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Civil Rights

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An overview of civil rights for a National Government class.

An overview of civil rights for a National Government class.

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  • The plaintiffs in Belk v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education charged that the school system had become desegregated and that remedial techniques, such as busing and racial quotas, had thus been rendered unnecessary.  A federal court of appeals agreed with the plaintiffs.  When the ruling was challenged, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case and thereby upheld the lower court's ruling.


  • 1. Jon R. WallacePOSC 101Lake Michigan College
  • 2. Civil Liberties areprotections againstgovernment actions.Civil Rights refer topositive actions thegovernment shouldtake to create equalconditions for allAmericans.
  • 3. Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)— the Supreme Court ruled that slaves were not citizens of the United States, nor were they entitled to the rights and privileges of citizenship. The Court also ruled that the Missouri Compromise, which banned slavery in theVideo: Dred Scott & the 14th territories in the southernAmendment border of Missouri, was unconstitutional.
  • 4. Thirteenth Amendment — neither slavery nor involuntaryservitude shall exist within the United States.Fourteenth Amendment —all persons born or naturalized inthe United States are citizens of the United States. No state shallmake or enforce any law reducing the privileges or immunities ofcitizens; nor shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property,without due process of the law, nor deny to any person within itsjurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.Fifteenth Amendment — the rights of citizens in the UnitedStates to vote shall note be denied or abridged by the UnitedStates or by any State on the account of race, color, or previouscondition of servitude.
  • 5. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 –Extended citizenship to anyoneborn in the US and gave AfricanAmericans full equality according tothe lawThe Enforcement Act of 1870– Established specific sanctions forinterfering with the right to vote.The Civil Rights Act of 1875 –Declared that everyone is entitledto free and equal enjoyment ofpublic accomodations.
  • 6. The Ineffectiveness ofFailure of Reconstruction the Civil Rights Laws The Civil Rights Cases The Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment was limited to correcting actions by states in their official acts and didn’t apply to private discrimination
  • 7. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)established the Separate-but-Equal Doctrine — thedoctrine holding thatseparate-but-equalfacilities do not violate theequal protection clause ofthe 14th Amendment tothe U.S. Constitution aslong as the facilities wereequal.
  • 8. White Primary—a state primary election thatrestricts voting to whites only; outlawed by theSupreme Court in 1944.Grandfather Clause—a device used by southernstates to disenfranchise African Americans. Itrestricted voting to those whose grandfathershad voted before 1867.Poll Tax—a special tax that must be paid to vote.In 1964, the 24th Amendment outlawed innational elections, and in 1966 the SupremeCourt declared it unconstitutional in stateelections as well.
  • 9. In the Southern states,lynching was a directresponse to accusationsof “familiarity” betweena white woman and anAfrican American man orboy.Race riots were typicallyinitiated by whites,typically caused bycompetition foremployment. The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow
  • 10. The End of Separatebut Equal begins inthe 1930’s withseveral court casesand the growth ofthe NAACP.Brown v. Board ofEducation Topeka(1954)
  • 11. Segregation of theraces violates the equalprotection clause of the14th Amendment.Brown II (1955) theSupreme Court orderedlower courts to ensureAfrican Americanswould be admittedwith “all deliberatespeed.”
  • 12. The white southchallenged theruling.Arkansas governorordered thenational guard toprevent integrationof Central highschool.
  • 13. De Facto Segregation—racial segregation thatoccurs because of pastsocial and economicconditions and residentialracial patterns.De Jure Segregation—racial segregation thatoccurs because of laws oradministrative decisions bypublic agencies.
  • 14. By the late 1990s, thecourts drifted away fromprevious commitmentsto desegregation.Several cases challengedbusing and admissionspolicies.Belk v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board ofEducation (2001)
