According to the Huffington Post before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, there was the Civil Rights Act of 1875. That Act, which was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Grant, was struck down by then Supreme Court, Chief Justice Joseph Bradley writing the majority opinion. And that opinion was that it was time for blacks to assume “the rank of a mere citizen” and stop being the “special favorite of the laws.”
Sounds kind of familiar doesnt it? Maybe because now that there is a black president thoughts of reverse racism come into play. Backed by years of backlash from Affirmative Action, especially in economic times like these when it seems as if everyone is having a hard time, the rhetoric of 1875 is sounding real familiar. This is confirmed by recent statments from now Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts who is quoted as saying.
“The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,”
Which is a not-so-subtle hint that rather than have Congress and the courts rule on matters of race, society has to evolve instead through the slow and often agonizing process of education and tolerance. With those thoughts why is it so hard to remember that the social climate of America after removing the Civil Rights Act of 1875 created the legality of segregation throughout America. Well, all we can do is hope that the American Justice system doesn’t turn it’s back on minorities as there is a lot of work to be done internally to make sure America is truly equal.