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Why do civil rights continue to provoke controversy?

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Why does the issue of civil rights continue to provoke controversy? (60) Civil rights in America have been extremely controversial for the past 60 years. Civil rights are a set of rights that belong to a person or group by reason of citizenship, and are fundamental for freedom of the individual and communities. In America they are guaranteed by the constitution, such as in the 1st amendment with the 'basic' rights to freedom of speech, religion, press, petition and assembly. They are also protected for certain groups, as in the 19th amendment with women's suffrage, the 15th amendment with the enfranchisement of blacks, and the civil rights acts of 1964 and 1994. Civil rights are aimed to give the American people an "equal chance to be unequal" regardless of their race, gender, or beliefs; there have been many issues however where this has found not to be true and people are not given the "equal chance to be unequal" usually due to discrimination. There are many organisations to help with discrimination such as the American civil liberties union whose aim is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." There is also the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights which is an independent, federal commission charged with the responsibility for investigating, reporting on, and making recommendations concerning the civil rights issues in America. ...read more.


In the federal government there are 40 black members in congress with 8% representation of the country's population. This employment ratio in government is still not entirely representing the fact that 12% of the population are black, but considering that there has been a large jump in such a short time, it shows that America is improving with black representation, even if it is as a result of affirmative action. In other areas of employment, there has been less of a notable change; such as in the managerial and professionals sector the percentage of blacks rose from 5.5 to 7.5 % between 1982 and 1997, which is not representing the black percentage of the population. Also the median income of a black family in 1978 was 60 percent of the median income of a white family; today it is 66 percent of white-family income. I agree with the view point that this minimal change is not good enough, and that there should be higher representation for minorities; there are many reasons suggested for this, such as lower education standards in schools, and the culture of certain areas and black neighbourhoods. American women have accomplished a lot in terms of women's rights and civil rights. The enfranchisement of women in the 1920's, along with many more attempts to make them equal in both the workplace and society, contributed to this. ...read more.


The case was filed on behalf of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, who has been detained in solitary confinement at a Navy brig in South Carolina since June 2003. Al-Marri asked the Court to reverse a federal appeals court decision that gave the president sweeping power to deprive individuals in the United States of their most basic constitutional rights by designating them as "enemy combatants". This goes against many people's ideas of civil rights by indefinitely imprisoning and arrested person just by asserting they are linked to terrorism. This is an ongoing case, and as of yet has still not been resolved, as the debates for both views are persuasive. In conclusion Civil rights in America are continuing to provoking controversy about different issues than 50 years ago; such as segregation is not forced upon people but there areas still segregated especially in district such as Chicago's inner city. There are always going to be civil rights issues in any country, as there will be threats to areas such as terrorist threats, or there will be a new rising of a minority group. They are continuing to provoke controversy through modern issues such as the right to gay marriage, and the issue of detaining persons accused of terrorism. These issues will probably continue to provoke controversy over a log period of time until the civil right of America guarantee equality to everybody, although this would be a near on impossible feat to overcome. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rachael Burden 13A 7th December 2008 ...read more.

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