing women and minorities in the society. The public officers and employers were mandated to apply the principle of affirmative action to enhance a balance in opportunities among all groups in the country especially putting in mind the gender and minority requirement (Yancey, 2007).
The Southern California State form of discrimination falls into the category of the origin of a person in the area. This mainly affects people of the Hispanic origin who are the minority in the area. The discrimination influences how services are being rendered to specific groups and how the usage and distribution of resources fall in the region among the residents. It is important that the locals realize that the past stigma on discrimination on the basis of origin still affects the region to the present. Any little aspect of imbalance in opportunities available and resources usages in the area create an impact on how the decisions made are viewed. The challenges brought about by the loopholes in the then laws promoted such occurrences, and the oppressed could not defend them (Finley, 2008).
The Civic Right Act of 1964 became a milestone towards curing the vices experienced by the different members of the society. The Act has six parts that talk specifically about ways to curb discrimination in the areas. Title I intended to bear unequal voter application by voters during the period to prevent the characteristics used by the majority white community to limit voting rights of Blacks, Hispanic and poor whites in the southern part of the country. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 aided the objective of this part of the act to ensure every member of the society participates. Title II of the Act criminalizes all forms of discrimination in public places especially those of entertainment and leisure activities. This section of the Act protects all members of the society irrespective of the status and origin to enjoy the resources of the society. The other four Titles also elaborate the manner in which the government and other bodies need to conduct their businesses to prevent a scenario of any discrimination aspects in the society (Pedriana &Stryker, 2004).
There have been elaborate steps taken to ensure that civic rights are facilitated in the country from the time the Act of 1964 was passed. The areas covered range from legislations to institutions being established to protect and champion for the rights of all the groups that experienced discrimination in the past. The steps are to prevent any occurrence of such problems to the current and future generations at the different regimes of government from the year 1964. The Civil Rights Commission that was created by the Civil Rights Act (1957) has since been rendered more powers, procedures and rules as an institution intending to protect the rights of all the members of the society. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs) were developed to handle issues of discrimination and inequality in employment in the area. Persons can launch complaints to such bodies in the form of reports and lawsuits to advocate for their rights, other groups, and other persons that are being violated (Pedriana &Stryker, 2004).
The bodies have taken measures to ensure that every aspect of change in the society is recognized and proper legislation made in the given area. The bodies also conduct researches in different fields that affect the issue of affirmative action to ensure every party is up to date on their responsibilities. The courts have also been influential in the promotion of civic rights in the country as an institution. Cases have generally taken different directions in areas of race, gender, age, immigrants, and minorities. The cases have ranged from one state to the other depending on the issue at hand like employment, education, and qualifications for certain leisure and employment activities. The institutions are also required to apply the necessary legislations established to ensure the rights advocated for by the Civic Rights Act of 1964 are adhered to irrespective of the period and nature of opportunity available. The policies of the institutions have also been made in such a way that they undergo changes when new demands in the society. The notion is to avoid a crush of ideologies in the rights of all persons in the society (Pedriana &Stryker, 2004).
The legislations also involved vary from one state to the other, but there are those general laws that each federal government must adhere to ensure civil rights are protected and promoted in their jurisdiction. The Voting Right Act enacted in 1965 took the center stage to ensure all persons vote as a civic right expected of them. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (1978), the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act have been founded on the early rights expected. Other laws being developed in the country and at the federal levels are also guided with the principles stipulated in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Laws will impact the ways through which the institutions and persons work to protect the integrity of the initial Act. It is important to realize that every law must ensure that the areas anticipated to be discriminative in nature are insured and promoted at all the levels (Pedriana &Stryker, 2004).
Finley, Keith M. Delaying the Dream: Southern Senators and the Fight Against Civil Rights:
1938–1965. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2008
Pedriana, Nicholas &Stryker, Robin. "The Strength of a Weak Agency: Enforcement of Title
VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Expansion of State Capacity, 1965-1971," American Journal of Sociology, 2004, November
Rosenberg, Rosalind. Divided Lives: American Women in the Twentieth Century, 2008.
Yancey, George. "Experiencing Racism: Differences in the Experiences of Whites Married to
Blacks and Non-Black Racial Minorities". Journal of Comparative Family Studies (University of Calgary: Social Sciences), 2007, March 22.
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