Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

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Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

Unread postby Japanklet » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:01 am

I realize that the title of this thread assumes that the legislation did go wrong, but I guess that can be part of the discussion.

Also, I know this is a touchy subject, but please, please, PLEASE refrain from calling each other "racist." I believe we can have an open and honest discussion only if we keep our emotions in check.

If you were around in the early 1960's when LBJ's civil rights legislation became law, then I would especially like to hear your views because you've been an eye-witness to how things were before and after these historical changes took place.

If you are from a later generation (as I am), then I'd also like to hear from you because you have always lived under the laws and can assess how well, or how poorly, they have affected your own life.

First, a disclaimer: Like a lot of you, I'm really careful about the information I give out about myself over the Internet. However, in this case I feel I need to tell you that I am currently headquartered in the Deep South, where I have a lot of relatives. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is a great book, but some of my older relatives actually lived that kind of life, and the stories they tell are every bit as interesting as Harper Lee's novel. They are certainly not racists, although I have encountered a few non-relatives who are. I just wanted you to know at the outset that my opinions might reflect my experiences here.

Anyway, here's my own take . . .

I think most thoughtful people will agree that something needed to be done to change the plight of blacks in the mid-1900's. There were "whites only" restaurants, water fountains, restrooms, schools, hotels, etc. The duel education system was especially bad, and children grew up never having contact with children of another race. Blacks were literally treated as second-class citizens, having to give up their seats for whites, etc.

But, as well-meaning as the new civil rights laws were, they created some problems that were unforeseen:

* School busing--in which children of one race were made to ride buses to other schools that had the other race--proved to be a terrible idea. In some cases, children had to get up before dawn and ride an old bus along dangerous rural and unpaved roads. This added a huge chunk of time to their school day, made homework assignments more difficult and, just as bad, cut down on the amount of daylight they had for playing outside.

* Some businesses that worked under the public trust (TV stations, airlines, bus companies, etc.) were immediately forced to promote unqualified people based solely on seniority. Manual laborers were promoted to management positions over managers who happened to have less seniority.

* In schools, blacks were given various types of "adjustment points" in an effort to immediately raise their grades to the levels of whites. Black students were given advantages over whites when it came to winning scholarships. This was a terrible disservice to the blacks, who later found themselves in positions which they didn't have the skills to handle. It was dooming them to failure. Later, it was decided that it would be better to "dumb down" the studies so that such "adjustment points" weren't needed. But that was even worse because it was a disservice to white students as well as black.

* Federal money was made available to poor blacks who couldn't afford to move into white neighborhoods (I think these were in the form of low-cost loans). Again, this was well-meaning, but along with the blacks came their black-on-black crime rate, and property values in those neighborhoods plummeted. Whites who fled because they were losing the investment in their houses were accused of being racists ("white flight").

* The Voting Rights Act unfairly targeted only southern states that had a history of segregation. From then on, the federal government had to approve every little change that a southern district might make in regard to voting places, voting procedures, poll workers, election dates, district lines, voting hours, etc. None of the other states had to go through such hassles, which could be expensive and very restrictive on the entire election process. It is still going on now, and it's extremely unfair.

Those, I believe, were the main problems with the civil rights legislation of the mid-'60's. However, to leave this post on a positive note, here’s' some of the good things that the laws brought about:

* No more "whites only" signs. Blacks could use the same facilities as whites, eat at the same restaurants, shop at the same stores, go to the same movie theaters, and enjoy all the other privileges that whites had.

* Black children had the benefit of learning from the same schools, the same teachers, the same lab and gym equipment, the same books, the same cafeteria, etc., as white students.

* Children--and adults, for that matter--were placed side by side in schools and work places, where they could learn to get along and benefit from sharing cross-culture experiences.

Anyway, as I said before, I'm anxious to hear your views on this subject, regardless of what generation you are in or what your views might be.

Japanklet
Note: To cut down on screen clutter on my tiny monitor, my computer is set to block all pictures that appear in the signatures of other posters. Because of that, I cannot see them nor comment on them. Thanks.—Japanklet
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Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

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Re: Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

Unread postby Estil » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:27 pm

On a related note, I want to defend our local Senate candidate Rand Paul regarding his recent critique of that 1964 Civil Rights Act (who if you recall was written by R's and a bigger percentage of R's voted in favor of it than D's) and I think all the liberals so eager to cry "RACIST!!!!" at every possible opening they find is completely missing his point. Mr. Paul was only questioning one tenth of the law and had no interest whatsoever in repealing any of it. He made very clear that he has no use whatsoever for racism or discrimination (including the reverse discrimination or "affirmative action" that liberals so love, as long as they're not hurt by it). When the law was passed, it was absolutely necessary back then to prohibit businesses from not serving people on the basis of skin color alone; until that time, it was normal and politically correct to segregate businesses and people who didn't like it were simply told that they were free to open their own businesses and integrate them, but not to shove their morality down the segregationists' throats--you could say in that sense the segregationists were simply being "pro choice" in that regard.

