Discrimination And Civil Rights In America

687 words - 3 pages

“ Civil rights is the term that refers to the right of every person to equal access to society’s opportunities and public facilities.”

Civil rights is used to imply that the state has a positive role in ensuring all citizens equal protection under law and equal opportunity to exercise the privileges of citizenship and to participate fully in life regardless of race, sex, religion, or other characters unrelated to the value of the individual. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of civil rights is “the right s to personal liberty and to legal, economic, and social equality establish by amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by certain Congressional acts.” (Merriam-Webster) Civil rights have to with whether individual members of differing groups- racial, sexual, and the like- are treated equally by government and, in some areas, by private parties. Civil rights deal with issues of equality among the American citizens.

     The concept that human beings having inalienable rights and liberties that cannot be violated by others or the state is linked to the history of democracy. It was first expressed by the philosophers of ancient Greece. In theory, Americans are equal in their rights, but in reality, they are not now equal, nor have they ever been. African Americans, women, Hispanic Americans, the disabled, Jews, American Indians, Catholics, and members of nearly every other minority group have been victims of discrimination in fact and in law.

     The nation’s creed- “all men are created equal”- has encouraged minorities to believe that they deserve equal justice and has given weight to their claims. Inequality is built into almost every aspect of our society. Civil rights are any of the civil liberties guaranteed by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments and the Civil Rights Acts of the Constitution. Civil rights are also protected under state constitutions and federal statutes that protect a person’s civil rights.

     For example, African Americans with a correctable heart problem are only half as likely to receive the necessary surgery as are whites with the same problem. Disadvantaged groups had to struggle for equal rights. African Americans, women, Native Americans, and others have all had to fight for their rights in order to come closer to equality with white males. Americans have attained...

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