CIVIL LIBERTIES FOR ALL
There is widespread debate in today’s politics on whether it is necessary to pass new legislation to protect specific groups from being discriminated against. It is imperative that we do not subject anyone to become targets of discrimination, yet we also must exercise caution when suggesting new government intervention to address an issue that has already been contested and decided. In retrospect, any potential new legislation becomes redundant when carefully considering the existing anti-discrimination bills passed into law throughout the civil rights movement.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed to outlaw discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; and to uphold the constitutional belief that every person has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The intention of this legislation was to pass a de facto law to end all debate by specifically outlawing all forms of discrimination, regardless of any individual’s personal traits, characteristics or diversity.
Despite its existence for well over sixty years, we still experience attempts to justify discrimination against groups and individuals in various contexts; which as a result questions who and who is or isn’t supposed to be equal. Equality is consistent across all demographics of people, the core principles and values we share as Americans transcends any individual differences among us.
We must not understate or overlook the work that has already been taken by pioneers of the civil rights movement, such as MLK and Malcolm X. The legacy they built through their committed activism lives on in the not only our American ideals, but laws enacted to achieve the vision of equality that was sought out. To defend the civil liberties of all people of our nation, we must remind ourselves of the milestone decision that was made in the Civil Rights Act of 1964; discrimination against any person will not be tolerated in the eyes of the law.
As the same with any issue, productive debates should always be encouraged to promote discussions from all perspectives; however, we owe it to ourselves, and those who dedicated their lives towards the civil rights movement that we carefully analyze the progress and strides made as a direct result of the work already done.
Even though the civil rights movement was focused on ending racial segregation and discrimination, the standards and ethics behind efforts to achieve equality is inclusive of people of all classes, creeds, and diversities. We must continue to reiterate the importance of defending equality of all people through this already existing landmark legislation; there shouldn’t be a need for additional laws if we accept the accomplishments of the civil rights movement to end all justifications for discrimination.
STATE OF THE ISSUE
There have been engaging discussions from all viewpoints regarding what the appropriate actions should be to address the ongoing demands for additional protections of marginalized groups. While there are many recommendations on what should be done, there isn’t much emphasis on upholding the civil liberties of all individuals, groups and factions as exemplified by the civil rights movement and the civil rights act of 1965.
If we are to make progress on this issue, we must recognize that there is never any context where discrimination is appropriate against anyone. In the land of the free, and the home of the brave we are all equal in the eyes of law and we are all endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. Equality is common among all people within our borders, and regardless of anything else, we as Americans must never lose sight of this core belief within the values of our country.