280 Modern Civil Rights Movement

280 Modern Civil Rights Movement - Veterans Day To us in...

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Unformatted text preview: Veterans Day To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nation. Woodrow Wilson, Issuing "Armistice Day" Proclamation, 1919 We have come to dedicate a portion of [this] field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. Abraham Lincoln, dedicating National Cemetery at Gettysburg, PA, 1863 Modern Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1968 "If I am not who you say I am, then you are not what you think you are." James Baldwin The Chris Rock Show (1999) Howard Beach: SW Queens (NYC), 2 blacks injured 1 killed 12/20/1986 (Michael Griffith run down by car driven by whites as Griffith tried to flee) The biggest problem with Civil Rights today is in remembering the past A Completely Racially Segregated Country Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896 Chinese Exclusion, Korematsu, "Judge Lynch" America to 1954 Progressivism Source of Change? Second World War Environmental causes of inequality could be addressed Interest Group politics could affect the political process (NAACP) Racial prejudice "unAmerican" Growing Federal involvement in daily life "Double V" campaign of Civil Rights Leaders A constant fight to demand equality based on the promise of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence Driven by a desire to live the "American Dream" Dates back to Reconstruction Source of Change? Affluence: Economic growth creates upward mobility, nonwhite middleclass emerges What are the primary goals of the "Modern Civil Rights" Movement? 1.Legal desegregation as a means to equal citizenship. 2.Legal equality as an end of the movement. 3.Eliminating "race" as meaningful social distinction as a means to avoiding future problems. 4.Addressing the "cost of racism" to American citizens as an end of the movement. (e.g. Affirmative Action) NAACP Legal Defense Fund 1. 1. Gradualist/Incremental (no attack of Plessy) Approaches 1. 2. Education legislation (special cases, Plessy irrelevant) Hocutt v. UNC (1933) Law School Murray v. Maryland (1935) Med School Gaines v. Canada (1939) Law School Guinn v. U.S. (1915) State grandfathered voting rights in OK Buchannan v. Warley (1917) Housing segregation in KY Nixon v. Herndon (1927) Allwhite primaries in TX 1. 3. Direct Assault on Plessy But Supreme Court unwilling Smith v. Allwright (1944) rejected by SC Shelley v. Kramer (1948) rejected by SC Plessy now accepted precedent needed to be wholly rejected "Gradualists" Aided by Popular Culture Marian Anderson (1939) Music RocknRoll Jazz Harry Truman Desegregates Army (1948) Based on EO#8802 Jackie Robinson (1947) All three approaches combined in one case: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, 1952-1954 Known to be "the watershed case of the century" Brown v. Board (1954) Earl Warren (RCA) appointed by Eisenhower S.C. Accepts case 1952 Much opposition by Chief Justice Vinson William Rehnquist, clerk to Justice Robert Jackson, "I think Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be reaffirmed" Assumes Chief Justice Sept. 1953 Demands unanimity Dying, Justice Jackson is brought to reading on stretcher "Does segregation of school children solely on the basis of color, even though the physical facilities may be equal, deprive the minority group of equal opportunities in the educational system? We believe that it does" First effort to enforce the 14th Amendment (1868) Demands end to segregation "at all deliberate speed" Substantial Backlash Called "Massive Resistance" by many whites "Southern Manifesto" Revival of KKK White Citizen's Councils Federal Government Not signed by LBJ, Gore Sr., Kefauver A. C. Powell Amendment to ban aid to institutions practicing segregation opposed by: Eisenhower NEA Harry Truman AFLCIO As with McCarthyism and Red Scare, Eisenhower Administration does little to provide leadership or prevent abuses. Modern CRM emerges as a LOCAL phenomenon. Murder of Emmitt Till, 1955 Chicago boy who just celebrated his 14th birthday Visits relations in Money, Mississippi Murderers arrested and tried (!!) "Wolf whistle" at white woman; beaten, shot, body dropped in river Till's uncle identifies abductors Defense att'y to jury: "I am sure that every last AngloSaxon one of you has the courage to free these men" Deliberation for 45 minutes, nonguilty Jurist: "If we hadn't stopped to drink pop, it wouldn't have taken that long" County 2/3 black No blacks allowed to vote; none