The Civil Rights Act of 1964 Essay
The act which was passed on 1964 changed the course of history of United States and eliminated the legal discrimination and provided equal rights to all. That act is known as the civil rights act 1964, according to this act there will be no discrimination while providing the employment on the basis of color, race or gender to anyone. It was first proposed by the president Kennedy and then carried by Martin Luther King. The main object of this act was to give equal rights to black and end the differences between whites and blacks. The act was not easily passed but it was the result of most complex and greatest battle of politics. The initiative of this act was taken right after the civil war to end the segregation in every public place of America. Those who were supporting this bill expressed their achievement by saying that this bill should have passed many years before and with the passing of bill they explained it by saying it was long overdue. It was first proposed by the president Kennedy and then carried by Martin Luther King. John F. Kennedy was the one and president of the United States of America who was the first one who took this act to the parliament by sending the messages to congress leaders that the constitution of America is color blind and the practices of America should follow the same thing. Even though Kennedy tried several of times to pass the bill after brining this up but his weak proposal never let the bill made it through. But still, his efforts are still praised by historian because after that strong voices started to raise in the shape of movement of civil rights and the most influential voice was from the Martin Luther King. The discussion in this paper will thoroughly explains and highlights the important steps and gradual success of this act with affirmative actions with cases to show the impact on the society.
There were several ways used by the force against Martin Lither Kind and the protests he started in Birmingham but all those actions went vain. Those combat by the police were described and criticized deeply by the letter from Birmingham jail which won the moral conscious of the Americans. This moral conscious helped gaining more support and not just blacks but even white people became part of those protests. Kennedy remarked the acts of combat by the police commissioner Bull as remarkable because his ways of combatting protests benefitted the civil right movement more than Abraham Lincoln. Those protests and the combat against those protests in Birmingham is defined as the remarkable incident for the civil right movement because it not only won the sympathy of all Americans but also Kennedy started supporting it strongly who was once against it (Andrews & Gaby, 2015).
Before the incident of Birmingham Kennedy was close to indifferent toward this movement because he was keeping in consideration of both the sides, the people of movement and the southern state leadership who weren’t willing to give blacks the rights of what white have. Kennedy was not willing to lose the support from southern states neither he wanted this movement to be failed. There were few liberals in the southern states who were willing to give the rights but the support in his upcoming election were needed from all of them. Kennedy even tried to convince the protestors by his economic plan and educational programs to facilitate black people but movement was strong enough not letting go the chance to have equal rights. Kennedy took every move very carefully for not losing the support from either side till the Birmingham incident happened.
Right after the Birmingham situation, Kennedy stopped caring for the southern leaders and even endangered the upcoming election plan to get the support from all of them started emphasizing on the civil act and started presented the idea of making it a law. Both the Kennedy and Johnson who were planning to pass the legislation knew very well that power political forces will build every possible hurdle to stop them so they started planning to do it as quick as possible. By working together and along with other liberal leaders they planned to introduce he bill which happened on 31st May, 1963 that Kennedy planned to pass the legislation to give the civil rights to every American. Kennedy spoke with the public by telling his plan to introduce the bill or giving the rights to all the black same as white have which he referred to American law should have done before because the segregation and injustice has no place in it. Right after his announcement, Kennedy gather all the leaders from his party which he thought will support the bill and even he gathered the helpful groups and religious parties to win the support as many as possible and strong enough. Despite of all the hard work by Kennedy and Johnson with the support of all the groups and leaders the bill was still facing several of hurdles to get passed. This goal was as difficult to achieve as close to impossible but they kept on working (Epstein, 2014).
The committee which was created to support the bill name the leadership conference who started designing it and included first major clause which was Fair Employment Practices. They wanted to achieve this section by every mean which will provide equal employment opportunities. With this clause they also added the section in which the act will implement the law which will be governed by Attorney general. While working on this bill, on the other side King keep on protesting and started the march to Washington for freedom and jobs for black people. The majority of protestors were organized by the King but mobilizing the public was also done by Kennedy to build the pressure so the bill could get passed. The protest in Washington adopted the Kennedy cause and chanted that pass the bill. The protest was the big success for the black people and King but the leadership conference was facing hard time passing the bill from House of Judiciary committee.
