American Civil Rights: A History of Inconsistencies, Application Essay Example

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Application Essay

America was allegedly founded on the principles of freedom and equality, with a main emphasis by the founding fathers of not establishing a true aristocracy.  In fact, the illusion of social mobility has been alive in this country, but dead in actual practice for many years now.

In contemporary America, race relations between blacks and whites are still at a discourse not seen in other Westernized nations. America has a history of immigration problems due to the influx of Irish, Chinese, German, East and West Asians. For the large part, these prejudices spent very little time in the mainstream; compared to the enduring racism black Americans endure, anyway. A large part of  the reason black society has not been fully accepted by millions of Americans is due to a lack of cohesion during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s; a variation of ideas and actions from all corners that continues to this day.

It is for economic reasons the United States was the last Westernized nation to make slavery illegal. A smooth transition would have been remarkable, and almost happened until Jim Crow laws in the South served to replace the previously named “slave codes”. There is a definite disconnect between a rocky social transition, and the fact that many of these laws were not repealed until the Movement started in the 1950’s.

On one hand, there was the charismatic, nonviolent, and overall peaceful teaching of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr, King’s work spanned from organizing peaceful marches and rallies, to nonviolent sit-ins, where black Americans would take punishment, but not retaliate. A believer in Ghandi, Dr. King’s work was instrumental in gaining more equality for black Americans, right up to his death; he was assassinated by a threatened white supremacist.

This only fueled the flames already created by another admirable Civil Right’s leader, Malcolm X. Though contemporaries in many ways, Malcolm X was not as “forgiving” as Dr. King. He advocated blacks grouping together for protection, and fighting back against unjust treatment. The situation was made worse when young Civil Rights activist, and known member of Students for a Democratic Society, member Fred Hampton was targeted and killed by the FBI. Many saw Malcolm X, also assassinated, and Fred Hampton, with the conjunction of Dr. King’s death as a call to arms.

Though the organization itself predates the murders mentioned above, the Black Panther Party rose from the ashes. This turbulent two decades was met with armed Panther’s on foot patrol, just to ensure fair treatment and safety for black Americans.

Race riots have consistently been happening in every decade since; the notorious Rodney King case resulted in horrible riots in cities across the country. A huge public outcry was seen in New York City when Amadu Diallo was shot for reaching for his wallet. The examples are endless, and the result the same.

These riots are not the peaceful, organized rallies of Dr. King, but rather the violent, albeit understandable, and probably justified, violent ending advocated by the violence generated by the roots planted by the Panthers. These seeds have blossomed into the now household names of “Crip” or “Blood”. The issue is the same no matter how it is looked at: under-privileged and repressed minorities lashed out, and found profitable illegal professions–making the type of money they were raised to believe they would never see.

There are contemporary peaceful civil rights activists such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson whose work helps thousands and thousands every day. The problem is society, and its inability to remember the good, too focused on stereotypes fueled by a minority of the population, repressed and thus starting the cycle once again.

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