Movements concerning racism and sexism are all inseparable throughout the history of the United States. They are not only but also factors that influenced Americans’ views on each other and on the society as a whole.
As far as I’m concerned, both racism and sexism has shaped American society by driving forward the Civil Movement in the twentieth century which implements freedom of speech and expression for those who are considered as minority groups in the society. Racism and sexism movements also made Americans realize that for a country, which promotes and spread the ideology of democracy, it failed in carrying out democracy within the nation and within peoples. The Civil Movement for racial and gender equality continues to influence American politics and society in the present days.
One document that is worth mentioning during this period of time is the Southern Manifesto. The Southern Manifesto was a bold and brazen document written in 1956 by legislators in the United States Congress opposed to racial integration in public places. It was signed by 101 politicians out of the South’s 128 congressional members, including 82 members of the House of Representatives and 19 senators. This involves southern states like Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia. In 1954, United States Supreme Court, concerning the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case, declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional and advocated desegregation in schools. In response to this decision, the legislators of many southern states signed on this manifesto to condemn and counter the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education.
The Southern Manifesto is justifiably viewed as the single worst episode of racial demagoguery in the 1950s and the 1960s. The Southern Manifesto very much drove the Civil Rights movement which is one of the most important moments of the United States. The Civil Rights movement was to implement Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression, discrimination or assault to race, gender, nationality or religion and eventually bring equality for the black Americans. The Southern Manifesto, being a notorious representation of racial discrimination itself, made a significant impact on both the Civil Rights Movement and the development of the country.
As a country which strongly and favorably spreads and promotes democracy to the rest of the world, the United States, however, failed to carry out the ideology of true democracy – freedom and equality within the nation and within groups of people who have different race and ethnicity backgrounds. Activists and protestors who were strongly against racism of all kinds in the states formed riots and movements to demand their needs from the government. When it comes to the movements against racism during the twentieth century, one of the examples is the Los Angeles Riots.