Racism is one of the critical and widely discussed issues in the United States of America. Whenever racism is discussed, what comes into mind is discrimination against blacks. Well, racism has a lot to do with the way African Americans have been mistreated and their rights violated over the years. Civil Rights Movement is one of the organizations that played a significant role in fighting against the oppression of the black community in the 1960s in the U.S. (Dierenfield 110). Regardless of the efforts to fight racism in America, it is still widespread and an issue of great concern. However, it is not as serious as it was in the17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The paper will discuss whether all people in the U.S. receive the same level of civil rights today. It will discuss issues such as the criminal justice system, educational and employment opportunities, and Black Lives matter, among others.
The black community in the U.S. has been subject to racism for decades. Civil Rights Movement, under the leadership of Martin Luther King, was one of the organizations that struggled to seek justice for the African Americans. It addressed issues such as segregation, blacks’ voting privileges, and inequalities in accessing public services, education, and employment, just to mention a few concerns. The movement used nonviolent protests, boycotts, appeals, and legal means to seek fairness for the African Americans (Dierenfield, 155). It managed to have the U.S. Constitution amended which allowed Negros to have entitlements such as voting rights and put an end to racial segregation. Moreover, the Civil Rights Movement managed to change the American society such that the blacks could get opportunities to improve their lives economically, socially, and also politically.
Currently, America seems changed and exhibits some level of equality on a racial basis. In his speech titled “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” in 1968, Martin Luther King prophesied that as a community, the black people would get to the Promised Land even if he would not be alive (Lyons 552). It can be concluded that King’s revelation has come true. African Americans can now vote or participate in politics freely, they can access education, and employment just as their white counterparts. Unlike the early 19th century African Americans can easily access education, employment, proper housing, and speak freely in modern America.
Nevertheless, equality, when it comes to how civil rights are received in the U.S is questionable. More so, racial minorities experience a wide range of discriminations compared to the Whites. The employment sector is one of the areas where civil rights inequalities is significant. All Americans, regardless of their color or ethnicity have a right to be employed, as per the U.S. Constitution. However, most employers in America are white and they favor white job seekers while they discriminate black candidates (Reich 37). When it comes to employment, a white employer may choose a less qualified and a lowly skilled white person over an African American who is highly learned and with the necessary skills. Also, the majority of the black people working on the same level of jobs as Whites are often paid less even if they have the same academic qualifications.
The U.S. Criminal Justice System (CJS) has also been in the limelight for practicing some level of racism. It favors the whites and highly discriminates against the black people. It is sad that the only platform that people of color can use to seek justice is also against them. The U.S. law enforcement officers are known to carry out unnecessary searches on black people than the white people (Burch 399). African Americans are highly harassed on the streets by the police, are the most arrested, and can easily get killed unlike individuals from other races. Police brutality towards the black people is a hotly debated issue in America as it has led to many unreasonable deaths of the people of color. American CJS also exhibits racism through the correctional and court systems. African Americans, being a minority group, have the highest rates of incarceration. Negros are also more likely to receive harsh penalties compared to white offenders even when the crimes committed are similar.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a popular organization in the U.S that fights justice for African Americans. It is known for its regular protests and campaigns centered on harassments and killings on the black people, and racial profiling and inequality. The movement draws its inspirations from the Civil Rights, Anti-Apartheid, and Pan-Africanism, among other associations (Garza 24). It has played a significant role in helping raise awareness on the plight of the black community in America. Even though police brutality towards people of color is still a critical concern, BLM has led to a reduction in the number of African Americans killed by law enforcement officers.
The right to equal educational opportunities is also an issue in the U.S. A significant number of minority groups can access education but not in all schools. For instance, many black children attend predominantly African American schools which receive poor funding from the government (Reich 41). Schools that are largely attended by minority groups have limited resources which leads to poor-quality education.
Overall, the civil rights movement played a major role in helping to alleviate racial discrimination. However, racism is still experienced in the U.S CJS. The black people are negatively affected due to increased police brutality towards them and they are the most arrested which makes their population in jail the highest compared to their population. Blacks are also experience inequalities in employment and educational sectors.
Burch, Traci. “Skin Color and the Criminal Justice System: Beyond Black‐White Disparities in Sentencing.” Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 12.3 (2015): 395-420.
Dierenfield, Bruce J. The Civil Rights Movement: Revised Edition. Routledge (2013): 106-228.
Garza, Alicia. “A herstory of the# BlackLivesMatter movement.” Are all the women still white (2014): 23-28.
Lyons, Courtney. “Martin Luther King’s Biblical Epic: His Final, Great Speech.” The Journal of Southern History 79.2 (2013): 552.
Reich, Michael. Racial inequality: A political-economic analysis. Vol. 4883. Princeton University Press (2017): 25-60.