Equal Opportunity Legislation With Some Teeth

Equal Opportunity Legislation With Some Teeth

Equal Opportunity Legislation with Some Teeth
On June 11, 1963, President John F .​
Kennedy set the stage for the passage of​ civil rights legislation that made meaningful change when he stated in​ a​ speech he was seeking…the kind of​ equality of​ treatment which we would want for ourselves .​
And despite his tragic assignation, that leadership set the wheels in​ motion for one of​ the most important pieces of​ legislation that the United States government has ever passed to​ protect the civil rights of​ African Americans .​
That legislation was the Civil Rights Act of​ 1964.
This bill represented the culmination of​ a​ decades if​ not century’s long struggle to​ achieve true civil rights for African Americans in​ the USA .​
President Kennedy saw this as​ the chance to​ put some real teeth into the law to​ give it​ the power to​ really change the way the country worked, played and lived together .​
It was a​ powerful continuation of​ the work that was started with The Civil Rights Act of​ 1875 but with much more enforceability combined with language that made it​ contemporary in​ an​ era of​ the expanding civil rights movement.
The bill was broad sweeping the scope of​ areas of​ civil life in​ this country to​ be impacted by restrictions against discrimination .​
The five titles of​ the bill cover may needed social changes including...
Title I​ – Banned discriminatory voter registration practices that were used to​ try to​ deny black people the right to​ vote.
Title II - Made it​ illegal to​ discriminate in​ public venues such as​ restaurants, theaters or​ hotels based on race.
Title III – Banned discrimination from public facilities such as​ government services or​ schools.
Title IV – Enforcement of​ desegregation of​ public schools
Title V – Made it​ illegal to​ discriminate in​ the workplace including race based hiring practices.
The Civil Rights Act of​ 1964 touched on virtually every aspect of​ public life in​ America from schools to​ the work place even to​ public gatherings such as​ entertainment and eating establishments .​
In every way that Americans gathered together as​ a​ people, The Civil Rights Act of​ 1964 banned discrimination against African Americans in​ that setting.
But there are other important steps forward for civil rights that were an​ important part of​ the development of​ this bill .​
The bill did not just address civil rights for African Americans and in​ fact, it​ does not address that population directly at​ all .​
Instead the bill protects the civil rights for all minority groups .​
As such this made the struggle for equality that the African American community had been involved with ever since the Civil War everyman’s struggle for equality and it​ made all Americans brothers in​ seeking equal opportunity and treatment for all who are citizens of​ this great country.
In approaching the bill in​ this way, Congress forged some powerful allies for the African American cause and put legislation in​ place to​ begin to​ positively view the emerging movement for equal rights for women which was just as​ much in​ need of​ correction and support to​ see that woman’s rights became the law of​ the land too .​
Again, this built a​ strong alliance between these movements which added clout not only to​ the bill to​ make sure it​ made it​ through congress but it​ gave clout to​ those who were charged with enforcement of​ this important legislation.
You have to​ admire the courage of​ the leadership of​ this country for taking a​ stand on behalf of​ equal rights in​ putting this bill into effect .​
We especially add our admiration to​ the work of​ President Kennedy and then President Johnson who did not let the Kennedy assignation damage the chances that this bill would become law .​
For President Johnson, putting the muscle of​ the presidency behind this bill gave it​ the power to​ push past objections and become the law of​ the land .​

Many say that this one political stand he took destroyed Johnson’s chances to​ be reelected because of​ the animosity it​ caused in​ the south toward him .​
But President Johnson did what all presidents should do .​
He saw the good of​ the country and of​ the society as​ more important than his own political ambitions and he defied the danger to​ make sure equal rights for African Americans and all Americans became the law .​
We need that kind of​ leadership today and in​ ever generation of​ leaders of​ this nation so we always seek the common good in​ the laws we see passed by our government.

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