Civil rights in the United States are responsibilities and policies that the United States government maintains to achieve equality and prevent discrimination among its citizens.
An all-white jury is a sworn body composed only of white people convened to render an impartial verdict in a legal proceeding. Juries composed solely of one racial group are not prohibited in the United States. However, the phrases "all-white jury" and "all-black jury"' may raise the expectation that deliberations may be less than fair. While the racial composition of juries is not dictated by law, racial discrimination in the selection of jurors (regardless of the jury's ultimate composition) is specifically prohibited. Racial discrimination in jury selection has a long history in the United States.Civil rights movements
Civil rights movements are a worldwide series of political movements for equality before the law, that peaked in the 1960s. In many situations they have been characterized by nonviolent protests, or have taken the form of campaigns of civil resistance aimed at achieving change through nonviolent forms of resistance. In some situations, they have been accompanied, or followed, by civil unrest and armed rebellion. The process has been long and tenuous in many countries, and many of these movements did not, or have yet to, fully achieve their goals, although the efforts of these movements have led to improvements in the legal rights of some previously oppressed groups of people, in some places.
The main aim of the successful civil rights movement and other social movements for civil rights included ensuring that the rights of all people were and are equally protected by the law. These include but are not limited to the rights of minorities, women's rights, and LGBT rights.Columbia Queer Alliance
Columbia Queer Alliance (CQA) is the central Columbia University student organization that represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning LGBTQ students. It is the oldest such student organization in the world, originally called the Student Homophile League, established in 1966 and recognized by the university on April 19, 1967.Cooper Do-nuts Riot
The Cooper Do-nuts Riot was a May 1959 incident in Los Angeles in which transgender women, lesbian women, drag queens, and gay men rioted, one of the first LGBT uprisings in the United States. The incident was sparked by police harassment of LGBT people at a 24-hour Cooper Do-nuts cafe.Craig v. Boren
Craig v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190 (1976), was the first case in which a majority of the United States Supreme Court determined that statutory or administrative sex classifications were subject to intermediate scrutiny under the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.Dick Rowland
Dick Rowland (aka, "Diamond Dick Rowland", born c. 1902) was an African-American teenage shoeshiner whose arrest in May 1921 was the impetus for the Tulsa Race Massacre. When he was arrested for assault, Rowland was 19 years old. The alleged victim of the assault was a white 17-year-old named Sarah Page. Page, who worked as an elevator operator, had eventually declined to prosecute. According to conflicting reports, the arrest was prompted after Rowland tripped in an elevator on his way to a segregated bathroom, and a white store clerk misconstrued the incident as an "assault" or a rape.Executive Order 11246
Executive Order 11246, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 24, 1965, established requirements for non-discriminatory practices in hiring and employment on the part of U.S. government contractors. It "prohibits federal contractors and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who do over $10,000 in Government business in one year from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." It also requires contractors to "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin." The phrase affirmative action had appeared previously in Executive Order 10925 in 1961.Executive Order 8802
Executive Order 8802 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 25, 1941, to prohibit ethnic or racial discrimination in the nation's defense industry. It also set up the Fair Employment Practice Committee. It was the first federal action, though not a law, to promote equal opportunity and prohibit employment discrimination in the United States. Many citizens of Italian or German ethnicity were affected by World War II and this was impeding the war effort and lowering morale. This ethnic factor was a major motivation for Roosevelt. The President's statement that accompanied the Order cited the war effort, saying that "the democratic way of life within the nation can be defended successfully only with the help and support of all groups," and cited reports of discrimination:
There is evidence available that needed workers have been barred from industries engaged in defense production solely because of considerations of race, creed, color or national origin, to the detriment of workers' morale and of national unity.
