The American society had greatly bee associated with slavery and segregation. These are some of the wrongs that were meted against individuals of African descent living in America. The African Americans were treated unfairly by the whites as they were seen as belonging to an inferior race. There are various scholarly and historical readings regarding the aspect of slavery and segregation in the United States. These readings indicate the need government intervention that will lead to the remedy of the situation in which inequality has characterized the American society. This inequality has been characterized by racial connotation where the African Americans have systematically been denied equal opportunities. Martin Luther King Jr. was on the forefront in urging the government to adopt measures that would ensure equality among the various racial groups found in the United States. He is well remembered for famous March on Washington that culminated with the “I Have a Dream” speech by Luther himself. It can be observed that, partly due to the activities by Martin Luther King Jr., the United States government adopted some measures that promoted equality among the races. In this regard, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were adopted. This was vital in the fight against segregation that was rampant in the United States during the mid 20th century.
Although slavery and segregation has subsided over the years, there is some inequality that can be observed among the different racial groups in the United States. It can be observed that the contemporary literature does not precisely define the role of the government in bring equality among the different racial groups in the United States. Brittain, for instance, is unenthusiastic on the achievement of the equal society as envisioned by Martin Luther King Jr. On the other hand, Shelby Steele (who is male, by the way) observes that it is upon the black race to work hard in uplifting themselves in the society. However, the whites have to provide moral support and combat any traces of racial discrimination amongst themselves. This author also does not support the adoption of the federal policy of Affirmative Action. This paper sets out to establish of the government actions during the 1960s in promoting equality among the various racial groups, as well as what the government of the day should do in promoting equality in the current society.
Spalding, M. (2002). How to Understand Slavery and the American Founding, in E. A. Rauchut & K. C. Mason (Eds.) Kirkpatrick signature series reader (2008, pp. 461-464). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.
Mathew Spalding strives to understand the concept of slavery within the American society. Historically, the United States was characterized by slaves, especially within the southern states where 40 per cent of the population was made of slaves (Spalding, 2002, KSS, p. 461). It has been observed that some of the America’s founding fathers were slave owners. They included Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and James Madison. However, there are those who did not own slaves such as Benjamin Franklin. According to Franklin, slavery could be equated to an appalling degradation of human nature. Although George Washington owned slaves, he is noted to have a resentment regarding slave ownership. This could be seen in the way he treated his slaves. Some of his slaves were freed while others were allowed to rent his lands or work as paid laborers. There were efforts to abolish slaves, but this was defeated. This can be exemplified by the defeat of a proposed legislation by Thomas Jefferson that aimed to emancipate slaves in Virginia (Spalding, 2002, KSS, p. 461). Notably, the term slave or slavery was omitted in the American Constitution. According to Madison, it was not appropriate to acknowledge that men could be made property (Spalding, 2002, KSS, p. 463). The founding fathers were determined to establish a society where all men were equal (Spalding, 2002, KSS, p. 464).
D’Souza, D. (1995). We the Slave Owners, in E. A. Rauchut & K. C. Mason (Eds.) Kirkpatrick signature series reader (2008, pp. 465-473). Bellevue, NE: Bellevue University Press.
Dinesh D’Souza provides a review of the aspect of slavery within the American society. He asserts that slavery has continued to characterize the American society in the present times.