African Americans' Civil Rights By: JAck O'Flaherty

Discrimination (noun): the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex. (Webster Dictionary). Ever wonder what it is like to be considered as a minority? Imagine being left out and discriminated against just because of race. Imagine someone who earns less income, doesn't get into college, or doesn't get a job just because of race. This is actually how African Americans are being treated even today. "Every day, a resume of a black-sounding name is 50 percent less likely to get responded to than a white-name resume." (Jalen Ross). Prejudice has been around forever in the United States and undoubtedly, there needs to be an adjustment. “If current economic trends continue, the average black household will need 228 years to accumulate as much wealth as their white counterparts hold today.” (Joshua Holland). Only 60 years ago did segregation exist. This means that many Africans Americans are still suffering from the feelings and effects of racism. Relatives that are still alive today have lived in segregation. There needs to be a change in how people judge other citizens just because of skin color.

First, still today and as far back as the 1960’s, African Americans and Hispanics have made a lot less money than whites. Whites are clearly more privileged. Today, according to CNN, “The typical white family had accumulated more than $134,200 in wealth in 2013, while black families scraped together a little more than $11,00 and Hispanic families $13,000.” (CNN, Urban Institute Report). Likewise, during the Civil Rights era, African Americans were also treated unjustifiably. “Between 1967 and 1990, Black families saw their median income rise 12 percent in real terms (constant 1990 dollars), from $19,080 to $21,420. White families experienced a similar real increase $32,220 to $36,920, a 15 percent rise.” ( African Americans have been treated immorally for the past century and are still being treated unfairly. There needs to be a change in how income is distributed especially when African American workers are paid less then Caucasian workers for the same work. Whites are making more money, getting hired more often, getting into schools more often etc… Even though the amendments were passed that gave African Americans rights, blacks are still suffering from discrimination till this day. Non minorities may not even realize what it is like to go through a day in the life of an African American or how to change this cycle of discrimination over generations.

Today, African Americans at least legally can apply and be hired for any job. However, in the Civil Rights era, African Americans were discriminated against and denied jobs even if they were able to do them. even. Even after emancipation, “whites attempted to limit blacks to menial jobs. Throughout the late nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, blacks as a group were barred from machine work within the industrial sector, and from white-collar clerical and service work.” ( Back in the Civil Rights era, African Americans were discriminated against in almost every white collar work. As stated, today African Americans are allowed to obtain any job. According to The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, “The NBA was 74.3 percent black during the 2015-16 season and 81.7 percent were people of color. The study said that the NBA was 18.3 percent white last season, which was 5 percent less than the season before. The league was also a record 22.3 percent international last season.” (The Undefeated). While today it is illegal to discriminate against a person because of their skin color and legally African Americans can get any job they want, that doesn't mean they are not discriminated against still. African Americans are still hired a lot less than whites. Even when hired, they may be given less favorable work or treated with less respect. They often are paid less for the same work. This explains why whites remain far more privileged than African Americans even today.

Discrimination is not new. It has been around in the United States and all around the world forever. Every country or place has a problem with discrimination. For example: women, Muslims, African Americans, Indians, Homosexuals, transgender, disabled persons etc. all face differing levels of discrimination depending on where that person lives. “Discrimination influences the daily life of its victims in areas such as employment, income, financial opportunities, housing and educational opportunities, and medical care.” (The Washington Post). It is hard live when you are considered to be a minority. Even though all these people are being discriminated against or otherwise are being left out, good people can help change that by understanding how it really feels to be a minortiy. “There is no better way to be convinced of this than to go to a country where millions of people are doing something different from you so that you—not them—are the oddball.” (Greater Good). Thus, one way to eliminate discrimination is to travel to a divergent country or someplace unfamiliar. People may realize how others of different races get along even if they live a different lifestyle and have a different skin color. In addition, citizens may be aware of how other people who are considered as minority's live and how it may be harder. Also, everyone can make at least one friend of a different skin color, religion or gender. People may realize that even if other people have a different religion, gender or race, they are still humans and may be nicer than other people. It is important to be aware of what other people may be going through and how citizens may be discriminated because of race, gender, or religion. Essentially, people need to know how African Americans and other contradistinctive people around the world are being left out and discriminated because of their race, and how everyone can make a change.


Works Cited:

Administration, Statistics. Black Americans: A Profile. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, Bureau of the Census, 1993. Census. Administration, 1999. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

Berman, Mark. "Americans See a Lot of Discrimination against People Who Are Muslim, Black or Gay." The Washington Post. WP Company, 17 Nov. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

Holland, Joshua. "The Average Black Family Would Need 228 Years to Build the Wealth of a White Family Today." The Nation. Joshua Hollander, 09 Aug. 2016. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

Jones, Jacqueline. "Black Workers Remember." The American Prospect. Jacqueline Jones, 30 Nov. 2000. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

Mondoza, Rodolfo. "The Top 10 Strategies for Reducing Prejudice." Greater Good. Rodolfo Mondoza, 3 Jan. 2011. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

Ross, Jalen. "Do Job-seekers with 'white' Names Get More Callbacks than 'black' Names?" @politifact. Pintrest, 15 Mar. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

The Typical White Family Had Accumulated More than $134,200 in Wealth in 2013, Tammy Luhby. "Whites Have 12 times the Wealth of Blacks, 10 times That of Hispanics." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

Williams, Monte. "Is There a Black Upper Class?" The New York Times. The New York Times, 06 Mar. 1999. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.

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