The bill needed the redesign so all the members of parliament could accept it but in the meantime it shouldn’t lose the core point of liberating the people. The bill got passed in the judiciary committee now it moved to House of Representative. These things were unthinkable for both Kennedy and King because of the rigidness showed by the leaders who were opposing but they still manage to achieve one stage. During all these were happening, Kennedy was assassinated. This was the biggest shock to everyone who were working in the support of bill. After his assassination all the eyes went to Johnson who was now the president (Andrews & Gaby, 2015).
Many leaders who were fighting for this cause feared that now Johnson will no longer give any support to this bill because he was originally from south and all the opposing were coming from southern states. But soon those fear turned into the surprise for those who were in favor and shocked those who were against the bill because they expected Johnson to stop the movement having the base of south. The most remarkable and history sill recalls the historical address of Johnson right after he became the president of America. He gave the tribute to Kennedy and told the house that passing this bill be the biggest most Nobel act we should do to pay the respect to Kennedy. Johnson worked hard and the bill passed the house of represented with majority of voters. The surprising thing happened that the bill also got one additional clause in which equal opportunity will be given to women for the employment. Not just women but minority women as well.
When the bill reached to senate the hardest part started right after that because passing the bill in senate was the hardest thing at that time. Since in the senate the bill should get two-third in order to get passed which was the law and due to this the debate done on the bill endlessly. After 4 months of long debate with the aim to kill the bill, finally on 10th June 1964 in the senate the filibustering was killed by the majority of votes which the bill got passed and it became the law. The passing of bill changed the history because never before that southern never faced defeat in filibustering any bill. The bill includes the clauses in which all the segregation in the public places, all the discrimination on the basis of color, race and gender will be eliminated, equal opportunity in the employment will be given to all the people regardless of any race, color or gender. On 2nd July, 1964 President John in one of the biggest bill signing ceremony signed the bill to make it law (Guy & Fenley, 2014).
There are some of the case after the civil act passed showed its implementation and how it prohibited those discrimination. The ruling of judges eliminated the description which is given in the act:
- Griggs V. Duke Power was the famous case, in which the Supreme Court eliminated few criteria which were creating the discrimination for the African American when they apply for the jobs. This case was put forward by the black employees against generating plants that the organization requires a special diploma for the job and the intelligence test if they want the job. The main reason behind the tests and diploma was clearly to keep black people away from their rights to have the job.
- The other example of case is Cleveland Ed V. Lafleur, in this case Supreme Court eliminated the discrimination policy against the women. The mandatory leaves for pregnant women was creating discrimination because women had to go on leave for 5 months which was unpaid. The policy was against the women and this was creating discrimination against them. Due to this they were not secured in their jobs and effecting their family lives. This civil rights act protected the rights and eliminate such laws which affects the career and family lives of any employee.
- The third example is Burlington Industries, in this case the Supreme Court decided that the sexual harassment will be treated under the civil act in which any unwelcome or threatening advancement with aim of harassment by supervisor will be held accountable to owner for creating such hostile environment. The case was filled by Kimberly Ellerth who quit her job from Burlington industries where she was serving as salesperson. She was continuously sexually harassed by her supervisor. She always resisted but her supervisor threatened her of firing her or not promoting. Before the civil rights act women were not protected by any law but under this law she filled the case against her supervisor and court held him accountable for the harassment under civil rights act.
The Civil rights act 1964 also included affirmative actions, these action were the policies which were based on actions to completely exclude all the discrimination which were present against the blacks and women. The main focus of Affirmative policy action is on employment and education so that those who were once not given the rights could take step ahead in society. Few are the most important point of Affirmative Actions:
- These actions were the policy in which the admission in the education institutes will be given to those groups who were not privileged and faced discrimination. The administration reach out themselves and even provide the financial aids to those people.
- Affirmative actions increased the number applicants from the minority so that the diversification could be created in the society by mixing every class together.
- Better job opportunities given to them on the basis of the education they received from Affirmative action policy.
- The diversity which was created by the Affirmative action policy learn more and raised the intellect level because of cultural difference boost up the mind of students.
- The discrimination which they faced really affected the socio-economic condition of them so affirmative actions will help in strengthen both socio-economic conditions.