had served on a jury Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-56) "Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it. I kept thinking about my mother and my grandparents, and how strong they were. I knew there was a possibility of being mistreated, but an opportunity was being given to me to do what I had asked of others." Rosa Parks, 1994 Arkansas Public Schools (1957) Ordered to desegregate (based on Brown ruling) Is this the intent of Brown? It still looks a lot like the era of Jim Crow Governor Orval Faubus calls out Arkansas National Guard to defy the ruling President Eisenhower reluctantly sends in Federal troops and takes control of the Guard Students brought to school under armed guard Violence is contained by use of federal troops Martin Luther King, Jr. King does not start the Civil Rights movement!!! King channels the movement into a non violent, moral question Montgomery Activist: "The Reverend didn't stir us up, we've been stirred up for a mighty long time" What really is America? Who really are Americans? MLK on Boycott "Victory" 1. NonViolence (Ghandian concept of satyagraha or "truth force") MLK: "To meet hate with retaliatory hate would do nothing but intensify the existence of evil in the universe. Hate begets hate, violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love; we must meet physical force with soul force. Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding." SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference): "nonviolence actively resists evil in any form. It never seeks to humiliate the opponent, only to win him. Suffering is accepted without retaliation. ... Creatively used, the philosophy of nonviolence can restore the broken community in America." Tenets of King's Approach Tenets of King's Approach 2. Christian theology (an early "faithbased initiative"?!) Old Testament (King loves book of Isaiah) New Testament Prophetic "deliverance"; the American dream Moses out of Egypt; Emancipation God's promise; the Constitution's promise Many references to Christianity in Reverend King's speeches. March on Washington: "Every valley shall be exalted" "Rough places shall be made plain" "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together" Jesus' message of unqualified love; nonviolence 3. Passive Resistance/Civil Disobedience SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Council) Henry David Thoreau: "Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison." The SCLC "firmly believes that all people have a moral responsibility to disobey laws that are unjust... From a purely moral point of view, an unjust law is one that is out of harmony with the moral law of the universe, or... the Law of God. More concretely, an unjust law is one in which the minority is compelled to observe a code which is not binding on the majority." In disobeying the law, one "does so peacefully, openly, and nonviolently. Most important, he willingly accepts the penalty for breaking the law." King jailed 19 times The Message Creates a Movement; Why? Southern Black Churches (pre1865) NAACP (1909) CORE (1942) & "Freedom Rides" SCLC (1957) Black Colleges & SNCC (1960) SitIns (1960) Freedom Rides (1961) Born 1940, Troy, Alabama New Generations: John Lewis 1 of 9 children to sharecropper family Attends segregated schools (if at all) Called to Baptist ministry, Nashville Engaged in Civil Rights 1986 Elected to U.S. Congress from Atlanta (4th District) 2000 DNC Keynote Speaker Chairman SNCC, Sitins 1960 Freedom Rides, 1961 Keynote Speaker, March on Washington (1963) at 23 years of age! Selma ("Bloody Sunday"), 1965 Beaten over 30x in protests Intentionally Allow (and take the brunt of) Violence to Come to the Surface Medgar Evars Riots on College campuses in South (100s injured) Firebombing of buses and churches NAACP official Medgar Evars murdered outside his home (pushes JFK to act and MLK to Washington) Freedom Rides: 80 injured, 6 murdered King goes to Birmingham, AL (1963) "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," MLK, Jr., 1963 Then to Washington (1963) Two weeks after "I Have a Dream" speech, King's home and four churches firebombed Kennedy forced to place Civil Rights high on domestic agenda 4 Sunday School girls incinerated Pressure Maintained Selma March (1964) More Violence MLK wins 1964 Nobel Peace Prize World wide recognition of "race problem" in U.S. Proposes sweeping Civil Rights bill, knew it stood no chance Angers Southern Democratic base (MCR goes nowhere under JFK) Victory: Passage of Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts