Civil Right Acts After Civil War

In my essay, I will be writing about racism in the united states between the blacks and the white and how the blacks are treated unfairly compared to the whites. So, what exactly is racism about? In layman terms racism is the belief of one race is being superior then the another in this case, is the white that is more superior then whites. But racism can be in different form as well. For example, discrimination of skin colour, religion. Racism existed throughout human history and racism in America has existed since the colonial era (1492- 1763) till the present day.

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This brings back to the days in America slavery. One research show that “Throughout 17th and 18th centuries people were kidnapped from the continent of Africa, forced into slavery in the American colonies and exploited to work as indentured servants and labour in the production of crops such as tobacco and cotton” ( Editors, 2009). Slavery in America happened in 1619 when the first 20 enslaved African arrived in the British colony of Virginia that were sized from the from the Portuguese slave ship Sao Jao Bautista by the White lion ( Editors, 2009, para. 1). Ushering in the era of American slavery.

During the slavery era, the black slaves were used mainly for tobacco, rice and indigo plantations. As slavery has become a trend back then, there is this slave trade operated by the British and is one of the biggest business of the 18th century. Approximately around 600,00 of 10 million African slaves made their way into the American colonies before the slave trade was banned by the Congress in 1808. By 1860, nearly 4 million enslaved black people estimated 13% of the population in the country as the American born population grew. Also known as African American. Soon after, In America, slavery was officially ended in 6 December 1865 after the 13th amendment to the constitution was passed and ratified, abolishment of slavery across the nation. This happened after the civil war in America. The one that wrote the 13th amendment was Abraham Lincoln. After the abolishment of slavery, most of southern states of the states make law called the “black code”.

The black code is to restrict the freedom of slave or freed slaves and to have the continuous supremacy of the whites and to ensure the slaves availability as a cheap labor to replace the social control of slavery during the reconstructing period.

Mississippi and South Carolina were the first southern states to make these black codes. While different states impose different type of black codes laws, for example for Mississippi laws required the blacks to write evidence of employment for the coming year each January if they were to leave before the end of the contract, if they were to terminate before their end of employment contact, ,they will be forced to forfeiting earlier salary and will be subjected to arrest. As for South Carolina law, A banned is issued for the blacks to hold any other occupation other than farmer or servant unless they paid an annual tax of $10- $100 dollars.

In both states, the blacks had to face heavily penalties for vagrancy and for some is being forced into plantation labor. Soon after the 14th and the 15th amendments were passed, Jim crow laws here introduced, and the rise of Ku Klux Klan also known as “KKK” a white supremacy group to terrorize the blacks emerge.

Jim crow law was introduced to separate the blacks and whites and to maintain racial segregation after the civil war ended. It was used mainly against the blacks. One study found that “The overarching of Jim Crows laws was to prevent contact between black people and white people as equals, establishing white people as above black people” (The University of Southern California [USC], n.d.).

In this case, the blacks are not allowed to live in white neighborhoods and segregation was enforced for public areas like park, schools, hospitals, public pools etc. One study shows that when the blacks break these laws, they could be beaten physically by the whites without retaliation or lynching will occurred with starling frequency when the blacks break the Jim crow laws. (USC, n.d.). This clearly shows that the blacks are greatly oppressed by the whites by the colour of the skin and being discriminated.

In 1964, Civil rights act was passed which abolish the Jim crow laws. This law banned the discrimination in public places. In the following year, 1965, the Voting Right Act was passed, which protected black people to vote by bearing discriminatory voting laws. Even after these laws is being passed, discrimination still exist in America.

Have you ever wondered where the word “Nigger” come from? Do you know that the word is offensive to black people? Or African / African American? The word originated from the Spanish word “Nergo” which mean black. The word “Nergo” was used to describe black people during the slavery era. The word “Nigger” was used to insult or criticize the black people in the later years. To label them and to remind them that they were used to be slave and was under oppression by the whites in the modern years. To some of the blacks, when the word is use upon them, they feel offensive because they feel that they are the lower order of being something like a “subhuman” because of the past the race had. Soon after, the word “Nigger” evolves to “Nigga” which is the form of slang and is one of the most popular words used today. One study shows that “” Nigga” is a phase black people use with each other to define a real cool homeboy or homegirl” (Frost, Stephan R, 2014). The word has become so popular that is now part of culture and non-black people are using it too.