But that was back then. We now are here, over 45 years later and we live in a very different, much better world in that regard. What Mr. Paul was really trying to say, I think was, "You want to open a business that doesn't serve minorities in today's more racially enlightened world? Go ahead. We dare you." IOW, what Mr. Paul was counting on was that if a business in today's world tried a stunt like that, the law would be the least of their worries. They would face much grimmer consequences in the form of protests, boycotts, bad publicity, not to mention getting plastered all over YouTube and the Internet. A business like that would have ZERO chance of lasting very long in today's world. Racism is no longer the norm and is no longer legally endorsed. I think what Mr. Paul was driving at was that rather than the law, it would be much more effective for places that tried to be racist to be held accountable in the court of public opinion.

And let me tell you something folks, if this is the best the liberals can do in attacking Mr. Paul (finding any kind of excuse to call him a racist when he and his father clearly are not), then you can bet he will have my vote this November and I will be proud to have a fellow pro-life conservative libertarian representing our great state. And if my girl Palin doesn't get the R's nomination in 2012, then his father would make a fine second choice to represent our team in the 2012 Presidential race. Or even better still, we could have both on the ticket! :D

RAND PAUL FOR 2010 SENATE
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Re: Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

Unread postby ArielShaul » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:48 am

To come up with our twisted code, I would have asked: how can we write legislation that will help all minorities except the Jews?
We make discrimination illegal only if done against a "disadvantaged" minority, which somehow does not include Jews of below average wealth and eduction, just because they are Jews. We make it legal to exclude Jews from country clubs and civic organizations. The current administration even encourages enemies of the Jews to make their lands Judenfrei, free of Jews. The US protests some Chinese civil rights violations, but never protests the absolute prohibition against Synagogues or even organized prayer services. I am quite shocked how many Jews support US-style civil rights when the rules and conduct of our government still says "Jews need no apply!" :!:
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Re: Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

Unread postby Jrutledge » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:18 am

Japanklet,

I can address some of your concerns, but not all. And all of this is anecdotal, just from my experience.

First, I am not sure Civil Rights Legislation has gone wrong. Maybe in the area of affirmative action & quotas, but that may be all.

I was born in 1950. I am white, with a smidgen of Native American. I was a raised by parents that were a bit left of center. For my first fifteen years I lived in Los Angeles & Portland, Oregon. I saw few black or minority people when I was there. I will say that my favorite baseball player was, and remains, Willie Mays. In 1965 I moved to western Virginia, and attended a desegregated high school. Note that I didn't say an integrated high school. Desegregation was still new there, and it was like two separate cultures. I don't recall meeting or even talking to a single black student during the two years I was there. All of my teachers were white. During that time there was a considerable amount of trash talking (and some scuffling), mainly from the white kids aimed at the black kids. The irony was that the white kids listened to black music almost exclusively: Otis Redding, James Brown, etc.

One evening in the spring of 1968 I walked up the hill to my weekly chess game with my good friend D. Golloway. He greeted me with the news that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated. D. said "It is about time that coon was killed". Such was the culture then. Later that week I participated in a march in Staunton, Virginia in honor of Dr. King, and was treated to threats, taunts, bottles and rocks. Such was the culture then.

My father participated in a monthly poker game a few doors up the street. At some point in the game, a week or so after the march, the host told my father that he had heard about my participation in the march, and said that if a son of his would have participated in such a nigger march, he would get his ass whipped. Sources tell me my father hesitated, stood up, and then told the host, 'If you are so hell-bent on whipping somebodies ass about this incident, you may as well start with me.' The host fumbled around with his chips and then said 'Deal the Cards!' Such was the culture then.

I lived & worked in north Louisiana for thirteen years (1977-1990). By then public establishments were legally segregated, but not socially segregated. White folks went to their restaurants and stores, and Black folks did the same. The neighborhoods were not integrated. I am an Architect, and I remember looking at the plans for a high school designed in 1966 with the title 'COLORED HIGH SCHOOL FOR WEST OUACHITA PARISH'. I recall looking, and looking & looking at that date: 1966. I couldn't believe it. Brown v Board of Education was 1954, wasn't it? Such was the culture then.

I lived briefly in High Point, North Carolina and Roanoke, Virginia. Both of these cities are, for the most part,integrated cities. Not only will you see black people & white people in the same establishment, you will actually see them sitting at the same table!!