Johnson uses raw emotions of JFK assassination to lead Congress Civil Rights Act of 1964 Voting Rights Act of 1965 Outlaws discrimination at work Outlaws discrimination in public Allows FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to bring suit against violators (not just NACCP Legal Defense Fund or private citizens) "Enables" 14th Amendment (1868) LBJ proud, but also knew passage was "the day we gave the South to the Republican Party for the rest of our lifetimes." Federal enforcement of voter registration and voting Suspends literary testing and poll taxes "Enables" 15th Amendment (1871) A very long, historical struggle was reaching a turning point: America proved willing to defend the Constitution rather than the racial prejudices of the majority. THIS is what it means to be American. Impact of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 Victory of MCR: end segregation to achieve legal equality Effects of legal equality BEGIN in the 1970s First elected officials since Reconstruction First significant numbers of blacks and other minorities in professional schools (law, medicine, graduate school) First opportunity for middle management positions in larger firms First chance to move to previously segregated suburbs Not until the 198090s do these changes begin to take hold across the country!! FIRST generation of truly middleclass AfricanAmericans King and MCR movement turns to lowering cost of RACISM; a VERY DIFFERENT PROBLEM than Equality Home equity ($$) Suburban values (aid children's ability to adjust to white society) King Moves North By 1960 ~ 70% black population live in cities Urban politics support DE FACTO segregation (not legal, as in the south; many use illegal "redlining") Any activism arose from blacks alone Chicago a "city of neighborhoods" Whites abandoning the city, federal subsidies for suburban home ownership, urban tax base collapsing Rev. Jesse Jackson Operation Breadbasket (1966) Few whites connected to N. urban MCR "I choose to identify with the underprivileged. I choose to identify with the poor. I choose to give my life for the hungry. I choose to give my life for those who have been left out of the sunlight of opportunity. I choose to live for and with those who find themselves seeing life as a long and desolate corridor and with no exit sign. This is the way I'm going. If it means suffering a little bit, I'm going that way. If it means sacrificing, I'm going that way. If it means dying for them, I'm going that way, because I heard a voice saying, 'Do something for others.'" King: "Poor Peoples Campaign" Mixed Northern Movements Younger, less established black culture in North Nation of Islam Race and class issues mixed Not as tied to Christian churches (reject moral tone of MLK as too preachy) Afrocentric "The Honorable Elijah Muhammed" Malcolm X Rhetoric of RESISTANCE Notice how King and X differ radically on their views of the COSTS of racism... moving on to the second end/means of the MCRM Much like W.E.B. DuBois Muhammad Ali Ali emerges in a sports era that is changing as a result of television As Cassius Clay, he defeats Sonny Liston in 1964 Young, handsome, witty, verbal Displays a new urban black culture (unlike Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson) Verbal attacks, playing the "dozens" Conversion to Nation of Islam Often goes too far: Joe Frazier as "Tom" Rejection of assimilation, black nationalism "The System" responds by shutting down his access to his profession banned from boxing Malcolm X promotes term "AfricanAmerican" over Negro or black MLK and others "brainwashed" about the reality of racial equality Extremely proud of black heritage Black Panthers Afrocentrism Led by Huey P. Newton, later CORE and SNCC Militant See the "Black man of the ghetto" the true leader, not the bourgeois middleclass "Negro" who wants to be accepted by white society as an equal AntiIntellectual: Book learning is "acting white" An "eye for an eye" Rejects King's approach and leadership Tied to rise of African anticolonial wars of liberation Too slow Demands white acceptance Blacks in America like Africans throwing off European rule Similar to Marcus Garvey of Progressive Era Movement Weakens: Why? Largest goals realized Desegregation Voting Rights Economic and educational opportunity Northern and Southern movements too different for effective cooperation The experiences of urban poverty created problems that even Southern black society (conditioned by years of racial violence) couldn't effectively deal with!!! Violence Movement