To support this statement, do you know of a movie called rush hour published in 1998 acted by Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker? So in this movie, there is this scene where Chris Tucker whom is a black went to bar accompanied by Jackie Chan whom is an Asian Chinese and casually greet his fellow back friends with this statement “ What’s up my nigga” and he get the same response back. Jackie Chan saw what happened and try to follow Chris Tucker. He went to the bar and greeted the black bar tender “What’s up my nigga” and Jackie got into a fight with the rest of the blacks in the bar.

Do you know that blacks are treated poorly by the police of United States? And is ridiculous especially for the police to treat the blacks in a brutal manner. To prove my statement, I have a case studies on the police treating the blacks over a small issue. Apparently, a video clip was going viral showing phoenix police holding a black family at gun point over a $1 doll. What happened is that on 27 May 2019 a young black family, Draven Ames, 22 his pregnant fiancé Iesha Harper, 24 and their daughters, Island,4 and London, 1 walked out of a family store with their 4-year-old daughter holding on a doll which hasn’t been paid and it cost 99 cents and the police of phoenix surrounds the family car with gun drawn, shouting foul language at the family and even threatening to shoot them for the doll that hasn’t been paid. The parents were unaware that their kid took a doll from the store. There were several video clips from different angle and can show how the police treats the family. One study shows that “In one, officers can be heard screaming and cursing at the couple in front of their children” (Santiago, 2017) Also Ames is also seen that he is complying to the police but still the police is being very rough on him like punching him on the back while he is being pinned to the police car. As for Harper, an officer was seen trying to grab Harper’s baby out of her arms. Even though Harper is pregnant, the officer didn’t care at all and continues to treat her rough. One study shows that “After giving her child to a bystander, Harper, who is six months pregnant, was thrown headfirst into the police car, their attorney alleges.” (Bates, 2019) One of the officers told Harper that he could have shot her in front of her kids as she was arrested. By this you can see the brutality the police acted towards the black family. Is it because they are black that’s why they are treated like this? To me is absurd and is unacceptable.

Again, research shows that the killing of black suspects by higher authority is higher than white armed or unarmed. Police of all races not just the white tends to kill more black suspects. One study shows that “Police kill African American more than twice as often as the general population” (Rutgers, 2018) The most famous news on this is the death of Michael Brown on 9 August 2014 in Ferguson. Brown is an 18-year-old African American teen, whom is unarmed and was fatality shot by a 28-year-old white Ferguson police officer named Darren Wilson. Brown was the fourth unarmed black man to be killed by police in America in a month. Why was he being shot? Normal people would think that he did a crime that deserve death, but this is not the case. On August 9, 2014, Brown and his friend were walking in the middle of the road in St Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri when the police drove by, the police told them to use the sidewalk instead. After words were exchanged, the officer and Brown confronted each other and had a scuffle which resulted to the killing of Brown. He was shot of total six times. Is it even necessary to even shoot an unarmed person? Even after this incident, research shows that black men and boys are more likely to die by the police violence than white men. One study shows that “Black men and boys face the highest risk of being killed by police – at the rate of 96 out of 100,00 deaths. By comparison, white men and boys face lower rate of 39 per 100,000 deaths, despite being a bigger portion of the U.S population.” (Santhanam, 2019)

Overall, I feel that racism in the United States needs to be resolved as innocent lives are at risk. Especially the Jim crow laws, and the black codes still have a huge impact on today society. American should adapt the way of living harmoniously and accepting people from different background, race and religion and not to discriminate one another. Let’s take Singapore for an example. As we all know that Singapore is a multi-racial country and Singaporean can live harmoniously regardless of race and religion, but is the United States able to emulate from this? For instance, in Singapore there is this law there must be certain percentage that Malay, Indian and Chinese race must live in the same HDB (housing and development board) to adopt the ethnic balance as a mean to foster social and racial cohesion. So, in way, the United Stated can implement that each neighborhood there must be a certain percentage of other races other white living in each neighborhood for the race to live in harmony. By doing this, they can communicate better and under each other culture as well and most importantly to learn from one another. The United States could also organize activities to engage people from different race and background to socialize one another in and to help to promote harmony and to break down walls of racism, discrimination and inequality that hinders the growth of the younger generations. At the same time to add value like awareness, unity and most importantly to strategize the future regardless of race, language and religion.

I want to emphasize is that the united states have to resolve the issue of racism, discrimination and inequality in their people by implanting campaign or something that is impactful to the people of United States that will make the people change their way of thinking of racism or discrimination and inequality.


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29 April 2022

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