Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

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AP Government

Essay: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

Unfortunately, discrimination is something that is deep-rooted in our country's history. We've had many struggles by different groups such as: women suffragists, and the civil rights movements in the 60's. Affirmative action, or preferential treatment to minorities, is a way to avenge the effects of past discrimination. Affirmative action was a vital step towards equality during historical struggles like after the abolition of slavery and during civil rights movement in the 60's. In today's society however all people are equal and affirmative action only upsets that balance. Affirmative action essentially discriminates and "punishes" people for their race, something they cannot control. The equality of races is the idea being advocated here however; affirmative action does just the opposite. It indirectly discriminates against people that are not minorities.

People cannot choose their race. Therefore, how can one race be given preferential treatment when they have no control over how they are born? The actions of people in the past are what determine affirmative action today. We cannot change the deeds of our forefathers. During the 60's there was distinct segregation and some had the feeling that minorities were inferior. Affirmative action was a good way to equalize opinions and treatment of minorities. However, today our culture, for the most part, is accepting of the fact that all people, regardless of race, are equal. Thus, affirmative action has gone from a tactic of creating equal opportunity, to a discrimination against people who don't have a history of oppression.

The reason that America has adopted the principals of equality so well is because of the heavy emphasis of impartiality by our government. The fourteenth amendment made blacks citizens and granted due process under the law. More recently, there was the Brown v Board of Education ruling for school integration. Both of these...
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