In conclusion, I believe the 1964 Civil Rights Act has had a positive effect, and it was the right thing to do. I can't speak so much for what it has morphed into. For years I have held a deep-seated hatred for Lyndon Johnson, primarily for his role in Vietnam. As the years have gone on, I have developed an appreciation for what he did for civil rights in this country. There is a certain irony to this, not unlike Nixon's overtures to China. Johnson, even though a democrat, was a southerner, and likely a moderate racist. The late comic Lenny Bruce used to do a bit about Johnson trying to correctly pronounce the word 'Negro'. But I think Johnson was the perfect leader to enable legislation that was essential for this country.

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Re: Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

Unread postby rider237 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:29 am

civil rights legislation is like all legislation. as soon as it's enacted, it gets a bad case of the creep.
with the best of intentions civil rights legislation was put in place to give protection to one group of people. i submit that the protections of the constitution could have been enforced without special rights being given. we are guaranteed all the protection we need in our constitution.

because of the legislation, we now have special protections for everyone with a cause, grievance, grudge, or lifestyle.
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Re: Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

Unread postby Jrutledge » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:41 am

rider237 wrote:civil rights legislation is like all legislation. as soon as it's enacted, it gets a bad case of the creep.
with the best of intentions civil rights legislation was put in place to give protection to one group of people. i submit that the protections of the constitution could have been enforced without special rights being given. we are guaranteed all the protection we need in our constitution.

Phooey! Read some history.

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Re: Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

Unread postby rider237 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:10 am

well good grief. that's a deep and thought provoking answer,jrutledge.

because i do read history, and have live a bit of it, i know that most legislation does far more harm in the long run....than good. it's all so well intentioned, though. maybe i should have given it more points for intent..... :wink:
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Re: Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

Unread postby Jrutledge » Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:59 pm

rider237 wrote:well good grief. that's a deep and thought provoking answer,jrutledge.

I was just trying to align my response to the depth of your post.

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Re: Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

Unread postby flyphish56 » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:28 pm

Jrutledge wrote:I was just trying to align my response to the depth of your post.


Rider--- That is about as in-depth a response as you are likely to get from this person if he is confronted with having to defend his positions with logic.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
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Re: Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

Unread postby joelwisch2 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:23 am

"whites only"
-----------------------------
I had no idea that idea was there until I was removed from the Black Section Only of the Montgomery, Alabama Bus Station while I was in uniform at age 19. It was 1961.

That said.. this. There was a huge amount of material that was very sympathetic to the problem of racism and segregation of the African Americans. In television, in movies, the newspapers, adds, and more. The people who were sympathetic serious change and did those movies, seemed to be in jeopardy.. at least felt that was the case.. and in the end, were in a very mild way. But it was a mild way. It was very clearly the right thing to do and Americans wanted it done. It involved changing state and local laws and in the end, it seemed to be very easily accepted by all. There were segregated establishments.. usually night clubs which were watering holes for those who wanted that segregation and it was enforced by muscle rather than laws. But even in the South, it was a demand: end the segregation.

1970 and I was working for NCR computer manufacturing processes and if you made one single comment which was racist in that organization, you were fired. I held a number of jobs with several companies and that response to racism by employers was almost universal and on a couple of occasions, absolute. You were fired without a second chance or an opportunity to explain. Further, it was on your employment sheet and it was possible to carry that information from employer to employer. So Americans wanted that segregation in place, and made very strong moves to support the efforts.

Was there trouble? Yes. But it moved downward and was by individuals rather than by institutions, although, not perfectly so. I present this because there were powerful and excellent effort to combat the problem and what happened in the days after the signing of that bill was frequently rather good.

I believe the Civil Right Legislation went wrong when the assumption was made that the racism was purely by European Americans and directed toward African Americans. Segregation was not a cultural demand of the South back in those days, and racial superiority was not a cultural belief in the South. So with time, some sort of accommodation should have been reached, and was reached in small scale, but the assumption by African Americans that all of the southerners and all of the institutions were racist and supported segregation was really wrong. I think that belief is wearing thin, but it affects what is happening even today and so, the problem continues.

I have one question in this: may I have preferences for my own cultural base? If I cannot.. our country is finished.
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Re: Where Did Civil Rights Legislation Go Wrong?

Unread postby sheila0405 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:26 pm

"I have one question in this: may I have preferences for my own cultural base? If I cannot.. our country is finished."

That's what I saw as integration into all aspects of society slowly took place. In colleges and in other public areas, people of the same color tended to hang together. People with similar backgrounds will always tend to prefer communicating with like minded people. Right now I am in a newly merged parish in which the English speaking church was joined with the Hispanic church. Not only is there tension between the Anglos and the Hispanics, but there is tension between the various sub-groups of the Latinos. The Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and the Dominicans do not play well together. You may be able to change a law, but you cannot change a human heart. We have freedom of assembly in this nation for a reason. So, yes, each person may have cultural preferences. But a preference doesn't entitle you to limit the personal liberties of others.
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