This chapter addresses different social issues, which include: the aftermath of the civil war, civil rights after reconstruction, black equality women’s equality, the civil rights movement, the civil rights act of 1964, women’s rights movement, equal protection clause, statutory remedies, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Asian Pacific Americans, gays and lesbians, Americans with disabilities, affirmative action, and the workplace discrimination.
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Slavery was on the rise prior to the civil war. In 1808 slave trade was banned even though the southerners still relied on slave labor. Similarly, with the development of the American anti-slavery society in 1833, the slave trade was on the decline.
Slavery has had a great impact on society, and its shame is continually felt, especially by the blacks who still have the feeling of anger and oppression. On its impact on society, slavery is solely responsible for the rising levels of the separation between the whites and the black’s residencies today. I have learned to treat all people with equality irrespective of their past, race, or color and defy the norms in the society of the unequal treatment of peoples on these parameters.
Slavery is practiced by the current generation since they found the older generation doing the same. On the other hand, the thirteenth amendment led to the abolishment of slavery and the slave trade, whereas the southerners still used the black codes to restrict rights. The fourteenth amendment, on the other hand, gave all the people equal protection as it also granted the due process of law, and in the fifteenth amendment, the blacks were given the right to vote even though the women were still excluded from the active right to vote.
The civil war led to a lot of inequalities even after the reconstruction of civil rights, which was noticeable since most of the courts and the judicial systems still upheld the discriminatory laws, which mainly denied the blacks their rights to vote. The racial, gender and other discriminatory practices on human beings have had an effect on individuals and society at large since they have caused a sense of denial, superiority, and inferiority.
As an individual, any kind of discrimination against me often gives me an inferiority complex feeling, which makes me feel that someone else thinks I am of less importance than others. It also brings fear to individuals and even to societal groups. This can make your self-esteem go down, and it could affect your relationships with other people. When it comes to society, social inequalities divide communities, and it causes retrogression in society since there is a dividing line; thus, development is also retarded. I have learned to treat people equally and not be partial in any way since we are all equal irrespective of our backgrounds and social status.
We all have equal chances and opportunities; therefore, no one is better than the other. It is easier to accept people as they are irrespective of their sexual orientation or their physical disabilities. Sometimes we tend to segregate others since we want to be identified with a particular social class or standard, or we want to feel accepted and have a sense of belonging. I am of the opinion that people should break the cycle of slavery, which will result in building a united society where everybody has equal rights.
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