Weakens Malcolm X (1965), MLK (1968) assassinated Riots in 1965, 1968, 1969 CORE and SNCC reject white liberal assistance, assume more openly militant and black nationalist stance MCR Movement Weakens Federal Government wracked by political indecision Conservative Backlash of late 1980s Democrats undermine their Southern base with Civil Rights Viet Nam undermines rest of Dem. party Collapse of Liberal coalition By 1972, Nixon able to practice "Benign Neglect" draws dissatisfied whites to Republican party Argue that race is not a problem of poverty, and vice versa Focus on missing "values" or lack of capitalist initiative But, EVERY STUDY of the black innercity shows that poor residents exhibit the SAME VALUES of hard work and capitalism William Julius Wilson, When Work Disappears (1996) 1. Focus on schools critical to success of Civil Rights Conclusions 2. Mixed legacy of Civil Rights Positives At root, Americans agree that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to succeed Little agreement beyond this (movement stalls) Colen Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Oprah, Robert Johnson (BET), Barack Obama, thousands of local, state, and federal representatives Shaquille O'Neil, Tiger Woods, Williams' Sisters, LeBron James Negatives Early success in sports instructive: when rules are fair and enforced, race and ethnicity become meaningless Best athletes are gifted, but they spend hours every day perfecting these skills In 1998, Black families still earn less than 2/3 of what White families earn Poverty has undermined urban black family, "hyperghettoes" of the inner city offer no way out (except crime) 3. AfricanAmericans prove to be the pioneers, many follow their model Conclusions (cont) Latinos/Tejanos/Chicanos Sexual Orientation Conservatives like Moral Majority use same tactics, rely on same "movement culture" of Civil Rights 4. Probably no single man affected America more than King from 1954 to the present Redefined the terms of the debate Racism simply unAmerican because it assumes citizens are inherently unequal (profound implications for U.S. foreign policy) Validated all of our founding documents (based on notions of equality) Antiabortion But second goal of MCR not realized First Goal: Legal Equality Second Goal: Address historic costs of racism Brown v. Board Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act Racial attitudes still strong, evident at times of stress Howard Beach murders about "race" O.J. Simpson about "race" Barry Bonds about "race" Concept makes bigots feel good (the "problem" becomes "those people" rather than politics or class) Black writer James Baldwin: "If I am not who you say I am, then you are not what you think you are" What role does racial categorization play today in explaining tensions of the modern era? Ends and Means Spike Lee, Do the Right Thing (1989) What happens when we use "race" to generalize about individuals? Tendency of HUMAN BEINGS to use external differences to explain conflict Very crude language... but notice how absurd these characters appear. They don't see people but rather the projections of their own fears (of people who are different) Affirmative action argues that racism is only meaningful if coupled with power Affirmative Action Policy emerges from MCR E.g., You can have negative racial views of me, but it won't affect your grade; if I have negative racial views of you, it can. In both cases racism is morally wrong, but in only one does racism have the power to negatively effect someone else Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (created by 1964 Civil Rights Act based on WWII FEPC) Title IX of Educational Amendment Act (1972) Bans discrimination, Promotes access to federal contracts by minority owned businesses Conservative backlash: "special treatment" for poor "Affirmative action" must take place to insure colleges offer WOMEN equal opportunities Sporting teams/scholarships, academic opportunities, etc. "Special treatment" supposedly "demeans" those historically shut out 19801990s, U.S. Federal Courts roll back affirmative action initiatives 1996 Hopwood v. Texas California Proposition 209 (1996) U.S. Supreme Court rules in 2004 that affirmative action is constitutional The use of race as a consideration in hiring and admission to school is appropriate as long as it is not the SOLE FACTOR under consideration Comedian Chris Rock (2003) on Affirmative Action? Affirmative Action Again, offensive language; but to highlight a larger point ...
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