The executive order had also been demanded by civil rights activists A. Philip Randolph, Walter White, and others involved in the March on Washington Movement who had planned a march on Washington, D.C. in 1941 to protest racial discrimination in industry and the military. They suspended the march after Executive Order 8802 was issued.The order required federal agencies and departments involved with defense production to ensure that vocational and training programs were administered without discrimination as to "race, creed, color, or national origin." All defense contracts were to include provisions that barred private contractors from discrimination as well.Executive Order 9981
Executive Order 9981 is an executive order issued on July 26, 1948, by President Harry S. Truman. It abolished discrimination "on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin" in the United States Armed Forces. The executive order eventually led to the end of segregation in the services.Francis J. Haas
Francis Joseph Haas (March 18, 1889 – August 29, 1953) was an American Roman Catholic bishop and advocate for social justice. He was the sixth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids from 1943 until his death in 1953.Fred Korematsu Day
The Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution is celebrated on January 30 in California to commemorate the birthday of Fred Korematsu, a Japanese-American civil rights activist (see Korematsu v. US). It is the first day in U.S. history named after an Asian American. It was signed into law by then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 23, 2010.The day was first commemorated in 2011 at the University of California, Berkeley, as a day recognizing American civil liberties and rights under the Constitution of the United States. Educational materials were also distributed to school teachers for classroom use.The states of Hawaii (2013), Virginia (2015), and Florida (2016) have since followed suit and passed legislative bills recognizing Fred Korematsu Day in perpetuity.
Fred Korematsu Day was also celebrated in Illinois in 2014, but it isn't clear whether then-Gov. Pat Quinn's proclamation extended past the year. Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Utah have submitted resolutions honoring the day, and South Carolina has submitted a bill to their legislature.
Google recognized Fred Korematsu Day in 2017 with a Google Doodle by artist Sophie Diao, featuring a patriotic portrait of Korematsu wearing his Presidential Medal of Freedom, a scene of the internment camps to his back, surrounded by cherry blossoms, flowers that have come to be symbols of peace and friendship between the US and Japan.Homer Plessy
Homer Adolph Plessy (March 17, 1862 – March 1, 1925) was a Louisiana French-speaking Creole plaintiff in the United States Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson.
Arrested, tried and convicted in New Orleans of a violation of one of Louisiana's racial segregation laws, he appealed through Louisiana state courts to the U.S. Supreme Court and lost. The resulting "separate but equal" decision against him had wide consequences for civil rights in the United States. The decision legalized state-mandated segregation anywhere in the United States so long as the facilities provided for both blacks and whites were putatively "equal".
The son of French-speaking creoles (Haitian refugees who fled the revolution), Homer Plessy was born on St. Patrick's Day in 1862, at a time when federal troops under General Benjamin Franklin Butler were occupying Louisiana as a result of the American Civil War and had liberated African Americans in New Orleans who had been in bondage but Plessy was a free person of color and his family came to America free from Haiti and France. Blacks could then marry whomever they chose, sit in any streetcar seat and, briefly, attend integrated schools.As an adult, Plessy experienced the reversal of the gains achieved under the federal occupation, following the withdrawal of federal troops in 1877 on the orders of U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes.Due to Plessy's phenotype being white, Plessy could have ridden in a railroad car restricted to people classified as white. However, under the racial policies of the time, he was an "octoroon" having 1/8th African-American heritage, and therefore was considered black. Hoping to strike down segregation laws, the Citizens' Committee of New Orleans (Comité des Citoyens) recruited Plessy to deliberately violate Louisiana's 1890 separate-car law. To pose a clear test, the Citizens' Committee gave notice of Plessy's intent to the railroad, which opposed the law because it required adding more cars to its trains.On June 7, 1892, Plessy bought a first-class ticket on a train from New Orleans and sat in the car for white riders only. The Committee had hired a private detective with arrest powers to take Plessy off the train at Press and Royal streets, to ensure that he was charged with violating the state's separate-car law and not some other misdemeanor.Everything that the committee had organized occurred as planned, except for the decision of the Supreme Court in 1896.
By then the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court had gained a more segregationist tilt, and the committee knew it would likely lose. But it chose to press the cause anyway, [author Keith] Medley said. 'It was a matter of honor for them, that they fight this to the very end.'Mansfield school desegregation incident
The Mansfield school desegregation incident is a 1956 event in the Civil Rights Movement in Mansfield, Texas, a suburb of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.