  • 15. Minority districts aregrowing due to changingdemographics. Largecities have higherpopulations of Africanand Latino Americanpopulations.This has caused shifts ineducation systems andinequalities in educationamong districts.
  • 16. Rosa Parks – arrested forrefusing to give up herbus seat to a white man.African Americansboycotted the bussystem for a year, led bya then 27 year old Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr.In 1956 a federal courtissued an injunctionprohibiting Montgomery,AL bus segregation.
  • 17. King’s Philosophy of CivilDisobedience (Ghandi).Civil Disobedience—anonviolent, public refusalto obey allegedly unjustlaws. King’s practice wasbased on MahatmaGandhi’s use ofdemonstrations, protests,and marches
  • 18. The March onWashington - August,1963.Over 250,000 attendedand millions watched ontelevision.“I have a dream”
  • 19. Black Power was adifferent approach: Black Muslims and African American separatists advocated militancy and a “fighting back’ philosophy Rejected cultural assimilation Malcolm X preached pride in color and culture, but demanded racial separation
  • 20. Forbidsdiscrimination onthe basis of race,color, religion,gender or nationalorigin.Title VII prohibitsdiscrimination inemployment basedon the above.
  • 21. The VotingRights Act of1965 outlaweddiscriminatoryvoter registrationtests, authorizedfederalregistration andfederal oversightof any state orlocal governmentfounddiscriminating.
  • 22. President Johnsonsigned the executiveorder in 1965, whichmandated AffirmativeAction: a policy ineducational admissions orjob hiring that gives specialattention or compensatorytreatment to traditionallydisadvantaged groups in aneffort to overcome presenteffects of pastdiscrimination.
  • 23. Forbade discriminationin housing and providedpenalties for thoseinterfering withindividual civil rights.Additional legislationprevented discriminationin mortgage lending.In 2008 African Americanvoters outnumberedwhite voters.
  • 24. Congress expanded therights of the EqualOpportunityEmploymentCommission andexpanded coverage ofcivil rights to federal,state, and localgovernments, schoolsand colleges.
  • 25. Increased political participation by African Americans. Over 5,000 Hispanic elected officials (and growing). Increased participation in politics and political office by women of all races.Charles Haynes/CreativeCommons
  • 26. Lucretia Mott andElizabeth CadyStanton were barredby men at the WorldAntislaveryConvention in Londonin 1840, and returned David J. & Janice L. Frent Collection/Corbisto the United Stateswith a plan to workfor women’s rights.
  • 27. In 1848, the first women’s rights convention led byLucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in SenecaFalls, New York approved a Declaration of Sentiments.
  • 28. Susan B. Anthony andElizabeth Cady Stantonformed the NationalWomen’s SuffrageAssociationAlice Paul founded theCongressional Union.The organizationemployed militant tacticsincluding hunger strikes,arrests and civildisobedience.
  • 29. Lucy BurnsThe 19th Amendment was passed in 1920 givingwomen the right to vote in America.
  • 30. Congress introduced theEqual Rights Amendment(ERA) in 1923.Congress passed the ERAin 1972, but the statesfailed to approve itwithin seven years.Women’s issues include:Domestic Violence,Abortion, Pornography.
  • 31. 1972 EducationAmendments: Genderdiscrimination: Title IX statesno person in the UnitedStates shall, on the basis ofsex, be excluded fromparticipation in; be deniedthe benefits of, or besubjected to discriminationunder any educationprogram or activity receivingFederal financial assistance.
  • 32. Title VII of the Civil Rights Actof 1964 prohibits genderdiscrimination.In 1978 congress expandedTitle VII to include pregnancy.The Supreme Court has ruledit is the responsibility of theemployer to prevent sexualharassment throughexpansion of Title VII andthat harassment is covered inTitle VII.
  • 33. US Population Projections
  • 34. The Supreme Court (5-4)somewhat upheldAffirmative Action in 1978(Bakke v. University ofCalifornia) but found forBakke citing reversediscrimination if race is thesole consideration.States have since moved tonarrow Affirmative Action,particularly with collegeadmissions.
  • 35. 1990 Americans withDisabilities : Requires allpublic buildings and publicservices be available to personswith disabilities. This includescar rental companies, telephonecompanies, etc. Employers mustreasonably accommodate theneeds of persons withdisabilities who have physical ormental disabilities that impaireveryday activities. Healthconditions that have beenconsidered disabilities underfederal law are protected.
  • 36. Juvenile RightsImmigrationGay and Lesbian RightsTransgender RightsDon’t Ask Don’t TellSame Sex Marriage Defense of Marriage Act State’s recognition of Gay Marriage Child custody and adoption