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BYUI FDAMF 101 - Week 10 Essay 4

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Daniel IsinGECIV 100Sister Weber12th March 2022Week 10 Essay 4"Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it," declared Frances Wright. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this ideal. In this paper, we will look at how the civil rights movement, major pieces of legislation, and Supreme Court rulings all contributed to bringing America closer to the ideal of equality.The civil rights movement began in the late 1950s as a response to the African American community's severe persecution and segregation. Although slavery was abolished after the civil war, its ideas remained in the minds of cruel men and women, and they and their offspring persecuted people of color for over a century. Because of this prejudice, oppressed African Americans and other people of color never fully tasted freedom, and dare I say, their oppressors never understood what true freedom felt like either. Both treating others unequally and being treated unequally enslaves both sides' minds. This backs up Frances Wright's assertion that equality is the soul of liberty. The civilrights movement, headed by great revolutionaries such as Rev. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and others, began to liberate both oppressors and oppressed people from mental slavery by demonstrating that all men are equal especially before God. All races who took part in the movement felt a sense of kinship and camaraderie, as well as deep genuine emotions of respect and gratitude for the “fruits” that all races brought to the table. Since then, things have only grown better. There have been some drawbacks, but overall, there has been a lot of love from everyone for everyone, as well as a greater understanding and acceptance that all men are equal.Change was not guaranteed by civil movements alone. To reinforce the principle of equality, some adjustments in governance were required. People would not be obliged to change their behaviors if no systemic shifts were made. There had to be laws to establish the framework for fair treatment for all, just as Jim Crow laws created the milieu for racial discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin; the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibited the use of literacy tests as a voting requirement; and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 guaranteed equal housing opportunities regardless of race, religion, or national origin. These were all positive efforts by Congress toward ridding the system of "institutionalized racism" and moving toward equitable treatment. By declaring in favor of Brown v. Board of Educationin 1954, which essentially abolished racial segregation in public schools, the Supreme Court, like Congress, played a part in pulling Americans closer to the ideal of equality.In my 25 years on this planet, I have learned that treating your fellow man unequally is not always displayed between races. I have been regarded a lesser man by my fellow Africans, and I have never been treated unequally or unjustly by someone of anotherrace. This isn't to say racism does not happen; it would be naive to believe it only happens amongst people of different races. I was fortunate in that I was not raised to deal "an eye for an eye," but rather to disseminate kindness and love in the face of misfortune, which is how I have aided. When we combat evil with evil, we only serve to perpetuate the cycle of injustice. When we treat others with respect and compassion, I have discovered that it is wonderfully freeing and tranquil. How lovely the world would be if we all did this—how free we would all be.As I close, I repeat a Mahatma Gandhi quote: "I believe in equality for everyone." If we all embraced and lived that simple yet powerful phrase, America and the world would be truly

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