In 1956, the Mansfield Independent School District was segregated and still sent its black children to separate, run down facilities, despite the Brown v. Board of Education court decision in 1954. Three students brought a suit with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It became the first school district in the state ordered by a federal court to desegregate. The school board approved the measure and allowed Mansfield High School to desegregate. Although other districts in Texas desegregated quietly that fall, the mayor and police chief of Mansfield did not approve of this measure. When school started on August 30 of 1956, they joined over 300 whites in front of Mansfield High School. Their goal was to prevent the enrollment of the three black students. The town turned into complete turmoil as 3 black effigies were hanged as part of the demonstration.Texas Governor Allan Shivers supported the protests, and even dispatched Texas Rangers to prevent integration. He then authorized the Mansfield Independent School District to send its black students to Fort Worth, Texas. By doing this the school district had effectively ignored a federal court order for integration.After the transfer of the black students to Fort Worth, the demonstrations soon ended and order was restored. It was this success that in 1957 inspired Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus to attempt a similar ordeal in Little Rock, Arkansas. Later that year, Texas passed more segregation laws that delayed integration even further.
Facing the lack of federal funds, the Mansfield Independent School District quietly desegregated in 1965. The decade long defiance of a federal school integration order was one of the longest in the nation during that period.ONE, Inc.
One, Inc. was a gay rights organization established in the United States in 1952.Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom
The Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, or Prayer Pilgrimage to Washington, was a 1957 demonstration in Washington, D.C., an early event in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. It was the occasion for Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s Give Us the Ballot speech.President's Committee on Civil Rights
The President's Committee on Civil Rights was a United States Presidential Commission established by President Harry Truman in 1946. The committee was created by Executive Order 9808 on December 5, 1946 and instructed to investigate the status of civil rights in the country and propose measures to strengthen and protect them. After the committee submitted a report of its findings to President Truman, it disbanded in December 1947.Public accommodations in the United States
Public accommodations, in US law, are generally defined as facilities, both public and private, used by the public. Examples include retail stores, rental establishments, and service establishments as well as educational institutions, recreational facilities, and service centers.
Under US federal law, public accommodations must be accessible to the disabled and may not discriminate on the basis of "race, color, religion, or national origin." Private clubs were specifically exempted under federal law as well as religious organizations. The definition of public accommodation within the Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is limited to "any inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment which provides lodging to transient guests" and so is inapplicable to churches. Section 12187 of the ADA also exempts religious organizations from public accommodation laws, but religious organizations are encouraged to comply.
Various US states have nonuniform laws that provide for nondiscrimination in public accommodations.Twinkie defense
"Twinkie defense" is a derisive label for an improbable legal defense. It is not a recognized legal defense in jurisprudence, but a catchall term coined by reporters during their coverage of the trial of defendant Dan White for the murders of San Francisco city Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. White's defense was that he suffered diminished capacity as a result of his depression. His change in diet from healthful food to Twinkies and other sugary foods was said to be a symptom of depression. Contrary to common belief, White's attorneys did not argue that the Twinkies were the cause of White's actions, but that their consumption was symptomatic of his underlying depression. White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter.White House Conference on Civil Rights
The White House Conference on Civil Rights was held June 1 and 2, 1966. The aim of the conference was built on the momentum of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in addressing discrimination against African-Americans. The four areas of discussion were housing, economic security, education, and the administration of justice.President Lyndon Johnson had promised this conference in his commencement address at Howard University the year before. Like that address, the conference was named "To Fulfill These Rights." The title was a play on "To Secure These Rights," a report issued by Truman's civil rights commission in 1947. There were over 2,400 participants, representing all the major civil rights groups except SNCC, which boycotted the conference. Out of the conference came a hundred-page report that called for "legislation to ban racial discrimination in housing and the administration of criminal justice, and...suggested increased federal spending to improve the quality of housing and education."
United States articles