The American post-independence period remains a dark path in the country’s democratic journey, marked by unending civil violence. Despite the constitutional amendments that rapidly altered the country’s civil and political landscape, civil struggles remained a challenge to the multicultural American society. However, during the post-civil war era, the Civil War Amendments (the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments) marked an end to the persistent civil struggles. The 13th Amendment came in 1865, approximately 60 years after the American constitution’s previous amendments. The legislation categorically banned slavery and involuntary servitude in the United States of America. Three years later was the 14th Amendment, legislation that redefined the definitions and rights of citizenship in the United States, as stated by Voros (2017). The amendment bridged the existing disparities on citizenship acquisition between whites and African Americans. The last Civil War Amendment is the 15th Amendment of 1870; the legislation eradicated race and past servitude as obstacles to equal voting rights in the United States. The amendment extended voting rights to Americans (Barouh, 2020). Therefore, African Americans were granted equal voting rights as other American citizens.
The American Supreme Court interprets the 14th Amendment as the backbone of the country’s civil reforms and citizenship. The legislation sought to harmonize growing ideological disparities on citizenship and citizenship acquisition in America. The amendment recognized the need for multiculturalism and integration among the diverse American population. However, there are strategies in place that limit the realization of such freedoms by African Americans. Racism has evolved into cultural and institutional aspects inhibiting the minority from thoroughly enjoying their civil rights. The continuous existence of racism across generations is clear evidence of how deep the menace is rooted in its political history. During the Jim Crow era, the North and the South experienced disparaging racial discrimination forms (Stern, 2021). While institutional racism dominated the judicial and defense department in the North, the Southern population experienced cultural racism deeply exhibiting social segregation.
Jim Crow era exhibited a different form of racism compared to the current racial discrimination. Coming just after the Civil War Amendments, racism during this period came from the conservative Americans that believed inclusivity could fail the judicial and defense systems in America. The inequalities existing at this time suppressed African Americans from accessing justice and representation. On the other hand, the contemporary forms of racial discrimination are rooted in cultural norms and manifested in various forms, including social media. However, the fight against racial discrimination has significantly been effective in mitigating racism across the globe. By establishing legal frameworks and policies against racial discrimination, the government tries to suppress racism’s impacts. Despite the legislative progress, the persistent stereotypes and societal norms on racial segregation remain an obstacle to a full realization of a racism-free society.
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Voros, F. (2017). Understanding the 14th Amendment. Utah Bar Journal, 30(3), 10-15.
Barouh, A. (2020). A New Old Solution: Why The United States Should Vote By Mail-in Ballot. Seattle Journal for Social Justice, 18(2), 243-274. Web.
Stern, S. (2021). “Separate, Therefore Equal”: American spatial segregation from Jim Crow to Kiryas Joel. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 7(1), 67-90.