Civil Rights Legislation Due to Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

When then Governor George Wallace ordered state troopers to disband the marchers, using tear gas, clubs and whips, President Lyndon Johnson federalized the National Guard and the march continued (Modern 157). The national media coverage of these events led Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed discriminatory voter-registration tests, and authorized federal registration of persons and federally administered voting procedures in any political subdivision or state that discriminated electorally against a particular group (Modern 157).

Nine days after the assassination of King on April 4, 1968, Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which banned discrimination in most housing and provided penalties for those attempting to interfere with individual civil rights, thus adding protection for civil rights workers and others (Modern 157). Additional legislation added enforcement provisions to the federal government's rules concerning discriminatory mortgage-lending practices, which means that all lenders must report to the federal government the race, gender, and income of all mortgage-loan seeker, as well as the final decision on their loan application (Modern 158).

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 dramatically increased political participation by African-Americans, and by 1980, some 55.8% of African-Americans of voting age in the South were registered to vote (Modern 158). In the 108th Congress, there were thirty-four African-Americans, and in 1989, Virginia became the first state to elect an African-American governor (Modern 158). In 1989, General Colin Powell became the first African-American to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in 2001, became Secretary of State (Modern 158). According to a 1958 Gallup poll, only 38% of the public said they would vote for an African-American for president, however in 2003, the percentage had reached 95% (Modern 158).

Although African-Americans were the focus of the civil rights movement, the legislation that resulted from the movement benefited all minority groups, including Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, and Native Alaskans (Modern 158). Moreover, political participation increased among other minority groups, resulting in Hispanics gaining political power in several states (Modern 158). Yet, despite the increased political participation by minorities, the number of political offices held by members of minority groups remains disproportionately low compared to their numbers in the overall population (Modern 158). In fact, collectively, minorities are now the majority of the populations in California, Hawaii, and New Mexico, and it is estimated that by 2010, minority populations will collectively outnumber whites in Texas and New York as well (Modern 159).

Many feel that the civil rights movement did not go quite far enough, and that the nation needs to address problems such as poverty and urban violence that effect underclasses in all racial groups and that until these issues are addressed, race consciousness will continue to divide the country, particularly African-Americans and white Americans (Modern 159). Due to racial profiling media stereotyping, education, and many…

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Works Cited

Modern Civil Rights Legislation. Pp. 156, 157, 158, 159.

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