Youth Voices: Civil rights struggles color US history
By Kerry Ngan
Throughout American history, civil rights is an issue that has persisted into the 20th century. In the past, the United States accepted many different ethnicities into the country but they were not always accepted by society. While civil rights has made progress, there are still problems today.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 had a significant social impact in America. In 1964, the act was created by President Lyndon Johnson. It specifically prohibited discrimination based on race, sex or religion in specific areas of the United States. Other civil rights legislation in the past, such as the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875 pushed for equality but their uses were severely limited by the judicial branch in The Civil Rights Cases and ineffective because of the lack of enforcement. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 created federal agencies to help enforce the law and the act was also supported by the judicial branch.
Although the Civil Rights Act has provided protection against discrimination, there continues to be discrimination. Jewish students at the University of California, Irvine, were abused physically and threatened verbally by other students with no protection from the government, wrote Kenneth Marcus in “A Blind Eye to Campus Anti-Semitism?” They were stalked, thrown at with stones and had their symbol of the Star of David vandalized. Numerous complaints were given to the government and yet there was little or no response. Despite the situation being a clear violation of the Civil Rights Act, the government failed to prosecute a single one of these cases. The act defined its protect of discrimination of various different groups including religion and race in Title VI but the government was unable to identity Jews as either one.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 continues to uphold what it was designed for, as an official decree against discrimination. Discrimination inevitably takes place in a several different forms in today’s society. Sometimes the government turns a blind eye, which is believed to be caused by a lack of diversity.