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Reformism: The Civil Rights Act of 1964

"The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was vigorously and vociferously opposed by the Southern states. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into law nonetheless." - Henry Rollins

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the nation's premier civil rights legislation. The Act outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, required equal access to public places and employment, and enforced desegregation of schools and the right to vote. It did not end discrimination; however, but it did open the door to further progress. Although the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments outlawed slavery, provided for equal protection under the law, guaranteed citizenship, and protected the right to vote for African Americans, individual states continued to allow unfair treatment of minorities and passed Jim Crow laws allowing segregation of public facilities. These were upheld by the Supreme Court in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 US 537 (1896), which found state laws requiring racially segregated facilities that were "separate but equal" to be constitutional. This finding helped continue legalized discrimination well into the 20th century.

The real reason that this is still a problem is that African Americans, once they realized that white people were only willing to take change so far, never organized a strong enough movement to resist this restraint placed on them by the white powers. There are several reasons why this is, a couple of which will be the topic of subsequent articles on reformism. One particular method is political isolation. The dominant political parities, north or south, create Gerrymandered voter districts so as to isolate the voting power of their African American populations. If that is not possible, they attempt to buy off their African American voters with all black voter districts, or districts where the population is so black that a black representative cannot fail to be elected. Voter ID laws are now another method that are being used to attack poor people's ability to participate in politics. These laws are almost always targeted at poor African Americans. They also created housing and welfare projects that were intentionally designed to target poor African American communities in America's poor inner cities. These programs were meant to keep African American populations localized and away from white population who were moving out to suburbs in what came to be know as the "White Flight Movement." The white powers intentionally recreated segregation.

There is, of course, also the influx of illegal narcotics into America's inner cities. By now, formal and legal historical documents have proven to be true what was once shouted off by the federal government as ludicrous lies and demented conspiracy theories. The CIA and other agencies of the federal government have colluded and now collude with foreign governments and criminal syndicates to secure, ship, and distribute some of the most addictive drugs on the planet onto American streets and into the hands of American citizens. Further, it does so purposely to keep the American people doing anything stupid like becoming socially aware and standing up for their rights. From the fifties to the mid-seventies, the drug of choice was Heroin, and it had a powerful hold on on people.

However, in the mid-seventies a more local and more addictive drug hit the scene, Cocaine; and in the early eighties, a new cheaper form of the drug hit the streets, Crack. The Crack epidemic was by far the worst drug epidemic in US History, and it was intentionally set off by the government to generate a cover for the United States' illicit operations with these foreign governments and criminal syndicates. It was to be known as the; "War on Drugs," and worse, it intentionally targeted the African American community, so as to ensure that they would never seriously challenge their position in the American social structure ever again. One of the ways that this was made so was by using these drugs to criminalize African Americans, which made it impossible for them register to vote, and thus, interact in the political power structure. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other.

So, finally, one last time, what does this say about the Civil Rights Act of 1964? It essentially means that it is not worth the paper that it is written on, and it means that the only way that African Americans are going to get the real justice that they deserve in this country is if they use more aggressive measures to get it. Now, this does not necessarily mean that they need to use violence to get the equal treatment that they deserve, but it does mean that they need to start to use more unconventional organizing methods that will catch their oppressors off guard. Further, when the hammer is dropped by the white man, they need to be able to withstand the blow, which means they need to be able to unite under one flag, and they need to be able to work without the help of other races. This really needs to be a modern Black Power movement of sorts. Finally, more legislation is not the answer to their problem, especially if it signed by the hand of the very same oppressor that continues to keep them down.

#refusetocooperate, #getyourhouseinorder, #wearewatching, #deathbeforedishonor, #civilrights, #LBJ, #blackpower, #JFK, #whiteflight, #suburbs, #voterid, #heroin, #cocaine, #crack, #blackpanthers, #CIA, #africanamericans, #warondrugs, #gerrymandering, #discrimination

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