The Crusader Newspaper Group


Civil rights are personal rights that are guaranteed and protected by the U.S. Constitution and federal laws enacted by Congress, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Civil liberties are basic rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the Bill of Rights in the Constitution or by interpretations of those rights by the legislature or courts.

Civil liberties in the U.S. include all of the following rights: free speech; free exercise of religion; freedom to assemble; privacy; right to remain silent; right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures; right to a fair trial; right to marry; right to vote; right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury; the right to confront witnesses; the right to an attorney; and the right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with legislation initiated by President John F. Kennedy before his assassination, into law on July 2 of that year. When President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law on August 6, 1965, he took the Civil Rights Act of 1964 several steps further. The new law banned all voter literacy tests and provided federal examiners in certain voting jurisdictions.

The foregoing represents a snapshot of the foundation of rights in the United States. Since the enactment of the laws granting these rights, there has been an attempt to take some away, especially those that relate to African Americans. There have been attempts to roll some of them back; to turn back the clock.

One of the most challenging of these is the current attempts by right wing Republicans to create serious voter suppression strategies aimed at African Americans. The GOP has enacted a number of serious impediments, and if they are successful in turning Congress red in the upcoming elections, the fate regarding voter suppression might be sealed. Black people may be effectively thwarted in their power to utilize the voting process.

Reasonable people might understand that the democratic process, demonstrated by the right of all citizens to participate in the voting process, is a logical strategy to ensure diversity.

A monolithic society is not only boring, but is self-serving for a small segment of the population. This results in a society that is guaranteed to push people to the margins, which is not smart because those people tend to become disgruntled due to their disenfranchisement, and create problems for the rest of society.

The powers-that-be who want to ensure the existence of this disenfranchised group are significantly short-sighted. It’s tantamount to a social cancer. The disease known as cancer attacks the cells of a body and by so doing, destroys cells adjacent to diseased cells until there are no more living cells to attack. At this point, the whole body dies. In other words, cancer is suicidal because it always results in its own demise.

With this said, people in a society who espouse authoritarian values and seek to limit diversity and inclusion are like a social cancer. They do not realize that by limiting others, they are in fact limiting themselves. They are setting the stage for their own demise.

Committing “civil wrongs” like those of voter suppression, refusing to address climate change and blocking a significant segment of the population from exercising their rights, is counterproductive and will ultimately result in the devolvement of society.

Essentially, the United States is being manhandled by some of these immature miscreants who greedily seek to control all of the country’s resources without an equitable distribution of them. This is causing extreme imbalance in our country and in the rest of the world. Experienced people know that imbalance can lead to collapse.

In quest of a solution to this dilemma, Black people and others must fight like heck to ensure the viability of civil rights, while calling out and defeating those who embrace a philosophy of civil wrongs, depriving people of their rights.

This will be a ballot box battle, and our future depends upon what happens as a result. A Luta Continua.

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