Civil Rights movement of 1960’s and today Essay Example
CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT OF THE 1960’S IN SAINT LOUIS
Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s in Saint Louis
From the Ferguson incident, it is evident that America is yet to learn from the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s in St. Louise among other civil disturbances that are often caused by racism. During the 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement often faced a significant amount of brutality from the police, who usually inflamed tension, which in turn fueled several weeks of unrest in Saint Louis (Stlouis-mo.gov, 2015). Like the Ferguson’s incident, the civil unrest witnessed between the 1950s and 1960s was associated with incidents of police brutality on unarmed African Americans (Lind, 2015). In effect, this paper will discuss the relationship between the Civil Rights Movement of 1960’s and what transpired in the Ferguson incident.
Picturing the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s in St. Louis, much of the landmarks achieved by the Civil Rights Movement can be associated with the successful Montgomery bus boycott incident (Hall, 2005). The boycott encouraged members of the movement to plan as well as direct other non-violent protests throughout America. For instance, members organized sit-ins as well freedom rides and joined marching in solidarity against the racial injustices that were being witnessed in the U.S. However, such protests came along with great danger because of police brutality, which often led to many deaths of dissidents.
Evidently, the primary objective of the civil rights movement in 1960 was fundamental to fight against racial injustice as well as unjust laws. The movement criticized the manner in which the African Americans were being handled by the law enforcers as well as the judicial system. Most of the demonstrations were based on unfair and unjust handling of Black’s legal cases, whether when on the complainant or accused side. Many Blacks were arrested, charged and incarcerated unjustly after participating in demonstrations in St. Louise, even though it was their civil rights (Hall, 2005).
Equally, today’s civil rights movement is fighting the same war: racial injustices. For example looking at the Ferguson case, on would realize that the American judicial system is reluctant in embracing racial equality. Analogically, the killing of Michael Brown, an eighteen-year-old Black American, by a white police officer in Ferguson has raised much debate all over the media both in the U.S and internationally. Even more aggravating, the issue initiated a continued unrest in Ferguson when the Missouri grand jury ruled that the court found no basis to indict the officer involved in the killing. Opponents of the jury’s decision argue that the ruling reflects the impunity with which the law enforcement in America. The critics claim that police used deadly force against a ‘poor citizen’ with little possibility of prosecution.
More often than not, the American police of today confront the black youths, which sometimes turns horribly awry thus roiling racial tensions in the country. In Ferguson’s case, Michael Brown, the victim, ended up dying as his companion ran for his dear life. After confronting the black youth, the aftermath is usually confusion and agony as the black community stand up in solidarity demanding for change that is never realized. Over the past fifty years or so, the U.S has experienced several civil unrests fueled by the Black community protesting against racial inequality and police brutality. Like in the 1960s, whereby riots and uprising against racial discrimination was countered by excess force by the police, today’s civil rights activists also face police brutality and sometimes death when protesting.
Today’s activists such as those of Black Lives Matter Movement, which was formed after Michael Browns murder, are not associated with political innuendos and interests. The civil rights movement of today is fighting to move the moral compass related to racism in the right direction, a loophole that was left by the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The 1960s civil rights movement fought for political rights, equality in the use of public accommodation, fair employment as well as excellent housing programs. However, today all the issues mentioned above have been significantly addressed and as such the movements such as the Black Lives Matter are dealing with a social monster: police brutality.
In conclusion, today’s activists are trying to deal with the racial degradation that the Black community is enduring, an issue that was never handled by the 1960s civil rights movement. The civil rights movement of today is trying to prevent the racial degradation that African Americans are enduring at the hands of the police.
Lind, D. (2015). The ugly history of racist policing in America. Vox. Retrieved 27 October 2015, from http://www.vox.com/michael-brown-shooting-ferguson mo/2014/8/19/6031759/ferguson-history-riots-police-brutality-civil-rights
Biondi, M., & Biondi, M. (2009). To stand and fight: The struggle for civil rights in postwar New York City. Harvard University Press.
Hall, J. D. (2005). The long civil rights movement and the political uses of the past. The Journal of American History, 91(4), 1233-1263.
Stlouis-mo.gov,. (2015). Part I: The African-American Experience. Retrieved 27 October 2015, from https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/planning/cultural resources/preservation-plan/Part-I-African-American-Experience.cfm
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