Chapter 5 Equal Rights: Struggling Toward Fairness Learning Objectives Having read the chapter, the students should be able to do each of the following: Trace the history of equality through the law. Demonstrate knowledge of the context of the African American civil rights movement. Demonstrate knowledge of the civil rights movement for women. Identify civil rights battles being fought by minority groups. Evaluate the significance of demographic changes in the United States. Chapter Outline I. Equality through Law A. The Fourteenth Amendment: Equal Protection 1. Segregation in the Schools 2. Judicial Tests of Equal Protection B. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 1. The Black Civil Rights Movement 2. The Movement for Women’s Rights 3. Hispanic Americans and the Farmworkers’ Strikes 4. Native Americans and Their Long-Delayed Rights 5. Asian Americans and Immigration C. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 D. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 E. Affirmative Action II. The Continuing Struggle for Equality A. African Americans B. Women C. Native Americans D. Hispanic Americans E. Asian Americans F. Other Disadvantaged Groups III. Discrimination: Superficial Differences, Deep Divisions IV. Summary IM – 5 | 1 © 2017 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part. Focus and Main Points This chapter examines the major laws relating to equality and the conditions that led to their adoption. The chapter concludes with a brief look at some of the continuing challenges facing America’s historically disadvantaged groups. The chapter emphasizes these points: Americans have attained substantial equality under the law. In purely legal terms, although not always in practice, they have equal protection under the laws, equal access to accommodations and housing, and an equal right to vote. Legal equality for all Americans has not resulted in de facto equality. African Americans, women, Hispanic Americans, and other traditionally disadvantaged groups have a disproportionately small share of America’s opportunities and benefits. However, the issue of what, if anything, government should do to deal with this problem is a major source of contention. Disadvantaged groups have had to struggle for equal rights. African Americans, women, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and a number of other groups have had to fight for their rights in order to achieve a fuller measure of equality. Chapter Summary During the past half century, the United States has undergone a revolution in the legal status of its traditionally disadvantaged groups, including African Americans, women, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans. Such groups are now provided equal protection under the law in areas such as education, employment, and voting. Discrimination by race, sex, and ethnicity has not been eliminated from American life, but it is no longer substantially backed by the force of law. This advance was achieved against strong resistance from established interests, which only begrudgingly and slowly responded to demands for equality in law. Traditionally disadvantaged Americans have achieved fuller equality primarily as a result of their struggle for greater rights. The Supreme Court has been an instrument of change for disadvantaged groups. Its ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), in which racial segregation in public schools was declared a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equalprotection clause, was a major breakthrough in equal rights. Through its affirmative action and other rulings, such as those providing equal access to the vote, the Court has also mandated the active promotion of social, political, and economic equality. However, because civil rights policy involves large issues concerned with social values and the distribution of society’s opportunities and benefits, questions of civil rights are inherently contentious. For this reason, legislatures and executives have been deeply involved in such issues. The history of civil rights includes landmark legislation, such as the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. IM – 5 | 2 © 2017 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part. In more recent decades, civil rights issues have receded from the prominence they had during the 1960s. The scope of affirmative-action programs has narrowed, and the use of forced busing to achieve racial integration in America’s public schools has been largely eliminated. The legal gains of disadvantaged groups over the past half century have not been matched by material gains. Although progress in areas such as education, income, and health care has been made, it has been slow. Tradition, prejudice, and the sheer difficulty of social, economic, and political progress stand as formidable obstacles to achieving a more equal America. IM – 5 | 3 © 2017 by McGraw-Hill Education. This is proprietary material solely for authorized instructor use. Not authorized for sale or distribution in any manner. This document may not be copied, scanned, duplicated, forwarded, distributed, or posted on a website, in whole or part.