Affirmative actions also earned a lot of criticism and those who criticized refer it as out dated system which should be eliminated. They present following point to support their stance:
- Those students who get the admission on the basis of this policy action treated differently from the management and peers because of special privileges. This special treatment can influence their behaviors and performance.
- The fourteenth amendment which protects the equal rights of every citizen contradicted by the affirmative action because special treatments will discriminate other students.
- The affirmative action only helps the middle class but those who are from lower class needs a better policies.
- The special treatment to students make them less accountable and the scores should be given on the basis of performance (Wiececk & Hamilton, 2014).
The fight of politics by the southern state democrat leaders was one of the most legislative showdown in the history of American. After passing the bill which is called as the civil rights act of 1964, there will be no tolerance given to any segregation. All the public places will be or black with all the rights as equal as white have the rights. Regarding the employment clause, the bill stated that employment will be given equally to all the people including blacks, any minority and women without any discrimination. In order to make sure that the bill is enforced everywhere, the government gave the authority to State department of justice along with Federal bureau in the Sothern states that they can intervene if any discrimination or any act conducted with contradicts the law enforced by civil rights act. The activists who were involved in this moment were extremely happy and satisfied that their struggle had created something worth full which will create lives of many and convenient. The outlaw of all the discriminations and segregation against the African Americans from the radical behavior. There were also several of political leaders who were clearly displeased with the passing of this law. They tried everything and used every tactic to fail the movement. The force of police and demotivating them through harsh addressing but acing failure was no easy for them. United States of America took the first step to end the racism which was making lives of many difficult. The bill was the first step towards future and leaving behind the dark past in which their acts have done so many wrongs with black people.
After the success of the civil rights act, there were two other acts came for delivering the equal rights to black people. The first one was the voting act in 1965 which eliminates the discrimination based on the literacy and practices of voting. The second was Fai housing act in 1968, which eliminates and banned all the discrimination involving the sale of property and the rental against when it comes to black people. The main object of these acts was to give equal rights to black and end the differences between whites and blacks. The act was not easily passed but it was the result of most complex and greatest battle of politics (Landsberg, 2015).
This bill was not just for the rights of civil but it changed even the politics of America. The votes were increased just because the black now also can vote. The main object of this act was to give equal rights to black and end the differences between whites and blacks. The act was not easily passed but it was the result of most complex and greatest battle of politics. The initiative of this act was taken right after the civil war to end the segregation in every public place of America. It was first proposed by the president Kennedy and then carried by Martin Luther King. John F. Kennedy was the one and president of the United States of America who was the first one who took this act to the parliament by sending the messages to congress leaders that the constitution of America is color blind and the practices of America should follow the same thing. Those who were supporting this bill expressed their achievement by saying that this bill should have passed many years before and with the passing of bill they explained it by saying it was long overdue. The passing of bill changed the history because never before that southern never faced defeat in filibustering any bill. The bill includes the clauses in which all the segregation in the public places, all the discrimination on the basis of color, race and gender will be eliminated, equal opportunity in the employment will be given to all the people regardless of any race, color or gender. The passing of the bill is the example that peaceful protests and demonstration could do those things which force can’t done. United States of America took the first step to end the racism which was making lives of many difficult. The bill was the first step towards future and leaving behind the dark past in which their acts have done so many wrongs with black people. The bill can show the importance of hard work because the bill started with nothing but the hardworking the hard work nothing is impossible to achieve. Affirmative policy action is on employment and education so that those who were once not given the rights could take step ahead in society. This bill gave the America a new definition of free and equality to everyone which was never happened before in the history of America.
Epstein, R. A. (2014). Public Accommodations under Civil Rights Act of 1964: Why Freedom of Association Counts as a Human Right. Stan. L. Rev., 66, 1241.
Andrews, K. T., & Gaby, S. (2015, June). Local protest and federal policy: The impact of the Civil Rights Movement on the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In Sociological Forum (Vol. 30, No. S1, pp. 509-527).
Guy, M. E., & Fenley, V. M. (2014). Inch by inch: Gender equity since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 34(1), 40-58.
Wiececk, W. M., & Hamilton, J. L. (2014). Beyond the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Confronting structural racism in the workplace. Louisiana Law Review, 74(4), 5.
Landsberg, B. K. (2015). Public Accommodations and the Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Surprising Success. Hamline J. Pub. L. & Pol’y, 36, 1.